OSU’s Craft Center: Local Fine Arts, Not Just for OSU Students!

Father and Daughter in ceramics. Photo courtesy of OSU Craft Center.

Want to pick up a new skill in the New Year? Membership at OSU’s Craft Center is open to anyone over 18, and offers workshops and classes—not to mention open studio time—in areas such as fiber arts, photography, woodworking, ceramics, glass, and jewelry. The studios are liberally equipped—if you’ve always wanted to get into ceramics but don’t feel like bringing a kiln into your home, no problem.

“People think that because it’s ‘Craft’ Center that we’re doing Popsicle sticks and scrapbooking—and nothing against those mediums,” says Director Susan Bourque, “but we’re really fine craft.”

Indeed, you can learn everything from basic sewing to guitar building at the Craft Center, which is open whenever OSU is in session.

To get started, purchase your membership ($70 per term for the general public), then register for a class or workshop (usually $20 to $40) and attend a free orientation of the studio you’ll be working in. Once you’re taking the class, you can use the facility anytime during open studio hours (Monday to Friday, 1 to 10 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). If you have prior knowledge and skill of a craft, you can use open studio time after attending the studio’s orientation without participating in a class or workshop. Don’t wait to register—the eight-week classes usually serve only around ten students each, and classes fill up quickly. Visit http://mu.oregonstate.edu/craftcenter/current-class-schedule for a full list of classes and workshops offered.

While perhaps two-thirds of the people utilizing the Center are OSU affiliates, Bourque appreciates the role of non-OSU members.

“They bring in diversity,” she notes. “[The Center serves] people from all walks of life, cultural backgrounds, and socio-economic backgrounds, so it’s a real melting pot. It’s pretty special.”

by Mica Habarad