Encouraging Creativity in a Non-Curricular Setting
The Craft Center has fulfilled its mission since 1999 by providing members access to its resources 24-hours a day, seven days a week throughout the entire year.
Housing permanent pottery, fabric and glass studios, the facility gives members almost all supplies necessary for work with a nominal semester fee. A third multipurpose studio is used for holding a variety of workshops year-round. Programming at the Craft Center attempts to encompass a broad range of craft workshops based on student request and interest. The Craft Center is run entirely by the Director and Student Managers on a part-time basis, so the facility demands that members abide by the honor system to utilize and respect the space. To ensure safety and responsibility, all users must sign an art code and participate in a safety class before access to the Craft Center is granted. The Art Pledge:
The Bowdoin College Craft Center is a shared resource available to all Bowdoin students, faculty, and staff. I pledge to respect the artwork of others and conduct myself in accordance with the Bowdoin Honor and Social Codes. I am committed to maintaining a clean, non-disruptive working environment, while promoting active and creative thinking. I understand that if I do not utilize the Craft Center my access fee is not refundable. My ID card access is strictly for my entrance to the Craft Center only. If I fail to follow this code, then the privilege to work at the Craft Center will be taken away and my dues will not be refunded.
After signing the pledge, Craft Center members (now restricted to students, faculty, staff, and spouses/significant others of staff) are given 24-hour ID-card access to the Craft Center. Members are allowed free run of the building, and access to unlimited amounts of clay, glazes, pottery wheels, sewing machine, fused and stained glass equipment and fabric remnants. Sign up takes place throughout the semester at the Smith Union information desk (Monday through Friday, 9-4:30). The membership fees are currently as follows:
Students: $25/semester or summer session
Faculty/Staff: $50/semester or summer session
Spouses/Significant Others: $50/semester or summer session
From its inception the Craft Center was designed to be an environmentally friendly institution, having as little negative impact as possible. Throughout its brief life, it has pushed this commitment further. Installing a pug mill was a vital step for the pottery studio, allowing the craft center to save significant money on clay; virtually all clay that doesn't wind up in a pot at the end of the day can be recycled back into a usable form.