Students at the Craft Center Maker Space

The Happiest Place to Craft Gets an Update and Celebrates New Partnership with School of Education

Chancellor May to attend and participate in a t‑shirt screen-printing demonstration

Come join us at the Craft Center Open House on Wednesday, February 15 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. to celebrate the facility refresh and Maker Space showcase. See demonstrations in the revamped spaces, enjoy snacks, and get involved in the happiest place to craft in Davis. Chancellor May is scheduled to visit and participate in a screen-printing demonstration!

The Maker Movement, as we know it, is the current step (or modernization) of a continuous process. The desire to make has long defined humans. Tools, art, etc.—these could arguably be the defining characteristics of humanity, and makers have been at it since the beginning.

The UC Davis Craft Center was born at a particularly fruitful time in the ’60s and ’70s when getting “off the grid,” being self-sufficient, and living with nature held great appeal to many people. That population created the Craft Center. Do It Yourself and Do It Together existed in the mindset of crafters long before the phrases were ever coined.

The Craft Center has been a campus program for 58 years. A modest “face-lift” concluded over the winter break with the installation of the durable countertops. Polished concrete floors, LED lighting, paint, and new lobby furniture rounded out the project. Updating the lobby reflects the updated studio space.

Expanding into the Maker movement is the next logical step in a long tradition of crafting. This step has taken the form of a partnership with the School of Education. Reaching into the academic program expands the strength and impact of the developing Craft Center space. Academics will bring the Maker Space into the public schools, priming the future crafters and directing them to the resources they need.

The UC Davis School of Education uses the Maker Space as a classroom for the Beta Lab. Students receive hands-on access to the equipment (3D printer, vinyl cutter, soldering kits, etc.) and have opportunities to incorporate multidisciplinary crafting into their modern hacks. A Maker Space attached to robust crafting studios is a unique strength of the UC Davis Craft Center. As these students complete their training, it’s hopeful that they will become the future class instructors of Maker classes at the Craft Center.

Current instructors, such as Rachel Richards, have emphasized the cross-discipline capabilities of modern crafting equipment. Custom-made signatures can be engraved onto wood cutting boards. Personal graphics can be added to leather stitched wallets. The new equipment (laser cutters, 3D printers, etc.) shines brightest when working with the traditional.

The Craft Center focuses on beginner-level classes and challenges everyone with artistic self-doubt to see what they can make. In our increasingly digital environment, producing a physical object is more gratifying than ever. With the addition of the Campus Recreation Well-Being Fee Waiver, the Craft Center classes are more accessible to the student population. Students that receive the waiver will have the class fees waived. 

Interested in signing up for a class? View the schedule and follow us on social media for the latest news!

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