Classes, Lectures & Workshops

The learning never stops at Tohono Chul – discover this for yourself in our Classes, Lectures & Workshops!

We’re all about connecting our members and visitors to the amazing world around us, offering them opportunities to make their own discoveries about the nature, art and culture of our region. Read on for our latest listings of classes, lectures and workshops designed to engage and delight!

In order to provide the safest learning environment, our classes and workshops are offered online through Zoom or with limited onsite enrollment. In-person workshops with a maximum enrollment of 12 participants will be held in the larger classroom #1 in the Education Center. Participants will be seated at separate tables 6 feet apart. All participants are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing when not seated. The classroom and tables are thoroughly sanitized prior to each workshop and spray sanitizer/wipes are available during class, as well as hand sanitizer. The doors will be kept open and air continuously circulating. The restrooms in the building are cleaned frequently and there is a water bottle refill station on the porch. Please bring your own paper, pens, pencils for note taking, as none will be provided.

Cancellation Policy

We reserve the right to cancel or postpone an event due to lack of enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. A full refund will apply. If however, you cancel your registration in a class or lecture (generally priced $6-$20), there is no refund. If you cancel your registration in a hands-on workshop, there is a full refund if your space can be filled.


Alcohol Inks with a Wire-wrapped Rock Rim

Saturday, May 8 | 9am-4pm | Ed. Ctr. #1 | $90 Members | $100 General Public

Adirondack alcohol inks (available in over 50 colors), when mixed, blended or washed together create a plethora of vibrant colors. Gourd artist Sue Brogdon demonstrates multiple ways to utilize these bold colors – dripping, outlining, stamping, blended and even used in combination with other products. Students select the technique and hues to color their own gourd before learning how to wire wrap a rock which will be lashed onto a pine needle, pygmy date palm or suede rim treatment. Beads will be available to conceal the drill holes. All materials provided – cleaned and prepped round gourd; alcohol inks; polyurethane finish; dyed pine needles, pygmy date palm and suede; wire for wrapping; agates, jasper, turquoise; wire for lashing; and, beads, if desired. Students should bring plastic or latex gloves, a wire cutter, flat nosed pliers, bucket, an old towel and lunch.


Virtual Travel with Pocket Sketching (as seen on PBS)

April 28, May 1, 5, 8, 12 | 10am-12pm | via Zoom | $150 Members | $175 General Public

We may be faced with COVID restrictions on travel, but artist Kath Macaulay hasn’t let that stop her. Teaching Pocket Sketching Virtual Travel online, she poses the question – why not learn to travel sketch while you’re stuck at home? Re-live your past travels using scrapbook photos or get ready to be totally immersed in your next trip, using photos of where you plan to go when it’s safe! In five 2-hour Zoom sessions learn to sketch anywhere in minutes with Macaulay’s portable, compact technique for sauntering, biking, hiking, sitting in a concert or on an airport layover. Sessions, which include the use of water-soluble pens and added color, contrast and perspective and landscapes and focal points, are recorded and available for two weeks so you can repeat any lesson. Classes are held via Zoom on each of the following days – April 28, May 1, 5, 8, and 12, from 10am to 12pm. During this Zoom event there will be opportunities for social exchange and interactive critique. Cost does not include supplies which can be purchased from Sarnoff Artist Materials (4747 E. Sunrise | 520-795-1229) for $49.


Mosaic Dragonfly Tile

Tuesday, May 25 | 10:30am-2:30pm | Ed. Ctr. #1 | $75 Members | $90 General Public

We tend to think of dragonflies as a pond insect, always around water. They may need water to reproduce, but amazingly we’ll see them miles from water, in the middle of the desert, or zipping around our gardens at home. This 6”x6” mosaic dragonfly project will help you capture all their flash and color, but with tile! David Jarvinen of Mosaic Guys walks you through the steps as you learn how to shape and fit your tiles with wheeled nippers. Choose from a wide variety of glass tiles to complete the pre-printed design and take home the grout kit to complete your project (takes 24 hours to cure). All materials provided; there are no formal breaks, so please bring lunch/snacks/drinks.


Mosaic Butterfly Tile

Tuesday, June 22 | 10:30am-2:30pm | Ed. Ctr. #1 | $75 Members | $90 General Public

Butterflies play an important role in nature, garden pollinators that bring joy to our outdoor spaces. This 6”x6” preprinted tile gives you every reason to explore your color imagination using a wide variety of glass tiles. David Jarvinen of Mosaic Guys is back and ready to teach you how to shape and fit your tiles with wheeled nippers, a great first tile project for the uninitiated. Take home the grout kit to complete your project (takes 24 hours to cure). All materials provided; there are no formal breaks, so please bring lunch/snacks/drinks.


Warty Gourds

Saturday, June 5 | 9am-4pm | Ed. Ctr. #1 | $90 members | $100 general public

“Warties” are one of the most bizarre varieties of hard-shelled gourd grown today, and they are as fun as they look! During this summertime workshop with gourd artist, Sue Brogdon, participants color both a small and a medium-sized gourd with ink dyes; select fiber, such as pine needles, philodendron sheaths or dragon’s tongue, for the rim treatment; and finish it off with botanical enhancements from the desert and the coast. Instructor provides two prepped gourds, ink, sealant, botanicals, needle and lashing material. Students should bring an apron, plastic or latex gloves, an old towel, bucket, scissors, heat tool (if you have one), and a brown bag lunch.