Welcome to the Crafts Center, an on-campus creative space where students have the freedom to create whatever they want, for free. Installed in the basement of the infamous Lewis Room is a space filled with all the arts and crafts supplies you can imagine. To be honest it’s like a mini Michaels, except better.
“The Crafts Center is a fully student-run art studio on campus where everything is free. [and] free access during our opening hours, Nicole Verde, co-manager of the Crafts Center, said.
During the week, the opening hours are Monday to Thursday, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. On weekends, it is open on Fridays and Sundays, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. New this year, there is no capacity limit for the space, so students can show up whenever they are available, depending on Verde, a junior.
“Basically whatever you can think of they have it at the Crafts Center”, Robbie Moser, co-manager of the ceramics workshop, said. “The vibrations are impeccable; it is a very welcoming space.
The center is stocked with supplies. It contains art materials ranging from canvases and various types of painting to fiber arts like crochet, embroidery, knitting, and needlework. He also has supplies for making jewelry, candles, and bedroom decorations. In addition to that, it has a fully functional ceramics, metal sculpture, woodworking, etching and screen printing studio, according to Green.
Lily Sandholm, another Crafts Center co-manager explained that students can descend for a multitude of purposes.
“[It is] a space for people to create projects for class or just for personal use ”, Sandholm, a junior, noted. “And we have people who come every week… but we also have people who maybe have a project. “
A student who has really found her place at the Center des Métiers is Julia Divan, a second year student who sometimes manages the ceramic workshop. Before coming to Tufts she had never done ceramics, but now she runs a small ceramics business outside the center.
“I would say it’s really an accessible space, like if you want to do something, you can pretty much walk in and do it” Couch noted.
Couch now makes personally designed plant pots for other students that are in the shape of their breasts.
“This is mostly what I do at the Crafts Center these days” Couch noted. “People just want a potty, or they’ll send me pictures of their breasts they want on a potty, and I’ll make them for them.”
Moser, student in the second year of the combined license, explained how the ceramic studio can be a great resource for creating both functional and abstract ceramics.
“Last year at the Crafts Center I made a bunch of functional ceramics … something you’d love to get your hands on and have a utilitarian purpose on.” Moser noted. “[This semester], I want to [branch] go out more and do more abstract stuff.
In an equally useful way, Sandholm made tassels to decorate objects in his life, such as bags. Again, Green used the center to help them complete their outfit.
“I was just… opening up the space for a club or organization to use, and that day I ran out of the house and didn’t put on a collar.” Green noted. “So I just sat there and made a necklace that matched my outfit at the time.”
Now that pandemic guidelines have changed at Tufts, the Crafts Center hopes to offer many new programs this year. Volunteers from the center will start to run workshops on different skills.
“For example, I’m thinking of having a jewelry class at some point,” Verde said.
They also hope to reuse the green space outside the center for fun events.
“Personally, I really want to have live music events because I know we were doing that at the Crafts Center, and we have this big lawn outside,” Green noted. “I just want to install amps, speakers and [invite] students who know how to play instruments.
The Crafts Center also hopes to partner with other Tufts clubs and organizations to help improve its programming. Currently, Crafts Center officials are working with Eco Reps to create a sustainable art program for students.
When asked for a word to describe the Crafts Center, members used the words “safe” and “creative”. TO Sandholm, she said it looked even more like this – she feels like the center embodies Tufts eccentricity.
“[At the center], all the ceiling tiles are painted, there are skeletons hanging from the ceiling, ”Sandholm said. “It’s just very weird… but it’s just part of what makes the space unique and we love it.”