The Craftsman & Apprentice is a community-based arts & crafts workshop studio in the heart of Denver.
When owners, Delanie Holton-Fessler & Jonathan Fessler first started dreaming of C&a, they knew the wanted to create a place for people who are inspired by craft, creativity, and community.
Jonathan is a master stonemason and Delanie is an author, maker, and former elementary school art teacher. The two talked at length about the life they wanted for their two young sons. They knew they wanted their boys to know the satisfaction of a job well done, of making something from nothing and above all living a life of creativity. At The Craftsman & Apprentice we honor the workshop as a space to connect, share, and discover the good life, at any age.
Delanie wrapped up a ten year teaching career before opening the shop in 2014. She was an art teacher & content integration specialist in highly impacted schools throughout the Denver area. She has lectured and published research on the effects of art education with at-risk youth. Delanie has a BFA in Sculpture from Metro State where she helped run the sculpture lab. She also holds a Master's in Education from Regis University. Delanie continues to be a passionate advocate for equity and access in the arts and crafts field. Delanie is the head honcho at the shop and oversees day-to-day operations, programming and product development. Look out for her book, Maker Camp coming Feb 2021 with Roost Publishing.
Jonathan first began his career as a stonemason in Pennsylvania almost 20 years ago. After moving to Colorado permanently in 2001, Jonathan apprenticed under a master stonemason for 5 years. Since that time he's run Fessler Masonry and honed his craft, building fireplaces and stone hardscape throughout the front range. While he's not breaking stones or helping out at the shop, Jonathan is busy teaching his boys the way of the craftsman.
Six 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've collaborated with dozens of the best makers, teachers, and craftspeople in the state and built a staff of six dedicated teachers.
We look forward to the time when we can collaborate and make together.
For now, we've made the move to supporting at-home maker communities through classes, supplies, and more.
Delanie is also the founder of The Colorado Mask Project. A collaboration between the State of Colorado and local makers to put non-medical masks in the hands of every Coloradan.