Reported by Rachel Johnson
The New York Public Library is a wonderful, free resource filled with books, of course, but also a provider of amazing community events and classes. Last month, I took advantage of these free programs for the first time and attended the Saturday Handmade Crafternoon held at the main branch of the Library on 5th Ave.
The Handmade Crafternoons are run by crafty librarian, Jessica Pigza, and Maura Madden, author of Crafternoon the book. Each Crafternoon event is a free, two-hour workshop featuring a new, crafty guest host each month. The events are held in a large, wood-paneled room with beautiful windows that easily holds over a dozen craft tables. On Saturday, March 20th, the guest host was Kata Golda, a professional hand-crafter and author of Kata Golda’s Hand Stitched Felt.
I previously reviewed Kata Golda’s book here, on Craft Critique, so I was already familiar with her adorable felt projects. I have made a couple of the crafts featured in her book, but I had not yet attempted the super-cute mouse finger puppets, which are featured on the book’s cover and were the project that Kata was demonstrating at the library. I am a lover of all things cute, so I was excited to try my hand at the puppets. I am also enamored with the felt that Kata uses and provides for her workshops from Ohma Felt. It comes in beautiful, subtle colors and it is thick and sturdy. It was totally worth a trek out to the library just to get to play with that felt!
The finger puppets were very easy to construct using just a few small scraps of felt and some embroidery floss. The real artistry is in the adorable hand-stitched faces. Kata can create the most expressive, little faces out of just a few small stitches! It is more difficult than it looks.
My husband (whom I dragged to the event, but who ended up enjoying it) and I spent about an hour chatting with our table mates and completing our puppets. Kata was a gracious host and generous instructor. She visited each table and answered questions or gave quick demonstrations. I think all of the attendees — who were of all ages, but only women, other than my husband — had an enjoyable time and got to go home with a cute creation.
I am looking forward to the future Handmade Crafternoons. The April event is on the 17th from 2-4 pm and will be an open “Bring You Own Crafts” theme led by Maura Madden. On May 15th, the Crafternoon will feature Natalie Chanin, creative director of Alabama Chanin and author of the Alabama Stitch Book. You can learn more about Handmade Crafternoons on the Crafternoon blog.
Have you attended a Crafternoon event at the NY Public Library? Did you have a good time? Are you planning to attend any of the Crafternoon events in the future?
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