The Art League School is located at
808 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia
just outside Washington, DC.
The Spring session starts on April 10 and registration is open!
The Winter session started on January and registration is ongoing for returning students only. If you've taken one of my 8-10 week classes before, you can join a class at any time and pay prorated tuition for the rest of the term. Please contact me for information. https://donnareinsel.com/contact
Nine 3-hour classes, $340
This course is designed for both the absolute beginner and the experienced artist. Students learn oxyacetylene welding, cutting, metal-bending, drilling, grinding, finishing techniques, and the use of proper safety precautions. Working with the instructor, students design their own projects and create sculptures, furniture, and other functional objects while they hone their metalworking skills. Individual attention and a hands-on approach address the needs of students at all skill levels.
Nine 3-hour classes, $340
Absolute beginners and metalworkers of all skill levels become proficient in oxyacetylene steel fabrication as it applies to furniture making. With individual instructor guidance, each student uses creative problem-solving to design and build a small object such as a chair, table, lamp, chandelier, shelf, picture frame, or sculpture in a traditional, modern, or artistic style. Group and individual instruction covers steel selection, clamping, finishes, and the sage use of power tools like the drill press, plasma cutter, and MIG welder. Experience in welding or design is not required.
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Check back for future workshops!
2-Day Weekend Workshop
Saturday & Sunday, 10:00-4:00
$220.00 + $55 materials fee
Can you learn to weld and make a steel pig in two days?
Yes you can!
Welding isn't just for industrial manufacturing! Anyone can get the hang of this skill. This workshop is ideal for those with little or no experience with steel work and who just want a chance to see what welding is all about. Students create a fun pig while learning the basics of gas welding and the use of metalworking tools.
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With the Alexandria Seaport Foundation
Steel, Wood, and Upholstery
Check back for future classes!
In this fun and fast-paced three-part skills class, students learn the basics of welding, woodworking, and upholstery as they create a one-of-a-kind steel and hardwood storage ottoman. This adventurous class is perfectly appropriate for you, whether you have no experience at all or if you have some previous skills.
I love to guide new students through nervousness and frustration to empowerment and success. It’s gratifying when I see a change in a new student’s face even after their first try at welding. Sometimes the change is so dramatic that I feel like I should take before and after photos! I believe we need to work with our hands, to conceive an idea and bring it into physical reality. When we do, we become calmer and more centered and it helps us to navigate the world more thoughtfully. I hope that by teaching students to weld, I'm doing my part to transform the DC area one welding torch at a time!
When you know how to weld, you have the power to create whatever you want--a sculpture, a table, a lamp, even a trailer hitch--that’s strong and resilient. Learning metalworking is a confidence builder. For some students, their metal class is a precious haven, with three hours each week put aside just to create. It may be hard to believe at first, but welding can be relaxing and even meditative. It’s hard work and it’s so rewarding that it’s hard to stop! There's nothing else like welding!
Yes, wow. Tensegrity Table by Greg K.
"This is a FABULOUS class - Donna is amazing! Love my pigs can fly lamp I made with her."
👏 I highly recommend Donna's class. She is an incredible instructor and very knowledgeable about metalworking. I learned a great deal from Donna, and she provided me with welding training I use quite frequently in my metalworking projects. I was an absolute beginner, just like everyone in my class, and we all did well.
I was so excited about learning to weld but I had no idea how much fun it would be until I was in the Jumpstart in Welding/piggy bank workshop and so much of it was because of the instructor!
Donna is an amazing teacher and mentor.
She is thoughtful and patient and so very skilled at her craft.
I recommend this to anyone!
"Highly recommend! I took this workshop last fall and it was amazing! The project is so well planned out and requires you to use multiple techniques including welding flat pieces of steel together, round pieces to flat, steel rod to flat, using the torch to heat and bend metal, cutting, and drilling. It was a great introduction and Donna is a wonderful and skilled teacher."
Signing up for Donna’s class was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve made - I initially signed up to try something new and tap back into my creativity, and it ended up being so much more than I expected. During the entirety of the workshop, I found myself looking forward to class on Fridays every week and it changed the way I look at steel furniture and design. Donna’s teaching style made something like welding, which can be so intimidating given it involves melting steel with fire, so approachable and fun.
