UF Students get crafty

By Krissy Johnson and Pulse Staff

@johnsonk2022

johnsonk13@findlay.edu

Whether crafting be for fun, mental health or business, University of Findlay students have multiple ways of celebrating National Craft Month.

“Now that I know it’s National Craft Month I’m definitely excited,” Kaitlyn Adamic, UF freshman biology major said. “I can’t wait to see all the cool things people come up with.”

National Day Calendar states that “In 1994, the Craft & Hobby Association created National Craft Month to help people rediscover and learn about the benefits of crafting.”

According to Katrina Norris, program manager at Spectrum Health & Human Services, crafting has many mental health benefits. Crafting has been shown to be a natural anti-depressant and stimulates the production of dopamine, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and enjoyment. Crafting can bolster mood, improve self-confidence, and reduce stress. It can also improve mental agility, improve gross and fine motor movements, and decrease cognitive decline.

UF Associate Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts Valerie Escobedo said in an email interview keeping your hands busy can help ease the mind.

“When you’re engaged in some physical activities such as crafting, gardening, cooking, etc. you have to focus your attention on the activity at hand,” Escobedo said. “This allows your brain to shut out all the stressful thoughts. These kinds of activities are challenging but also achievable, which makes you feel good about accomplishing the task. This is related to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ‘s concept of ‘flow’.”

“My favorite craft is crocheting but I also really like painting, drawing, and working with clay,” Adamic stated. “I started crocheting after a family friend taught me when I was 12 and it has been a part of my life ever since.”

One way to celebrate National Craft Month is to learn about selling your craft. Lilly Siefker, UF senior computer science major, started her own craft business on Etsy, HelloLillyCo, in 2020.

“I was home during quarantine and I wanted to do something that I enjoyed since I had much more free time,” Siefker said. “Etsy was a great way to start without having to make a website myself.”

Adamic has thought about taking her hobby to the next level.

“I’ve actually considered starting my own business on Etsy or even just on my own for a long time,” Adamic stated. “It’s definitely something I would like to do in the future once I have a better understanding of how it would work.”

“National Craft Month to me means people sharing their love of crafting and creating with others,” Siefker stated. “Whether they sell their creations or not people are so creative and I’m glad we can share our talents with others.”

Escobedo says you don’t necessarily need to be an artistic person to get involved in crafting.

“There are many ideas and instructions for projects online. Or there are a variety of kits available at arts and crafts stores,” Escobedo said. “And people who craft are always willing to share their knowledge. Get together with a friend and learn from them or learn together.”

Crafting can include many activities such as painting, crocheting, knitting, sculpting, photography, digital design, and drawing.

 “My favorite thing to crochet is hats. They work up really quickly and are just really fun to me,” Adamic said. “I really like making granny squares, as well. They’re so cute and there’s so much you can do with them!”

“My favorite products to make are floral pieces. I make floral earrings and mugs and they really challenge my art skills,” Siefker said. “They are a lot of fun to make and I love seeing the end results. I’m often amazed at the end product.”

Another way to celebrate National Craft Month is taking a class and learning a new craft or skill. The University of Findlay offers many different art classes, such as Introduction to Drawing, 3D Designs in Crafts, Photography, Watercolor, Sculpture, Ceramics, Printmaking, and Painting.

UF also offers many art majors and minors including Art, Art Management, Children’s Book Illustration, Graphic Design, and Multi-Age Visual Arts. Minors offered are Art, Art History, Graphic Design, and Photography.

Going to craft fairs is another way to celebrate National Craft Month.

“I like to try different things all the time,” Siefker said. “I also go to many local craft fairs in northwest Ohio and I’m always looking for more.”

Another way to celebrate National Craft Month is supporting businesses that sell handmade crafts.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without my family and my friends. My family has helped me at craft shows and they give me advice whenever I need it. My friends give me amazing words of support and it really helps me going,” Siefker stated. “While I am the maker of my business it’s definitely not a one-woman show. There’s so many people who support me in so many ways.”

Siefker adds how to find her social media and her business.

“I have an Etsy shop, HelloLillyCo, and I’ll hopefully have a website soon, too,” Siefker said. “I also go to various craft shows. I have an Instagram, hello.Lilly.co, where you can always reach out to me with any questions.”

 

 

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