Studio draws creative locals

Published 10:01 pm Monday, August 14, 2017

The Crittenden/Eclipse community welcomed a new arts and crafts store this summer that offers numerous creative opportunities for all ages.

Since its opening on June 10, Make Something Studio on Eclipse Drive has become a habitat for local artists from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The studio has gained a following of children and adults, alike, through monthly workshops, private events and an emphasis on “make and take” projects.

Kelly Amrine, owner of Make Something Studio and The Mad Painter custom glassware business, started the studio in collaboration with Suffolk resident Denise Bush, the owner of Off The Beading Path jewelry supplies and workshops. Amrine said the Eclipse community convinced her to rent that space for her studio.

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“When we do fundraisers, a lot of our local business is here,” she said. “We’re actually able to be part of the community, and we’re looking to grow in Suffolk.”

The eclectic and colorful studio space is filled with art supplies for adults and children. Artists lead workshops on everything from sewing fabrics to painting mason jars. Birthday parties are common, as are Girl Scout gatherings and corporate events.

The artists that lead workshops have years of experience in their passions.

Bush started beading elaborate art pieces more than 20 years ago, while she was in the United States Navy. She founded Off The Beading Path after leaving the Navy in 1994 and now sells pre-packaged beading kits at Make Something Studio for all skill levels.

“I’m what I call a serial crafter,” she said. “When I was in the military, I always had a craft going, and when I got out beading became my thing.”

Artists have come to know the studio through friends and family. Amy Wirtz, who teaches a sewing workshop, came to the studio for the birthday party of a friend’s child. A father who had his child’s birthday at the studio now cuts glass for Amrine.

“We’ve gotten this far really because of word of mouth,” Amrine said.

Children met at the studio on Monday for the final week of their summer camp. They have used different mediums to make their own personal pottery, door hangers and bead designs during the past six weeks, each one keeping them entertained.

“I like all of it,” said 9-year-old Emma Faustini.

Some made pillows with fancy pineapples sewn into the fabric, and exotic fruit projects with glue and construction paper for wildly distinct colors and designs. Most of the projects went home with the children at the end of the day.

When Madison Walsh’s mother signed her up for the summer camp, the 14-year-old admitted she was skeptical at first. She didn’t think she was interested in art at the start of camp.

She’s since painted cups and several canvases with illustrations based on the sketchbook she’s used to brainstorm for the past several weeks.

“I like it here,” she said. “This camp made me realize I was good at art.”