If you love to throw clay, make a stop at Saffron Collective Studios. Located in downtown Cochrane, this trendy studio offers classes for six-year-olds to adults. It also offers memberships to those who prefer access to the facility 24 hours a day, making this studio an artist’s haven.
Saffron is also a gallery that showcases pottery, paintings, and knick-knacks created by local artists. Not everyone can sell art here though because every saleable item must be a product made within the studio. This is one aspect of the studio that makes Saffron Collective so special, so unique, and so Cochrane.
On one side of the entrance is a large space for group events where workbenches can be rearranged to maximize synergy. A common frustration for artists is not finding the right tool at the right time, but Saffron owner Nicole Snider takes care of this by intuitively dispersing tools throughout the workspace. All you need to make art is to show up with your creative ideas.
On the other side of the entrance is a row of private studios for lease to those who prefer working in their own space. Next to these studios is a row of pottery wheels arranged in pairs to accommodate group and individual clay throwing. This area is well lit, adequately spaced, and the setup is perfect for artistic peers of all ages to spend quality time together.
Snider has been running the studio for twelve years. When I visited her, I thought I had walked into a party event. Instead, there was a group workshop in progress which explained the laughter, the chatting, deep concentrating, and sharing, a notable sense of community that Snider works hard to cultivate and maintain at the studio.
Raeann Cheung – journalist and photographer
Jo-Anne Oucharek – photographer