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our studio  |  founder  |  teachers

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our studio

We are at large in Santa Cruz: come see us for a workshop at one of our host partners. We also come to you anywhere in the Bay Area for private workshops.


Holdfast Studio School is a collaborative community resource featuring local artists and teachers. We’re a respite from busy and a celebration of slow, intentional, real, tactile, tangible materials and skills.

We value the creative process — the exploration and excitement of making something with your hands.

We offer skill building with a connection to traditional origins; we consider the provenance of the materials we use; we allow for an immersive, intimate, social experience in a relaxed studio environment.

We believe working with your hands can be a meditative refuge from busy, modern living.

Holdfast Studio School hosts private and public workshops for students at any skill level, in both traditional and modern crafts, like:

  • wooden spoon carving

  • natural fabric dying

  • jewelry making

  • machine sewing

  • textile series (dye, pattern, sew)

  • embroidery

  • macrame

  • block printing

  • brush lettering and calligraphy

  • knitting

  • cyanotype on paper and silk

  • seasonal crafts (flower arranging, holiday wreath & garland making)

  • candle making

  • basket weaving

  • tea blending

  • broom/brush making

  • leatherwork

ready to join a workshop?

It takes courage to be a beginner as an adult, yet that mindset brings with it some of the highest rewards: stretching your potential for creation.

Do you have energy and interest in real, tactile, tangible materials/crafts Be humbled and open yourself to a new skill, new people and a new experience.

So, if that sounds interesting to you, yeah, you’re ready!

Take your new skill home to develop and come back when you want to learn more.


Since 2009 I have trained and worked as a Landscape Architect. With the launch of Hold Fast Studio School I am realizing a long-held dream to maintain a professional life in the world of craft education.

My vision is to work collaboratively with artists, teachers and students to share traditional and modern skills and experiences. This comes from my deep affection for art, beauty and the self-sufficiency engendered in creating objects to be both cherished and used.

We live in a an era of material goods/stuff (we don’t need) and digital media (that fleets by us) — my hope is together we will share meaningful, lasting skills.

I’m looking for a balance — a time-out from constant connection and screen-time. Maybe you are too.

I hope you’ll find our studio a place where you connect with others and learn skills that will enrich your life with creative exploration and the satisfaction of making  beautiful and useful objects with your own hands.

Carrie Jones



Lee DeGraw

Lee DeGraw is a contemporary embroidery artist and the creator behind Fiber Punk Studio. Self-taught, she began dabbling in hand embroidery about 5 years ago as a hobby and has since developed a deep love for the creative and cathartic process of stitching. Her work is inspired by the many patterns and textures that surround her in nature, while traveling, and within her own home. Her hands-on approach to teaching embroidery is to celebrate the slow process of crafting a stitched piece and to empower others in their creative journey.

fiber punk studio

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Terry Mcinerney

Terry McInerney is the artist and owner of Nuala, a local leather accessory business. She have been designing and selling leather goods for 10 years in Santa Cruz. Working with her hands brings a sense of accomplishment that she wants reflected in her leather work. Terry loves to share the unique craft of leatherwork with others. click here To learn more about Terry’s leatherwork.



Natalie Burrow

Rooted in her passion for natural wellness, Natalie educates women on living a natural lifestyle and how integrating essential oils into their daily routines and rituals can be a massive upgrade in their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. She does this through regular essential oil classes and workshops as well as through sharing her own lifestyle and having real conversations on her Instagram and blog. Being equally passionate about style, consciousness, and natural living, Natalie hopes to show women they can live beautiful, modern day lives while also experiencing the deeper connection of their spirit and inner guidance. Natalie lives in Santa Cruz with her husband, two daughters, and rottie-with-a-tail.

natalie dressed

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jo birns

Jo Birns is a floral designer, farmer, teacher and lover of all green and growing things. She has a patchwork of gardens in her neighborhood in Santa Cruz, where she grows unusual, hard to find varieties of flowers that make her designs unique and special. Her work spills over with lush, incredibly scented flowers that speak of the place, the season and a deep love of nature.


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Viviana Renteria

Viviana grew up in Santa Cruz and began making jewelry under her Luna Dorada brand because she was inspired by the art and makers movement in town. She is self taught and learned through extensive trial and error. Working with her hands is her way of relieving stress and when she’s not hammering away, she’s throwing planters and bowls at a local ceramics studio.


