The Craft Café: open in person

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Who else has always wanted to learn macrame? Kate Sveinbjornson

There’s finally time to dive into all those crafts you said you’d do later

Campion College is happy to announce this semester that the Craft Café will be held once again in person. This group is catered towards any kind of craft, whether it be crochet, knitting, weaving, or anything creative you can think of. Anna Mudde, the main creator of the Craft Café, shared some more information on what students should expect, and a little about her opinion and experience with crafts.

What helpful information should students know?

Campion 409, Wednesday at 2:30-3:30 [p.m.]. Any kind of craft is welcome, there is not a specific kind of craft, we encourage people to think widely about what a craft can be. We have sewing, knitting, crocheting, macrame, painting, sketching, coding, and more! Also to mention, you can even join without a craft if you want to just chat and watch.

What’s your own experience with craft-making?

I have a lot of history with craft making, in multiple different areas. I’ve done woodworking, metalwork, jewelry making, and pottery work to name a few. My favorite craft during the pandemic is knitting, which I’ve been putting much of my focus on. Going beyond just physical craft making, I also work philosophically with craft, and in forms of technology.

Was there a calling that made you interested in starting up the Craft Café?

We started in 2019, in the fall semester just before COVID-19. During the pandemic, we moved online on Zoom so we could still stitch and chat but not risk anyone’s health. My retired former colleague, Kathrine Arbuthnott, was curious about doing wellness activities for students. She had the first idea of the Craft Café, where you work on your own craft and chat about things.

She thought it was an important thing to establish, but she wanted someone who did more crafts to start it, so she handed it over to me. Kelly Bourke helped so much with the organizational aspects of beginning the Craft Café, the same with Samantha Lawler. I’d also like to thank Angela Carnall and Sarah Greenwood, who are frequently there and give us a hand when the semester gets busy.

Do you have any recommendations on where to get craft supplies for a low budget?

For anyone who needs it, I bring supplies for knitting to the group, such as knitting needles and yarn. If I were to recommend a place, Walmart is great and has most craft related things for a good price, as well as Staples. Although craft is really about making things, you can often go anywhere to find resources to create things. If you want, even dollar store has some craft things, or even out in nature.

How is doing crafts healthy for students?

Craft is normally associated with wellness because it calls on a lot of our capacities, including creative capacity and problem solving. Doing a craft builds competence with material things, it’s good for wellness, and it helps to make a place in our world. Crafts are so important; now more than ever.

The Craft Café is the perfect opportunity to progress or begin to learn a craft. There are many different skill levels, and beginners are always welcome. If you’re feeling nervous about starting a new craft, here are some tips to help you get started:

Do lots of research. Look up the difficulty level of this craft, what you can create, and the financial aspects of beginning this craft. If this craft takes up lots of space, where is an area to keep supplies in your home? These are all questions that you should consider and answer firmly before beginning.

Borrow supplies. Before buying everything you need, the fun thing about craft is that you can experiment, and try out many things before finding the perfect craft for you. If you go to groups such as the Craft Café, you can borrow supplies to try a craft out before committing your money to buy more supplies.

Find inspiration to create your craft. Do you want to create something that is practical or more of an aesthetic piece? Where will this craft go once it’s finished? Beyond this, you can look for inspiration about exactly what to make by talking to other crafters or looking online. Beware if you’re surfing the web for inspiration, sometimes beginners will feel down if their piece doesn’t look as perfect as the example picture online.

Look for patterns. Patterns can be stuffed animal patterns, bracelet patterns, knotting patterns, and even more for any kind of craft. Starting with basics is important when beginning, so don’t try to go advanced until you have the basics down.

Practice, practice, practice! You cannot become perfect at a craft overnight, all master crafters dedicated time to get where they are today. Dedicate time to practice or continue on a piece, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day. Consistency is important; if you take long breaks of not practicing, it will be harder to function at the skill level you’ve achieved before.

Similar to what Anna Mudde said, learning a craft calls on a lot of our capacities. It’s a fun way to challenge yourself and create something amazing while doing so. You put yourself into a physical object that someone can admire or wear. Many people put off crafting because the things people craft can be bought at many stores, so they don’t think it’s worth their time. Although, when you buy an item from the store, it’s not the same as making it yourself and putting the effort in. It’s a truly rewarding experience that any crafter would recommend you try.

If you’re interested in joining the Craft Cafe, make sure to mark your calendars for every Wednesday from 2:30-3:30 p.m. If you have any questions, email Anna Mudde at anna.mudde@uregina.ca.

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