Back in kindergarten, arts and crafts were a daily staple — with a noodle necklace Mom and a handprint turkey for Dad. But as students grew older, and other hobbies take precedence, arts and crafts tend to fall by the wayside.
For a select few though, crafting stays an important part of their lives, even in college. These are the people the Cal Poly Craft Center is looking to feature with its upcoming Fall Craft sale, taking place Nov. 5 to 7 in the University Union (UU) Plaza.
At the fair, Cal Poly students can purchase jewelry, pottery, artwork and many other crafts — most made by Cal Poly students in the Craft Center.
Craft Center program coordinator Daren Connor, who has worked at 38 Cal Poly craft sales (both spring and fall), said each year, from fire-worked glass lamps to insect shaped paperweights, the crafts available at the fair surprise him. One of his favorites, though, was a few years prior when a student sold sterling silver jewelry she made using a technique her grandfather perfected 30 years ago.
“It was neat that this young person was closely tied to her grandfather, and brought that craft to the craft fair,” Connor said.
Connor said the chance to feature students and their specialized crafts that otherwise wouldn’t be seen is one of the main reasons the center puts on the event each year.
“Our principle focus is to promote student artists,” Connor said. “It’s an event where student artists get to sell to student passerby if you will.”
The Craft Sale, which takes place in front of the University Store (formerly El Corral Bookstore), has helped students sell their crafts since the mid ’80s, according to Connor. Since that time, the Craft Center has seen that the fair works best when it has more students than outside vendors, though outside vendors are still allowed, Connor said. He said these outside vendors tend to be connected to Cal Poly in some way, either through marriage to faculty members or oftentimes alumni.
“Most people become familiar (with the Sale) as students,” Connor said. “Then they come back later once they’ve graduated to sell their crafts.”
Student manager Dominic Picetti, who was in charge of approving vendors, said this year’s event will have plenty of vendors.
“(The requirement to sell) is they have to hand-make their crafts,” Picetti said. “We have anything, from 20 to 25 spots, and its a first-come, first-serve basis.”
Students can expect to see a “plethora of jewelry and pottery,” Picetti said. As well as silk-screened T-shirts, hair accessories, photography and prints, hand-woven beanies and some leather goods.
For Picetti though, one of the major drawing points of the event is that students can buy all their holiday gifts in one place.
“You can find all your Christmas gifts there — I have. Or Hanukkah or any holiday gifts you need,” Picetti said.
The Fall Craft Sale will take place from Nov. 5 to 7, from 9:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., in front of the University Store. Students can purchase products with cash, check or credit card.
Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this article.