The starter project was perfect to get the class acquainted with the basics of welding, and gave us exactly what we needed to get started on our own projects. The class size is small - which is perfect for this kind of workshop.
Donna was always available to help and provide guidance in a way that still allows everyone to be creative and create an awesome project. She was a great thought partner throughout the process, and I had a lot of fun brainstorming with her and iterating on my idea for a table. It was such a great learning experience to be able to learn from someone who has so much experience and expertise!
For anyone debating taking any of Donna’s welding classes - you will not regret signing up! If I had known welding was so much fun, I probably would have pursued it as a career many years ago.
Thank you, Donna, for such an amazing class and for getting me feeling creative again!
“Welding and metalwork is such a powerful skill to learn. My confidence grew with each class and my creativity ignited in a way I never thought it could.
Donna’s teaching style is fresh and encouraging. She puts each student at ease by ensuring we have a good grasp of safety and helps us all work through the details of our projects, making it a fun experience all around.
I confess that I was a bit worried when I first signed up for the class because I had never tried anything like it before. But, I was pleasantly surprised at how exciting it was to design and execute my project from start to finish, and I couldn’t recommend this class enough!
Donna, thank you a million. I can’t wait to see what other unique pieces we can create together!”
Donna’s class is incredible. She is actually helping you learn how to weld. She’s not sitting back reading a magazine during her class. Excellent instructor. 👍🏽
I recently completed the 10-week Otto(wo)man Project class at the Art League with Donna. I have long been interested in furniture, and this class was such a rewarding opportunity to get to build something practical and beautiful. Donna is an extremely knowledgeable, encouraging, and generous instructor. She brings just the right amount of demonstration and one-on-one attention while allowing students to develop their skills and confidence by getting into the tools. This also created a wonderful studio atmosphere of support among students, as we shared amongst ourselves what we were learning that day. I quickly learned new skills that I look forward to putting to use on future projects. I highly recommend taking one of Donna's classes.
Truly cannot thank you enough for the brilliant memories - the Jumpstart in Welding workshop this weekend was imprinted-a gift made all the better by you.
Your grace in teaching such a dynamic art form in a safe, calm and encouraging manner made the least skilled (me) feel competent and successful.
No small feat! I love my peace and piece. Thank you again.
I have found Donna to be a great teacher, in every way.
I've taken her classes three times, so far, and she teaches and guides me more each time. I see Donna helping all her students develop their talents, at their own speed, and she gets just as excited as the students do when their projects take form and mature.
Learning from and with her is a real joy
I loved making this pig! --Laura R.
I’ve wanted to try welding for years and finally signed up for a class with Donna at the Art League. With every class, my confidence and skill have grown and now I’m hooked!
Donna is a great teacher and a creative artist.
Her students have very different styles and goals, and she manages to tailor her approach to ensure each of us can bring our unique designs to life.
It’s no wonder that Donna’s students come back semester after semester.
Fantastic class. And Donna is a fabulous instructor…FABULOUS!!!
Donna is a patient, supportive instructor who helped me discover my untapped artistic talent. The prospect of creating with fire and metal appears like intimidating alchemy to the uninitiated, but Donna’s easy manner gave me the confidence to embrace the journey of learning a new technical skill and artistic creation.
I have taken several classes under Donna Reinsel. She is open and excited about students’ ideas & projects. She encourages students to explore and take reasonable risks.
She is one of the most relaxed and resourceful instructors I have had.
Donna is generous with her knowledge and experience as an artist.
She quickly helps students find artistic & technical solutions to complicated challenges, building confidence and competence in others.
Donna is a joy to work with!
This is such a great workshop! I highly recommend! --Suzanne P.
"I had decided to take Donna's Metal Sculpture Class because I wanted to explore a new art medium and welding was something I didn't want to learn without supervision.
I was both excited and intimidated on my first day of class, but I was amazed at how quickly I became comfortable welding!
Donna is a wonderful instructor whose humor and knowledge made learning to weld an experience I looked forward to each week.
