New Year’s Day might seem so long ago, and New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, stop swearing aloud or do this or that might age, but they don’t need an expiration date.
How about learning something new? Maybe you’ve wanted to learn to golf and graduate from par-3 play, or take dance lessons so you could cut the rug while out for a night, or get in shape with Zumba sessions. Places for golf and dance instruction are plentiful on the Grand Strand, and so are some other outlets, such as for making pottery, painting, kayaking, Segwaying and pole dancing.
Producing some pottery
Shirley Batten teaches clay art at Mud Bucket Pottery in Little River, a gallery and studio that moved into the former Bluewaters clay studio that closed in earlier this winter. After retiring from 20 years in the Air Force, she earned her teaching degree at Coastal Carolina University and has branched out into art.
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She said local residents and vacationers will walk in without any experience in clay but with a curiosity to soothe. Some people want to sit down at a pottery wheel to learn to mold art and others want to hand build it.
Either way, after glazing and firing up works in a kiln, Batten said, “you’re going to get something, and probably fall in love with it.”
For one’s first time, making a coffee mug might quench a thirst.
“It just might be enough to help you decide, ‘I really like that,’ ” Batten said.
She has worked with guests as young as 6, but no age limit exists.
“They’re realizing that ‘I can do this and create something that is not pleasing to me,’ ” Batten said, “’but that I can make something that is pleasing to somebody else.’ ”
Batten said “something as simple as a coffee cup” with its custom handle “can get very personal, because ‘I like the way it feels in my hand.’ ”
“A coffee cup is a very intimate piece of pottery,” she said. “Everybody likes it to fit a certain way in your hand. My mother likes a tall, skinny cup; I like a short, round one. ... People don’t consider a coffee mug a work of art, but it is.”
Mastering a comfort in making pottery is “a gradual thing,” Batten said, citing many housewares possibilities, from teapots to platters.
“You can make anything from really, really small to huge,” she said, welcoming the chance to teach anybody whether through single-day or four weekly lessons, programs for home-schooled students, birthday parties and even groups on a ladies’ night out.
Batten said clay can heat up a new hobby, “all with consistency and practice, like anything else you do.”
• MUD BUCKET POTTERY gallery and teaching studio, 279 S.C. 57, Little River, a half-mile south of S.C. 9. Open Studio 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays. Call 446-6630 or email email@example.com to schedule classes in basic wheel-throwing, and hand building techniques. www.mudbucketpottery.com.
• HARRY THE POTTER – PAINT YOUR OWN POTTERY STUDIO, 4007-B Belle Terre Blvd., off U.S. 501, in Forestbook community, west of Forestbrook Road and Food Lion plaza. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. 903-0773 or www.harry-the-potter.com.
Art classes abound
Various sites let people start or pursue a passion for painting or drawing, such as:
• ART & SOUL, AN ARTISAN GALLERY INC., 5001 N. Kings Highway, Suite 105, Myrtle Beach, in Rainbow Harbor plaza. Various classes available, such as from Alex Powers – six 21/2-hour classes for $150, or $25 per class – email firstname.lastname@example.org. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. 839-2727 or www.artandsoulmyrtlebeach.com.
• DEBORAH BROAD STUDIO, 671 Jamestowne Drive, Garden City Beach, beginning silversmith classes for five-week sessions or two-day workshops, with instruction including soldering, sawing, filing and design. Painting classes also available in oil, pastel and acrylic. 333-5364.
• STUART FLEISHMAN CLASSES, in paint or pastel and charcoal, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Fridays at North Myrtle Beach’s J. Bryan Floyd Community Center, 1030 Possum Trot Road, for $85 for four classes per month, or $25 per class. Also, at A.C. Moore, 1120 Seaboard St., Myrtle Beach: pastel 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, oil painting 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, and oil or Acrylic brush and pallet knife 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays, each for $85 per four classes per month, and charcoal and pastel drawing 3-5:30 p.m. Thursdays, for $75; call store at 213-2070 to register. More class details at 213-1037.
