The Chadron State College visual arts program is offering a course in crafts.
The three-credit-hour course, creative crafts, is going to be offered during the spring 2013 semester in the Burkhiser Complex. Richard Bird, CSC professor of visual arts, plans to teach students to make paper, fashion glass beads, weave from a loom, and create tie-dyed and batik fabrics.
Bird taught a similar crafts course in the early 1990s, but soon found that Memorial Hall was rapidly running out of the space needed for its activities. The course was discontinued.
Because of decreasing space required for CSC’s industrial arts offerings, the art program has begun using the Burkhiser Complex. Its spacious shop spaces make an ideal setting for courses such as sculpting.
Bird is in the planning stages of the class. He still has to create the syllabus but has been researching techniques on crafts he plans to teach.
He said the University of Nebraska at Kearney donated weaving looms to Chadron State, and Bird is planning to refinish them.
“They need to be sanded and stained, and all the nuts and bolts are going to be replaced,” he said.
The class also is preparing to make paper out of old denim jeans with a special beater that chops material to a fine pulp, which is dried to flat sheets.
Bird plans on having the class be broken up into small groups doing varied crafts. Bird said this will allow students to learn more crafts because the class will rotate to each craft station.
—Virginia Rogers, CSC Information Services
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