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Crafters wanted: Crafter’s Collective seeks membership

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

By Emiko Shimabukuro

The Crafter’s Collective hopes to increase attendance at their weekly meetings by reaching out to fellow students with an open-armed, just-for-fun attitude as they prepare for the Craft Fair this month and encourage the expansion of long-term memberships.

“We’re in the middle of the semester and everyone’s feeling it. What better idea, then, to relax and talk for an hour while making art?” asked sophomore Rebecca Waterhouse, addressing the student body in the Oct. 13th Student News.

On the Monday following the notice, only three crafters attended the club meeting, two of which were Alicia Gallo, president and co-founder of the Collective and Waterhouse, the club’s publicity chair.

“Oh, look how sparkly everything is!” exclaimed Waterhouse, letting her eyes wander over a table filled with iridescent glass marbles, decorative papers, glue, X-ACTO knives and scissors.

The three meeting attendees sat around the table piled with materials and spent the evening chatting with each other about their individual crafting abilities. They were working on a group project, making one-of-a-kind glass-marble magnets for an upcoming event. The Crafter’s Collective met to create crafts for the upcoming annual Mills College Craft Fair.

“[The Fair] is to provide people with alternative shopping venues,” said Gallo at the Monday meeting.

“So they don’t have to shop at malls,” Waterhouse followed.

Gallo described the club’s first goal as lofty because it is a goal that they still have not been able to reach.

She said that it would have been more practical for them to first try to attract a large club membership. Due to lack of student interest they now “just get together and do crafty things,” she said.

The club members said they were not discouraged by the low attendance.

Membership and attendance have been ongoing issues for the club but with events like the Craft Fair, they can still achieve smaller goals similar to those at they had in the past.

Members are hopeful that the laid-back atmosphere of the club and the good cause at its heart will entice new members.

Remarking that depending on the week, attendance varies from several additional participants to none other than Gallo and herself, Waterhouse said The Crafter’s Collective has a fluidity to its membership.

“It’s a pretty relaxed group, as you can see,” Waterhouse said at the small meeting.

“We are open to all craft-types,” said Gallo at a recent meeting, emphasizing the inviting and non-restrictive structure of the group.

The Crafter’s Collective is open to all and meets every Monday in the Warren Olney recreation room.

The group begins crafting at 5 p.m. and will continue to craft together for as long or short a time as people want to, but officially ends around 6:30 p.m.

To find out more about the Crafter’s Collective or ask about meetings and events, e-mail the club at

The Annual Mills Craft Fair will be held on Nov. 15 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Mills Student Union and will feature clothing, jewlery and other crafts made by Mills students that will be for sale.