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Kim Denning

Kim has always loved crafting and keeping her hands busy. She was looking for a new hobby and quickly fell in love with the art of macrame. Her first projects were made with found objects she already had at home, a branch from outside and some kitchen twine! Kim loves how accessible macrame is to anyone! She likes to create thoughtful and quality work that can be enjoyed for years to come. Kim and her husband Bob have two children. They live right here in Santa Cruz and love exploring all this town has to offer.



Nina Marsh

Nina is a self taught maker of beaded jewelry born and living in Santa Cruz. She has been making and selling her work for three years. When she’s not busy beading, you can find her at the beach, in the forest, or traveling abroad for adventure and inspiration. check for updates to her Etsy shop under the name Amaluma. 



Grace Pollack

Grace runs Maker Mountain Fabrics, a small online apparel fabric shop. Grace also hosts monthly apparel sewing workshops in her studio in Ben Lomond and just hosted her first ever sewing retreat! She has three small children, lots of pets and a garden full of flowers.

Grace learned to sew from her mother as a little girl, and loves spreading the love of sewing and beautiful fabric with people of all ages. She believes that sewing is not only a fun hobby, but that it is life changing, body image enhancing, and good for the environment and she can not wait to share that power with you!


Stephanie Rapisardo Hold Fast Santa Cruz CA

stephanie rapisardo

Stephanie is a former early childhood educator and freelance artist specializing in hyper realistic portraiture.  With a lifelong passion for design, a degree in Fine Arts, and inspiration from 15 years in the field of ECE, she's interested in the ways creative expression informs the human experience.  Through personal growth and her experiences working closely with young children, she's come to understand that creating is a natural state and a crucial part of healing and self-care. 

Stephanie's grateful for a community where she can both learn from fellow creatives as well as facilitate experiences that support that self-care.  Whether it’s through her graphite portraits, design work or handmade goods Stephanie's mission is to positively impact her community and the individuals that she shares her passion with.


Amanda Ngyuen Santa Cruz Workshops

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Amanda is a self-taught calligrapher specializing in wedding and event communication design. She's passionate about sharing her love and knowledge of beautiful script.


Amber Powers Workshop

amber powers

Amber Powers is a contemporary weaving artist and textile designer with an extensive background in creating surface design for apparel and home. Amber taught textile design courses at the Academy of Art University for two years and most recently has been leading weaving workshops locally in Santa Cruz. Amber was first was exposed weaving 6 years ago and has become passionate about the craft. Her weavings focus on the relationship and balance between dimension, texture, color and shapes. Amber was born and raised in Santa Cruz and lives in town with her husband and two young boys. When not at the loom, she loves to work in the yard and thrift for unusual fibers. 


Betsy Powers

betsy powers

Betsy is an artist, designer, and maker. She loves drawing patterns and portraits, knitting and sewing her own clothes, and going on adventures with her family. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, where she is inspired by the ocean, beautiful plants, and her wonderful family.



domenique grillo

Domenique Grillo is the maker behind Penny&Pine handmade jewelry from the Santa Cruz Mountains.  A lover of all art forms, Dom dabbles in many mediums, including painting, sketching, and fiber art among others.  Upon diving into her jewelry craft, she discovered a meditative pastime that can be taken anywhere. She has honed her jewelry-making skills while road-tripping the coast of Baja, backpacking through Central and South America, and everywhere in between.  She feels that creating is one of the most therapeutic and gratifying activities out there and is very excited to get the chance to share that with others. 



nicole fischer

Nicole is an Intuitive Chef, mystic, and creator of The Lunar Tea Company. Born on the wild and often rural Vancouver Island in Canada, Nicole grew up amongst the magic that is nature. Highly intuitive since childhood, Nicole is most at peace in her garden. The Lunar Tea Company was born with the intention of making the magic of plants and mediative ritual accessible and simple for people to integrate into their every day lives. Nicole has felt the benefits of a daily tea ritual in her own life, and is excited to share that knowledge with others. She lives with her partner and 13-year old hound, Sadie, by the beach in Santa Cruz.



heddi craft

Heddi Craft is a teacher and knitwear designer living in Santa Cruz with her husband and three teen children.  She has been an avid fiber artist since learning to crochet at age 6 and has been designing knitting patterns for shawls, sweaters and accessories for the last five years.  Heddi loves teaching and working with learners of all skill levels.



