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For the Love of Crafts

Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek from craft enthusiast and founder of CRAFT, Eli Winkelman, and read an extended version of her Q and A featured in the January BH&G issue.

Although Winkelman has no formal art background, she's always enjoyed making things. Her "aha moment" came when she realized that if she was going to accumulate an abundance of craft supplies she might as well share, and she opened CRAFT in 2013.

Q: What is your vision for the space and community that uses CRAFT?

A: "People often comment that they feel at home at the studio, which is exactly the idea. I love when I see a group come together, and people get so into their art that they end up sitting at separate tables and making new friends.

Long term, there's a lot more I want to do with the studio and the space! I'd love to have a few Airstream trailers outside that we could rent out for people who just want to do a crafting retreat!"


Q: Do you have a favorite art medium or crafting project?

A: "I love glitter, and cards and envelopes are probably my favorite over the years, although I definitely go through other phases. But I love writing to friends and family on a card I've made."

Q: Can you tell me about the energy and growth that comes from the classes that you host at CRAFT?

A: "We collaborate with local artisans to host workshops, so the workshops often bring in a new art form, a new partner, and an audience that might not be drawn in by our 'come and play' message. We don't do very much that's prescriptive, meaning that we teach people the tools but don't give them a step-by-step recipe for their art.

For example, in my screenprinting class, everyone creates their own stencil. Most of the people who take the workshop don't consider themselves artists, and sometimes they look at the blank paper that I hand out and freak out. But we get through it, and most people end up making something way better than they thought they could (especially if they create their own design rather than trying to copy someone else's or a pin on Pinterest). Seeing that transformation, from doubt to certain excitement, is awesome."