Craft shop image

Crafting – Phillip Ragan, Craft Shop graduate assistant, creates pottery at the shop, located in the SIU Student Center.  (Photo by Russell Bailey)

January 14, 2019

SIU’s Craft Shop is open to all with numerous spring activities planned

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Did you know that virtually any craft activity you can imagine happens at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Craft Shop?

Everyone is welcome to come take advantage of the facilities, located on the lower level of the Student Center. The shop is not just for students, faculty and staff; community members can take advantage of the possibilities as well.

Diverse options

The shop is home to “all things crafty” with classes, workshops, volunteer and community service activities and even private lessons in ceramics, fibers, painting, woodworking and much more. The Craft Shop carries a wide variety of craft tools and supplies, ready for use by students, classes, instructors, hobbyists or community members interested in making things.

Full lineup this spring

Numerous workshops are planned this spring, catering to all sorts of interests and giving crafters a chance to try new things. The fun begins Jan. 23 with a Pokemon Go Paint Party and continues throughout the semester.

Workshop participants can create a pendant via metalsmithing, learn to mat and frame pictures or artwork, craft a ceramic place setting, make a garden stone, fuse glass, learn to throw clay on a wheel to make ceramics, screen print on fabric, carve reusable wooden cooking utensils, and create handmade sustainable stationary using recycled materials.

In addition, during Black History Month a Feb. 13 workshop will focus on Underground Railroad quilts and participants will learn the history and symbolism involved while creating a personal sewn quilt sign. And during Earth Month, you can make your own drawstring bag to use instead of plastic bags and wraps, thereby helping planet Earth.

Visit the Craft Shop website for the complete schedule of workshops, along with details, pricing and registration information.


The Craft Shop also features a fully stocked Wood Shop, including just about any hand tool you might need as well as a router, wood lathe and planer, belt and handheld sanders, drill press, and jointer and table, belt and scroll saws. There’s also plenty of medium and hard woods and even some exotic woods to choose from for your project.

Students and community members can purchase two-day, two-week or semester passes for a nominal fee.

Making ceramics

The Ceramics Studio features nine wheels, including one that is accessible for people using wheelchairs, along with stoneware and porcelain clays, slips and glazes, an extruder, a grinding wheel and all of the tools you need to make pottery, including an extensive selection of slip cast molds. The cost of the clay is quite low - $4 for 2.5 pounds.

There’s even more at the Craft Shop

The Craft Shop also offers professional matting and framing services, Saluki memorabilia and the “Adopt a Dog” program where you can buy and take home your very own Saluki available in plaster or concrete castings.

The Craft Shop also houses Saluki Spokes, a bike repair shop with basic repair materials and tools available for people to check out.

Anyone age five or older can stop by the shop any time it’s open to enjoy diverse crafting activities. You can make beaded jewelry, do baby hand or footprints, decorate flip flops, get henna body art, tie-dye, make a hula hoop, masks, origami, mosaic glass and enjoy various other crafting experiences.

No reservations are required for the many Walk-In Activities, although some projects take a while so be sure to allow plenty of time. Children ages 5-12 must be accompanied by an adult.

You can also book parties, group field trips and craft outings at the shop.

To learn more

For additional information about the Craft Shop or the numerous facilities, programs and workshops there, visit the website, email or call 618/453-3636.