Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Simple Gifts Series - Part 1

WELLSVILLE: My mind is on gifts for the many celebrations of the winter season. Of course it is. My days are spent designing and making things and hoping that what comes from my hands will make people smile and be used for decades.
          Because so much of my time is spent making things, I feel the value of objects made by hands. I hold them, turn them, look at the seams and the colors and appreciate the care that went into the creation of handmade work.
          My mind holds strongly to the goal that gifts will be handmade, not necessarily by me, but by a real person working with hands turned graceful and strong by experience. It seems a worthy goal to encourage more people to make things so with that goal in mind, here are some ideas to reclaim the holidays with simple gifts, simple times, social interactions.
Simple Gifts Series, Part 1 of 4
          These handmade plans were sparked by the Allegany Arts Association when the winter newsletter started marching from blank paper to printed issue at Dave’s Printing. I’d asked Editor, Joanne Allen, to feature an article offering a gift workshop. We’d have a workshop in November and try to steer people toward handmade.   
          The Allegany Arts Association* is a conduit for learning to craft an object as well as for appreciating what has been crafted from objects, sound and movement. Most of their programs are for children in the summer and in February but they are flexible in their programs so are sponsoring a pair of workshops for adults.
            On Wednesday, November 19 at 6 pm put your heart into a handmade gift. These workshops are open to adults ages 18+ and generously hosted by the Town of Wellsville at the old Wellsville Community Center building on Main Street in Wellsville.
            Choose to make a clay bowl with Elaine Hardman, StoneFlowerPottery. Please bring as many of these things as you can: a rolling pin, one section of newspaper, a paper grocery bag, a pencil, a pair of scissors, 6 absorbent paper towels.
          If you can’t bring everything, that’s okay. Hopefully there will be enough of these things to share. There is room for 15 people and at the time of this issue, 6 are registered.
            During the 2 hours, you will make a stoneware bowl, safe for food, the dishwasher and your microwave. Call 585-808-0385 to register, bring your payment with you and be sure to be around a week later to pick up your finished bowl.
            Or you may work with Betsy Orlando, well-known fiber artist, doll maker and paper artist, to make a mini Christmas album during this 2 ½ hour workshop.
            Betsy asks that you bring these things to use yourself and extras if you can to share: 3 or 4 empty toilet paper tubes, holiday paper such as scrapbook paper or heavy gift wrap and trims such as ribbon, beads, buttons and stickers. (NOTE: THIS CLASS IS FULL.) 
            For either project, you must pre-register and make a donation of $15 or more to the Allegany Arts Association. This will cover materials with the remainder going to support the Allegany Arts Association. Betsy and Elaine are volunteering their time.
          Another option is to go to Alfred Knitting Studio for Knitting Nights. This is an open invitation to sit and knit or ask someone for lessons from 6-8 pm at the Alfred Knitting Studio. They offer a warm knitting area, cookies, tea, friendship and conversation in any of Frank and Lynn Bunke’s cozy chairs.

*The Allegany Arts Association is NOT part of the Allegany Artisans or the Wellsville Art Association or the Wellsville Creative Arts Center. It has existed since 1980 to offer free art workshops to children and to encourage exposure to performing arts in Allegany County.

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