joan pranata bogart

Joan Pranata Bogart is a local illustrator and block printmaker whose linocut and block prints are displayed in town and at art shows. She currently is the Artist in Residence at the Ocean Conservancy. She traded working for Google for over 11 years while illustrating on the side- she has drawn for almost all of La Tourangelle's gourmet oil labels- for raising a family and practicing printmaking. Her recent prints resemble Indonesian Batik in design and form. Joan has a BA in Art Practice from University of California, Berkeley and is happy to live in Santa Cruz with access to community and creativity. When she isn’t teaching workshops around town, or running around with her three young kids, she practices drawing and printmaking in her Santa Cruz backyard studio.



tina somers

Tina Somers is a Santa Cruz native with a deep appreciation for the outdoors, science, and art. She holds a BA in painting from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB and a Master’s certification from the world-renowned UCSC Science Illustration Program. In her 12 years of experience as a science illustrator and graphic artist/designer, her work ranges widely from detailed educational illustrations to logo and wedding invitation design, as well as large scale murals. She keeps travel and daily life sketchbooks for fun and is thrilled for the opportunity to share this part of her artistic journey with Holdfast studio school!



kaitlin bonifacio

Kaitlin Bonifacio studied the ancient art of Shibori in both Hawaii and Japan before relocating to Santa Cruz, CA. A mother of two and owner of the Yuzu & Rose line of Shibori home, mama & baby products, she is inspired by the natural beauty of Coastal California landscape and enjoys the magical process of hand dyeing, the challenge of creating natural, plant based dyes of her own, and the joy of sharing her products and techniques with the community through teaching. Find Kaitlin at her home studio The Craftsmen Collective, or around the Bay Area hosting natural dye workshops! 



lee lewis

Lee is a licensed acupuncturist and clinical herbalist in Santa Cruz. Her favorite part of her field is working with plant medicine and sharing its vast and innumerous benefits. She can often be found seeing patients at her Midtown clinic, Jade Path Studio, wandering the aisles of Staff, surfing the Point, and napping in the sand with her dog, Topanga. 



sophie tivona

Sophie Tivona is a self-taught watercolorist who has been painting for 20 years.  She loves nature and takes joy in representing the natural world through her work.



dana martinez

Dana is a mama of two, a teacher and maker. Fiber art became became a creative outlet for Dana, deeply inspired by her childhood and watching the nimble hands of her great grandmother create beautiful works of art for her family and friends. She carries on this tradition as an ode to her family. Macramé gives Dana the opportunity to create with a sense of mindfulness and gratitude. She spends her days making, getting outdoors, taking care of her family and teaching. .



heidi woodmansee

Since Heidi was a child, she’s been inspired with an urge to create. She eagerly studied drawing, painting, illustration, textiles, and pottery. After receiving her degree in interior design, working as a designer, and taking a long hiatus to raise her family, Heidi excitedly jumped back into the world of art. Heidi happily uses watercolor to convey the devotion she feels for her surroundings and all things that grow and bloom. When Heidi paints, she is able to explore the intricacies of plants and nature, and to capture her subjects in a unique and personal way. Heidi enjoys teaching watercolor to first-time or beginning painters. It’s very rewarding for her to share in the excitement of a new painter when they create! She is lucky to live, paint, and teach watercolor classes and workshops in Santa Cruz county. Heidi is 2019 Open Studios artist #151.


inka petersen

Inka is a boatbuilder and cabinetmaker, originally from Germany. She has been working and teaching in woodshops around San Francisco Bay for the past 20 years. With an education in both, woodworking and fine arts, she is constantly working on passing on her knowledge while making a living and exploring expressive opportunities. 



jessie kendall-bar

Jessica Kendall-Bar is a scientist by training, in her second year as a PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow at UC Santa Cruz, where she studies the neurobiology of marine mammals. She has studied a broad range of marine topics, including oceanic geochemistry, cephalopod and arthropod mating behavior, moray eel movement, and marine mammal sleep. However, she believes that science is futile unless communicated successfully. Her whimsical illustrations and immersive underwater photography aim to accurately portray science and its invaluable role in preserving the underwater ecosystem. At the interface of science and art, she endeavors not only to make meaningful discoveries, but also to convey those results broadly and creatively to impact diverse populations within and outside of academia.