The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, located in Minneapolis, MN, offers an array of educational programs, open to anyone with an interest. Classes are typically geared towards adult learners, with summertime classes offered for youth.

Find current class details and register for upcoming sessions by clicking on the program area links below. We offer classes on a quarterly basis (starting January, April, July, October) and registration opens about six weeks prior to the start of each quarter.

For questions about registering, attending classes, finding us, and more, see "The Fine Print".

Classes make great gifts! Buy a gift certificate.

Tuition Assistance Scholarships
CAFAC is committed to making our classes accessible to anyone with an interest and we are pleased to provide income-based assistance to students. You can find a scholarship application here. Return completed applications and supporting documentation to or mail to/drop off at 3749 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407.

The art of blacksmithing has been practiced for thousands of years to create objects from horseshoes to furniture to swords. Blacksmiths heat iron in a forge and use tools such as a hammer and anvil to shape it to a desired form.

Electronics & Technology
The electric spark ignites an array of artistic opportunities in light, sound, and motion. The Arduino physical computing platform can be used to create interactive works of art that incorporate lighting effects like LED or kinetic sculpture that responds to the surrounding environment.

Enameling & Metal Coloration
A variety of options exist to add color to metal, from chemical patinas to unique painterly techniques using pigments. Another is enameling, a process of fusing glass powder to a substrate such as metal using heat which results in a smooth durable and attractive coating.

Encaustic is an ancient process in which colored pigments are added to heated beeswax, which is then applied to a surface. The technique has both painterly and sculptural aspects, using special tools and brushes as the wax cools to the surface.

Glassworking techniques include flameworking (also known as lampworking), kiln-formed glass, and stained glass. Our newly refurbished glassworking studio features point-of-source ventilation and eight work stations. We focus on Italian soft glass flameworking; stay tuned for a future expansion into borosilicate glass.

Fire art forms of jewelry fabrication include traditional metalsmithing, casting, and piercing, as well as techniques using metal clay. Our current classes focus on precious metal clay; stay tuned for a future expansion into jewelry fabrication techniques.

Metal Casting
Metal casting is an ancient process that is still widely used today. In a foundry, metal is cast into shape by placing it in a crucible and heating it until molten, then poured into a mold where it cools and solidifies.

Neon signage is becoming a thing of the past in commercial settings but it lives on artistic applications. Neon signs are produced by bending glass tubes, coated with phosphors on the interior, which are then filed with neon or argon gas and electrified.

Fire/LED performance is a group of disciplines that involve manipulation of objects glowing with flame or light. They are often performed to music and have been a traditional part of cultures from around the world for centuries.

Repoussé and Tinsmithing
This ancient metalworking technique utilizes the malleable quality of non-ferrous metals to create a raised design using small hammers and other simple tools. Chasing is the opposite process in which a designed is refined by pushing the metal from the front.

Welding & Metal Fabrication
Welding is a fabrication process used to create a strong permanent bond between metals and is a key skill needed for sculptural and functional projects. Classes also cover torch cutting, brazing, and metal coloration techniques.

Youth Classes
Fire arts classes for 8-17 year olds (age ranges vary by class - see class descriptions for specifics).

SPARC: Studio Pass at Reduced Cost
Open shop time for intermediate/advanced students working independently on projects.

The Fine Print
Everything you need to know about how to register and pay for classes; applying for a tuition assistance scholarship; transfers, cancellations, and refunds; and other details related to class registration.

Note: the calendar below displays classes and events happening at CAFAC, but to check the start and end dates of particular classes, refer to the listings above.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.