Getting crafty on SIU’s campus

October 13, 2022

Here at the Daily Egyptian, we wanted to take you to experience some things at the SIU Craft Shop; however, it’s been having an issue filling a minimum of student involvement for a few of the classes it’s been offering. So, we wanted to shine some light on what’s offered.

We spoke to Stephanie Dukat, who has been the director of the SIU Craft Shop for four years. We asked if, in her time here, she has noticed a difference in the number of students that sign up for classes. 

“It’s actually getting back to normal after COVID. The craft shop was no different than anything else slow. It took a while before people started coming in and it’s now getting back to how things used to be,” Dukat said.

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It seems as though that’s been a trend with everything especially on campus and especially with our student body’s population rising. Right now, almost everything seems to be back at the level it was before COVID, if not better. It’s just a matter of getting students to register and actually get there on a regular basis.

“It also just depends on the class release and I think that, in the fall, a lot of things are happening; there’s a lot of events in the community and on campus, so sometimes in the spring semester we have a little bit better luck filling classes,” Dukat said.

With everything going on around campus, it’s not hard to get too busy or overwhelmed with classes, tests and holidays (even though those might even be more of a reason to start visiting the craft shop more often). By registering for some of these classes, it might give you the opportunity to relax and make some gifts for friends and family whenever it gets closer to the holidays. 

It might save you some money, too, since the craft shop is part of the Student Center, and if you can provide a student ID, you get a student discount. For most of the craft shop’s walk-in prices, you will not spend more than $20. Classes, however, can be more expensive.

“It depends on the class really,” Dukat said. “So, usually it’s the cost of a lesson and then whatever the materials cost. Sometimes the classes are kind of like, you can choose what you use, so, for those classes, you wouldn’t pay the material fee until you arrive, because you can kind of choose your own supplies, so it really ranges from like $15 to $125”

Weekends usually always do better, Dukat said, and intro to wheel throwing is full almost every session. So it is clear some classes usually do better than others, and anything that has something to do with pottery seems to be very successful in getting people to register.

However, the shop does offer classes outside of clay projects, such as printmaking with linoleum blocks, intro to sewing, stained glass, woodworking and jewelry making. With such a large variety of supplies and classes offered, you are bound to find something you might enjoy. 

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“The craft shop is open to everyone, student staff and faculty as well as the community, so anyone can come in and use our facilities,” Dukat said. “We offer walk-in activities and then we also offer workshops and do campus events as well.”

This gives people a chance to learn new skills and allows them the foundation to use the space effectively. People can come in on their own with their new knowledge on how to use these tools and create things by themselves.

These classes also offer a chance to reach out to other people that have similar hobbies and provide an opportunity to go out and try new things. You never know who you might meet or what you might be capable of creating. 

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