Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tacoma Has Crafty Goodness, Too

A great place for theater & musical productions. This was recently redone.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Seattle & Olympia may be the main Washington meccas for arts & crafts, with their great museums & interesting neighborhoods filled with creative, interesting people, but surprisingly the little port of Tacoma, located in between these two cities, is not without it's pockets of creativity. I hope to highlight some of these for you, to illustrate that art exists anywhere there are people to create it, in big cities & small, sea ports, industrial hubs & small country towns!
Tacoma hosts the Chihuly Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, great downtown shops, a weekly art walk & groups of people dedicated to creative endeavors. The Tacoma Arts & Crafts Group is one of these groups, with monthly meetings, creative free craft times & workshops for learning new crafts or collectively improving old skills.
We've had felting, embellishment (I led this one:), photo fabric printing & this weekend, a mosaic workshop. We each had a personally chosen project to work on & support each other with questions, suggestions & encouraging remarks. There are common supplies & embellishments that we bring in & quite often share with each other. Each workshop is completely affordable (currently $10 per workshop). My project was a clay flower pot. Others had trays, candle holders, wooden letters & even a table top! I started off by putting 4 'flowers' spaced around my pot, after smashing an old yellow ceramic cup, something I was a little afraid to do, but we had canvas bags to protect from flying debris & I kept my hands away from the hammer. I also had some pieces of an old acrylic wind chime (already broken, since it's meant not to break easily this would have been very difficult for me to break. Thankfully, a very strong windstorm did all the work), beads & bits of jewelry. Buttons, more ceramic pieces, glass & a snail shell were supplied by others in the group. After the flowers, I filled in with two shades of blue ceramic dish pieces. Around the rim, I added star beads, buttons, jewelry pieces & pieces of  glass.  It was a fun experience & I learned something new. I've never done mosaics before (or felting, for that matter). Next, we add grout to our pieces.
Our next Meetup will be our regular, monthly meeting, with free craft time afterwards, where we can work on whatever projects we might have & share the things we've been working on. Our next workshop will be on peyote stitch beading. I've done a little of this, but its been a very long time. It should be interesting & fun! After this we have lamp shade making,  photography (with me again) & then ...
Tacoma Arts & Crafts Group
Another crafty Tacoma group is the Tacoma branch of EtsyRain. We also meet once a month (every third Saturday) & are a group of creative Tacomans who meet to discuss what we make, support each other, with questions thoughts & ideas & to socialize. We may have craft demonstrations, in the future & have most recently had a 'destashing swap.' I ended up with a huge number of beads, that would have cost me a fortune (some of the stars on my flower pot are from this 'destash' event) & got rid of some tea tins that I didn't want to throw away, but I didn't need, so score all the way around! It's very helpful to get the perspectives of other crafters & sellers, who either are on Etsy or are thinking of setting up shops & it's just plain fun, plus we can craft & eat lunch, while learning something new or getting fresh perspectives. Next week, I'll talk more about the group. We meet by a great shop that sells recycled art & craft items, so I'll tell you a bit more about this great shop, too.
EtsyRain website Check out "What's Crafterin" for the Tacoma Meetup & more local events
Tacoma EtsyRain Meetup (link for EtsyRain Meetup members)

I hope you enjoyed this little "Taste of Tacoma." Until next time... SAM


misssrobin said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. Isn't it wonderful when you can get together with people who share your interests? It's just nice because it feels like you all speak the same language.

Have a great weekend. Stopping by from SITS.

roseworksjewelry said...

Hey we close to each other! I'm in Vancouver, WA :)

Julia & Cori said...

We're semi-close too, we're based out of Camano Island, way north towards Canada!!

Stopping by from Handmade Wednesday to become your newest followers!!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I live in Los Angeles and rarely find that sense of community here. Tacoma sounds like a terrific place.
Have a great weekend, jj