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Creative Outlet

Allison Merrick (above) opened SpaceCraft at 8 Avondale Avenue this summer, with a boutique of handmade goods in addition to the well-equipped workroom. Photographs (4) by Lindsay Ahern

September 26, 2012

Creative Outlet
Learn, shop, and create at SpaceCraft Studios

Written by Kelly Rae Smith

Even if you hadn’t heard the buzz in artsy circles about Avondale’s new SpaceCraft Studios, you’d know upon sight of its entrance—with a fabric remnant garland draped below a business sign of colorfully mismatched letters—that it’s no old-school yarn and scrapbook shop.

No, this creative haven embraces the idea that crafting is cool, offering a full schedule of classes, an equipment-stocked workroom, and a shop of DIY kits and handmade goods—most crafted locally (actually, almost everything under the roof was made in the United States, a fact owner Allison Merrick is very proud of). “I started SpaceCraft in order to create a venue for hands-on knowledge sharing and collaboration,” explains Merrick. “Yes, it’s all about crafting, but it’s bigger than that. It’s about hands-on learning.” 

To that end, the workroom is stocked with Janome sewing machines, screen-printing equipment; glue and staple guns; an air compressor; rotary cutters; block carving tools; and a resource library of how-to books, magazines, and inspirational materials. Take advantage of the tools and open space by stopping in to work on your own projects independently (for $5 an hour, or $12 an hour if you want to use equipment that requires safety instruction and guidance).

Merrick also recruits artists and experts from the community to teach two- to three-hour classes on everything from sock monster-making to linocut printing. Some of the courses are open to older children, and SpaceCraft recently launched a new kids’ series—Tuesday afternoon sessions in October include T-shirt tie-dyeing and paper mosaic bottle making. “By far, the best part about SpaceCraft is the variety of people who have become part of it,” Merrick says. “I can have a nine year old and a 69 year old in here, and they feel equally welcome and interested. I’m meeting locals who make so many cool things, and I love engaging them and bringing them together.”

Want to get in on the action? Upcoming classes include ones that will teach you how to crochet with plastic grocery bags (September 28), sew beanbags and juggle them (October 7), tune your bicycle (October 11), and make a hula-hoop (October 13). And avid crafters won’t want to miss the October 23 craft swap!

For more info on SpaceCraft, located at 8 Avondale Avenue, call (843) 284-6253 or click here.

Looking for other ways to indulge your artistic side in the coming days? View our event calendar here.

Wed, 09/26/2012