July 11, 2008

Craft Shop offers special summer activities

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Ever fancied yourself digging clay in a historic site to create pottery? Does your mouth water at the thought of fresh blackberries? If either brings an affirmative answer, the Student Center Craft Shop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the place to be.

Two sessions of “Blackberry Picking and Ice Cream” are set for next week. From 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Monday, July 14, and from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 18, participants can enjoy a guided search for wild blackberries on the SIUC campus. When they’re all done picking, they’ll return to the Student Center and enjoy blackberries served over ice cream.

Participants should have their own transportation to the campus location and be sure to wear long sleeves, hats, long pants and a little bug spray is a good idea, too. The cost is $5 per person and includes the ice cream. All ages are welcome.

You can dig local clay and make your very own pottery at a workshop courtesy of the Craft Shop. From 5 until 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays through July 21, participants can dig some of the best earthenware clay in Southern Illinois and learn how to process, form and fire the clay to create their own pieces. The Shawnee National Forest Service has issued a permit for digging a limited amount of clay at the Kaolin Pit. It’s the same site the famous Kirkpatrick Brothers, Cornwall and W. Wallace, acquired the clay for their pottery made in Anna from 1869 until 1896.

The cost of the workshop is $25 for SIUC students or $35 for the general public. Ages 14 and older can participate. Car-pooling to the local site is required.

To register or obtain more information about either of these SIUC Craft Shop events or any of the many other things happening at the Student Center and its Craft Shop, call 618/453-3636 or visit the Web site at http://www.siucstudentcenter.org/craftshop/index.html