Posted by: csdailyblog | December 16, 2010

Winter Craft Workshop: A Conserve School Tradition

The double classroom is full of students and staff members working on winter craft projects. In the foreground, Josh W. works on making a gift bag from a recycled t-shirt.

Last Sunday afternoon Conserve School Art Teacher Nancy Schwartz orchestrated a winter craft workshop for students, an opportunity to make gifts for friends and family and to enjoy the process of trying out a number of different handicrafts along with other students and staff members. Staff members who enjoy crafts each hosted a station where they demonstrated to students how to create various types of gifts and coached them as they made their own. Staff members also made cookies, cupcakes, sweet rolls, and candy — enough to fill two big tables.

Katie N. concentrates on a beadwork project.

Craft options included decorative pillows, fancy soap, blank books with marbled covers (made with an ingenious process that involves shaving cream), beaded snowflake ornaments, earrings, jewelry from shaped and pounded metal, quilted wall hangings, and metal-and-bead bookmarks.

Nancy and I were marvelling that this was the ninth year we had held a winter craft workshop at Conserve School — where have all the years gone? We look forward to these workshops every year. They provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about students in a casual, relaxed setting. You can’t help but start chatting as you sit next to one another, sewing or beading. We have such fast-paced lives these days that we don’t often take the opportunity to sit together companionably and have a conversation just to enjoy one another’s company. Crafting sets the stage for slowing down and enjoying some unstructured, calm time with friends. Another aspect I enjoy about these workshops is that we get a chance to teach students basic life skills like how to thread a needle, how to sew on a button, and how to run a sewing machine. High school students seem so accomplished and mature in many ways, and yet we usually discover that many have never given basic sewing a try.

This particular workshop was especially fun because so many staff members and students participated — the biggest crowd we’ve ever had! A big thank you to Nancy for organizing yet another successful winter craft workshop.

Mary Anna

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