Working with metal is now one of my favorite art projects, and after this class, I feel safe and confident welding in my home studio"
"accessible and experienced"
"advice that keeps you safe, without limiting artistic expression"
"rock star welder" "walks the talk"
"knows metal, and the equipment that melts it"
"a relaxed teacher who knows her stuff"
"a generous instructor, always there to help & advise"
"the whole package--
safety, advice, tools, and ideas to help make your idea"
Years before the Ottowoman Project, I had been thinking about taking woodworking and metalworking classes. I had dreamed of making furniture and sculpture, but I couldn't find any offerings for what I wanted to do, so these remained dreams and not a reality--that was until the Ottowoman Project came along.
This class taught me how to use woodworking machines to make the box portion of the "ottowoman" and the welding skills to make its base, as well as upholstering skills to complete the project, and it did so in a friendly and educational environment.
Many of us have never used these machines before, and in each of the 10-week classes, we were given instruction and guidance on the use of each machine and taught, step-by-step, how to make the individual pieces of the "ottowoman." If we had questions, the teachers answered them and gave us further individualized instruction, as needed.
It was a real confidence builder. At the end of the 10-week class, we have a small, beautiful piece of furniture!
If you have wanted to make furniture or sculpture, but were intimidated by woodworking or welding or never knew where to start, then this class is for you!
This class will give you the confidence to make a piece of furniture and will open up possibilities for sculpture and larger pieces of furniture in the future.
Go for it! (And men, you are welcome, too!)
Donna, I enjoy the metal sculpture class.
You do a great job of sharing your knowledge and coaching students through the welding process. Your approach provides a safe environment where students can learn, step-by-step, through “hands-on” experience. Now that I’ve been in the class for a while, I’m beginning to think in terms of steel… and that’s exciting.
I’m happy in my welding gloves. I’ll be back.
As a former student, I highly recommend! P.S. I just set up an LLC, and rented shop space - a bit nervous and a lot excited!
🙌 Such a great workshop!! --suzparisi
I enjoyed every minute of your class. I came with no welding experience whatsoever. I had never even held a welding torch but watching as you patiently repeated the process of lighting an oxyacetylene torch gave me the confidence to try it myself, and I did! On the first day! I went home thinking, I can do this.
Lighting the torch on the second day was daunting for most but you calmly went from student to student showing each step. Next, you demonstrated how to cut steel on the chop saw, all the while explaining shop procedures. Soon we were cutting steel and welding pieces to make a box.
Working with metal is a challenge. As you so aptly put it, “everything is hard,” and yet by the third day in the shop I was cutting steel on the chop saw, smoothing pieces on the grinder, and piece by piece welding my sculpture together. Having the freedom to design my own project was important to me. It allowed me to engage in the creative process of design and to solve problems as they arose. I felt that I was learning more than a set of skills. I was learning to design in metal.
We learn through experience. We learn best when someone with experience shows us the way. In that respect, even though we all had different projects, we were together, working together, talking together, and learning together in a cooperative atmosphere set by your example. It was so common to see you working with someone at their bench or demonstrating a new skill to a small group. We all knew you were there for us, to answer our questions, to show us the way.
Throughout our nine classes your knowledge as a welder, as an artist, and as an instructor gave us the skills and confidence to tackle complex projects. We are now welders! Thank you!
Founded in 1954, The Art League, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational nonprofit organization. The League is a multifaceted visual arts organization that meets its mission through its gallery, fine art school, art supply store, and arts-outreach programs.
The Art League School is a non-accredited institution, open to all, that provides instruction to nearly 7,000 students annually. Courses are offered quarterly in virtually all of the fine arts, and a wide variety of crafts, with some of the most talented and well known artists and instructors in the country. Courses are offered for every skill level to ages five and up.
By nurturing the artist, we enrich the community. The Art League develops the artist through education, exhibition, and a stimulating, supportive environment, while sharing the experience of the visual arts with the community
The Art League is located in the landmark Torpedo Factory Art at 105 North Union Street, on the beautiful Potomac River in historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. We also have classrooms at our nearby Madison Annex at 305 Madison Street. Our facilities are accessible by car, bus, and Metro.