• “FUNTASTICART” classes for children, 3-5 p.m. Mondays in Myrtle Beach Family Learning Center, 3101 Oak St., with preregistration required at least 24 hours ahead; 3:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays in North Myrtle Beach’s J. Bryan Floyd Community Center, 1030 Possum Trot Road. Reach Nina Ortiz at 997-4729 or email email@example.com.
• ISLAND ART GALLERY, in The Village Shops, 10744-M Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. Programs include open studio classes for adults on Thursday mornings, and for middle- and high-schoolers Thursday afternoons, both with Kelly Atkinson (687-9261); and scratchboard lessons Wednesday afternoons with Jim Nelson (455-0336). Reach gallery at 455-0336, 207-320-5884 or www.pawleysislandart.com.
• SUNSET RIVER MARKETPLACE, 10283 Beach Drive S.W. (N.C. 179), Calabash, N.C. Various classes and workshops available, and “Bring on Spring!” group show through March 23. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. 910-575-5999 or www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com.
• WATERCOLOR CLASSES, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, 3100 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach; six classes for $84 or $16 for drop-in. Call Susan Duke, instructor: 251-3877.
Hop on two wheels
Want to ride a two-wheeler, but not pedal? Stand up and lean on a Segway, with a half-hour or less of training before a self-guided tour from The Market Common across the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, or a guided tour at Huntington Beach State Park.
• MYRTLE BEACH SEGWAY, 2922-A Howard Ave., Myrtle Beach, in The Market Common near Valor Memorial Garden. Self-guided tours, such as hourly rates of $39 for one, $59 two, $89 four or $119 eight; and two-hour guided tours of Huntington Beach State Park: $69, plus park gate fee. Reservations recommended: 477-0800 or www.mbsegway.com.
Glide on saltwater marsh
Another season of “Coastal Kayaking” is under way, 10 a.m.-noon Mondays through October, with guided tours on a salt marsh just north of Huntington Beach State Park, near Murrells Inlet. Beginners are welcome.
Kayakers – in groups of one or two per vessel – meet at the nature center on the north side of the park, then caravan to Oyster Landing, one mile north on U.S. 17. Once paddling on the water, get eye level with wading birds and other fowl on their turf amid patches of grasses and little islands.
The rides are designed for ages 9 and older, but anyone younger than 16 needs adult accompaniment. Everyone is asked to bring rinking water, sunscreen and lace-up shoes that can get wet and muddy.
• “COASTAL KAYAKING,” for $35 per person, at Huntington Beach State Park, on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, across from Brookgreen Gardens. Reservations due at 235-8755 by 4 p.m. the previous Sunday. 235-8755 for nature center, 237-4440 main office, or www.southcarolinaparks.com/huntingtonbeach/.
Fitness on a pole
Pole dancing can provide another means for working out the body.
Tor’keese Moss opened Teazers Pole Fitness & Dance Studio last month in the X Gym Sports Mall, just west of Myrtle Beach. She said the closest such studios of which she knew are in Charleston and Charlotte, N.C., and she’s had access to the activity in other former residences in bigger cities such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Moss said her first month in business has been promising. She said women who work out in clubs or walk in places such as malls might like another option through pole dancing, which is “becoming like a sport.” Also, she has fielded inquiries from gymnasts and former cheerleaders.
“You use a lot of your upper body strength,” Moss said. “I would rather pull my own weight instead of lifting weights. ... It’s a lot of arms, legs and core work.”
The beginning class really accents the arms, she said, and two other graduating levels also are available, all in weekly classes Mondays-Saturdays, in addition to hip-hop cardio dance classes given two days weekly.
The clientele – women – have ranged in age from 18 to early to mid-fifties, said Moss, who also has taken calls from parents of gymnastics and dance students, and mulled adding a session for ages 10-17.
“It’s for good upper body strength,” she said, considering youth for classes, “and with nothing provocative.”
• TEAZERS POLE FITNESS & DANCE STUDIO, in X Gym Sports Mall, 568 George Bishop Parkway, west of Myrtle Beach, between U.S. 501 and U.S. 17 Bypass. 251-1277 or www.teazerspolefitness.com.