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Same crafts, new tables - Technician: Home

Same crafts, new tables

The Crafts Center transitions after June move to Brickhaven Drive

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Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 12:00 am

As students dragged out battered cardboard boxes and began to toss in wrinkled clothes and sheets for the move back to school, the Crafts Center was preparing to move 25 potter's wheels and a 6,000-pound planer.

The woodworking machine was one of several large peices of equipment relocated from the Crafts Center's previous home in Thompson Theater to its new location on Brickhaven Drive in June.

"It was very scary going into [the move]," George Thomas, associate director of the center, said.

But with the help of volunteers, Thomas said the move down Hillsborough Street was a "wonderful process." Before the actual move, volunteers worked to streamline the Center's inventory with a system of "surplus, storage or toast."

"We had a lot of equipment and supplies that were no longer going to be needed," he said.

The Craft Center held sales in Thompson, offering surplus items to the public. "Toast" items were tossed, and everything else was packed for the move.

"[The new space] is much smaller, but it's adequate for our mission right now," Thomas said.

According to Thomas, that mission is reaching out to as many students as possible.

"We know that number one, we are further away from campus, so that's going to be a natural barrier," he said.

One way the Center will combat the distance issue is holding Crafts' classes in on-campus residence halls for students' convenience. Thomas said classes like wood carving, crocheting and sculpture will be available in the halls.

But for Grace Jones, a sophomore in fashion and textile management, the location of the Center is not a deterrent.

Jones participated in a Crafts Center class during her freshman year and said she would like to do so again.

"I went to the budget bookbinding class last year," she said. "[We made] drawing notebooks, journals -- whatever you want to use them for. You put whatever kind of paper you want in them -- watercolor paper, drawing paper and others."

In the spring of her freshman year, Jen Boulos, a sophomore in religious studies and Spanish, took a jewlery-making class at the Crafts Center.

She said, while some of the topics in the four-week series were "basic," she learned new skills as well.

Boulos said the instructor announced the Center would move, but she doesn't know if she will have the time to take classes at the new location.

"It's not as convenient as it was last year," she said. "Maybe if it was on campus, it would be easier for me."

Moriah Underhill, a sophomore in textile and apparell management and an on-campus resident, said while it would be more convenient if the Crafts Center was in its old location, she would be willing to go to the Brickhaven Drive location.

"I like decoupage, modgepodge and to make jewlery," she said. "I would love to learn to paint and take pottery classes."

Students like Underhill will have the opportunity to attend classes this fall that are shorter than some in the past.

Thomas said the Center will offer craft classes over three- or four-week periods instead of six so students can work them into their schedules.

He said this period of transition is "the perfect time to look at programming."

"The idea is to use the time to figure out new ways to outreach to students," Thomas said.

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