March 03, 2010

Craft Shop expands offerings to meet demand

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Student Center Craft Shop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is expanding its spring semester offerings.

The ceramics classes are full, but to handle the overflow, the shop is offering private lessons in wheel throwing on Saturdays this spring. There are also a few spots left for the Raku pottery class that begins March 25 at 6 p.m. and meets Thursdays 6-9 p.m. through April 15. Raku is a traditional style of Asian pottery and the sessions wrap up with an outdoor firing event April 24.

In conjunction with Asian American Heritage Month in April, the craft shop will also be offering classes in how to make the rice, fish and seaweed dish Sushi, the Japanese paper-folding art of origami and Sumi-e, a traditional Chinese/Japanese painting method using a round, pointed bamboo brush and black ink on thin “rice paper.”

In coming weeks, the Craft Shop also gives you the chance to make glass beads and fused glass jewelry. Learn to sharpen knives and chisels, build a birdhouse, frame diplomas, do basic bicycle repair or cut mats for photos and pictures there as well. You can even make your own hula-hoop or learn to apply henna body art.

Due to the popularity of metal work, the shop now offers an expanded selection of silver wire and sheets. And, looking ahead, the annual Kite Festival is set for 1-4 p.m. May 1. It’s a free event where one and all can bring their kites and fly them on the upper Arena Field. You can also make your own kite for $5 at the Craft Shop prior to the event.

The Craft Shop also hosts walk-in activities for individuals or groups. You can make your own ceramics, Greek pledge plaques and much more. The shop, on the lower level of the Student Center, offers private lessons too.

For more information about the Craft Shop or any of the activities or workshops, call 618/453-3636, e-mail or visit the Web site at or the Facebook page at