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What is Creative work?

Good question. Creative work is the work of childhood. Children are built to tinker, to play, to create, and to make meaning of their world with their hands. We give them the space, materials, tools, and guidance to do their best work.

Our Vision

We build kind, creative, and capable kids through hands-on maker experiences.

Our Mission

To bring the joy and impact of creative work to children and the grown-ups who care for them.

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Our Core Values

Children are whole people worthy of our attention, time, and respect 

Kindness matters

Creative work is for all children

Failure is an option

Reflection is key to our work

We are responsible for ourselves and to our community

Progress over perfection

Collaboration over competition

People are meant to make things and learn from each other

How we do it

We draw on our decades long experience as artists, craftspeople, and arts educators to create engaging experiences for kids. Our work falls into four domains: woodworking, fiber arts, creative build-play, and ancestral skills. These domains are fluid and have cross over but more simply, our work is rooted in handcraft. We utilize 12 working practices coined, The Shop Model. The Shop Model is rooted in critical and community pedagogy and inspired by folk schools and the informal education environments of artists and community makers. We believe that safe, trusting relationships are at the core of teaching and learning. Simply, we teach kids to work with their hands, to assess risk, to think creatively, to play, and to enjoy the process of creating things. What our our makers create are always useful as objects of play, things to beautify their environments, evidence of concept exploration, demonstration of learning, or items that can be used in everyday life.

Education is radically about love

– Paolo Fiere

We mean it. Learning happens when we feel safe, loved, and cared for. We are dedicated to making sure that our programming is inclusive, adaptable, and accessible. Each year we set a goal to ensure that at least 20% of our programming reaches traditionally underserved populations at a little or no cost to participants. We do this through grant partnerships with local nonprofits, government agencies like libraries, museums, and schools, as well as drawing from our own dedicated reserve funds. We make every effort to say yes whenever a child is in need of programming regardless of their caregiver’s ability to pay.

In addition to our financial equity in access position, we are also committed to ensuring that our shop kiddos participate in programming that honors their unique personhood. This includes our teachers having a deep understanding and respect for children’s neurodiversity, physical diversity, cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as their gender and sexual orientation. While craftsman is in our name, our programming is non-gendered as we truly believe that making things is for everyone. We do our very best to adapt, innovate, and meet each kiddo where they’re at with love and respect.

We are dedicated to making sure that our programming is inclusive, adaptable, and accessible.


  • My daughter cannot wait to go back! She loved it and ranks it above all else for camps.

    – Kelly P

  • Delanie! Her willingness to help and yet empower the kids to complete their projects and help clean up is awesome!

    – Stephanie A

  • My son said it was just the best, he had a really good time and that’s all that matters!

    – Lori T

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Our Story

When we first began to think about opening Craftsman & Apprentice, my husband, Jon and I would talk at length about what we love about being makers. Jon is a master stonemason who learned his trade over the course of many years as an apprentice. We would ask ourselves questions like, how do we know what we know and how do we do our best work? We also talked about all the things we’ve loved about being part of a creative community here in Denver for 20 years. When we boiled it all down, we came to the realization that making things and learning how to make things with our hands is best done in community; in real life proximity to other people all learning and creating together while we change and grow over time. When we learn from each other, we all benefit. It’s human nature to build upon the practices and innovations of others. These are the founding principles to our work at Craftsman & Apprentice.

Eight years on and we’ve hosted thousands of workshops, camps, and classes not just in our little shop but all over the Front Range at museums, libraries, schools, and businesses. We are so grateful for our entire community and our amazing staff!