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Crafty expression - Technician: Home

Crafty expression

The Crafts Center provides a creative outlet and classes for students, faculty and the general public

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Posted: Sunday, November 19, 2006 12:00 am

Splashes of watercolor blot the canvas, taking their shape as the artist works magic with only a paintbrush as a guide.

The brush blends pastel pinks and lavenders that instinctively form geometric shapes, giving off a vibe of tranquility.

As the canvas transforms from dull white, ideas and thoughts come to life -- those which only the artist himself can comprehend.

"Everybody who comes to the Crafts Center is there because they want to be making things," Julia Rice, a senior in art and design and psychology, said.

Rice, a woodshop attendant, said selling wood, solving technical problems, promoting safety and helping students with projects -- such as assembling dorm lofts, fraternity paddles or engineering assignments -- is all in a day's work.

"There's always something new and interesting going on every day I come to work. I love that," she said.

The Crafts Center offers pottery, woodshop, jewelry making, stained glass, drawing, watercolor, sculpture and photography, according to Jo Ellen Westmoreland, assistant director of the Crafts Center.

She said students and professional artists teach classes at the Crafts Center. Participants at the Crafts Center include students, faculty, staff and the general public.

"I think it's a great place for people to find a creative outlet. You meet people who you'd never meet otherwise that are interested in your craft," she said.

According to Westmoreland, the center offers classes during the week, some night classes and weekend workshops as well.

She said these classes are primarily for recreational purposes; however students can use their certificates of completion for the classes in portfolios when applying to graduate school.

"When it comes to registering for classes, students have first priority," Westmoreland said.

Rice said she became active at the Crafts Center when she took a a wood-designing course. She said she used the center's woodshop for this class.

"This studio was by far the best course I've ever had at N.C. State," Rice said. "We had a great shop at the Crafts Center to work with, two excellent teachers and everyone in the studio became really good friends."

Rice said she decided to work at the center after her involvement as a participant. However, Sowmya Bharadwaj, a graduate student in English, said she began volunteering at the Crafts Center because she found the center interesting.

"I think an important thing that made me decide to volunteer at the Crafts Center was the people and the friendly atmosphere. Jo Ellen is a wonderful teacher and there are so many things that you can learn from her," she said.

Bharadwaj said the center gives students a chance to try out lots of different crafts instead of just focusing on one or two.

"The atmosphere puts you at ease and the people in the center are very helpful. It's also a great opportunity to meet crafts people from the Triangle area," she said.

Hilary Kinlaw, a senior in arts applications, has worked at the Crafts Center for two years as a desk attendant. She said she decided to work there after taking a ceramics class in the Crafts Center.

Westmoreland said students can come to the center any time to get a free tour or observe classes in progress to see what interests them.

In Brief