Crafting

416. POST – June 30, 2019 – Detroit, MI

June2019Post1 (2)June2019Post2 (2)Here’s a post I’m especially excited about: my post on POST! Yes, I’m totally being punny here, but truly, this place is AH-MAZING!

Housed in a former U.S. Post Office building on the East Side of Detroit, POST is a retail space selling handmade goods made by independently-owned companies and individual artisans – about 100 in total, according to its website. The shop is owned by Mutual Adoration, a local woodworking business that makes custom furniture and other goodies constructed from reclaimed wood.

Approaching POST on a sunny Sunday afternoon in late June, I dug its red-and-white façade, which maintains old-timey post-office vibes.

I got especially excited when I entered POST’s interior, because WOW! does this place have a lot of beautiful pieces for sale! There are picture frames and pottery and wall art and candles, greeting cards and scented soap and artfully arranged bouquets . . . POST is a haven for handcrafted delights.

It’s also a haven for makers to practice the hand-crafting themselves – because POST is not simply a store; it’s also a workshop space. Every month, it hosts a plethora of classes on topics such as screen printing, jewelry making, weaving, and floral arrangement.

I find scrolling through POST’s online schedule of classes addictively inspiring – I want to try ALL the things!

But the thing I decided I wanted to try most this summer was a woodworking class where we made wall art from scraps of reclaimed wood that we painted and stained and arranged inside a frame. That was the main reason I was visiting POST on this Sunday afternoon.

The class was a blast. It lasted about four hours and was taught by the owners of Mutual Adoration, Clare and Wayne. They were really kind, patient instructors. Moreover, they served a lovely spread of snacks: fruit and hummus and chips and cake – plus wine that could be enjoyed after the use of the heavy machinery.

There were about 12 of us class participants sifting through piles of reclaimed wood of different sizes and varieties, then painting and staining and cutting and arranging and gluing and trimming and nailing . . .. We got to use power tools such as a mechanized saw and a nail gun to aid in the making, and we got to enjoy the company of each other, us like-minded souls who find crafting to be the cat’s pajamas.

I left POST on that afternoon with a singular piece of wall art made from scraps of walnut and other striking wood, some painted purple or orange or sage-green or maroon, others stained to a deeper patina or left exactly as I’d found them. The piece hangs on a wall in my home office, a reminder of the thrill of creating that I channeled during the workshop. Thank you, POST, for cultivating this space that champions creativity and indie entrepreneurs!

Worth noting: POST is closed Sundays through Tuesdays, except to participants of classes being held on those days; workshop attendees are offered the ability to browse and make purchases pre- and post-session.

14500 Kercheval Ave.

Detroit, MI 48215

www.mutualadoration.com/pages/post-detroit

275. Arts and Scraps – September 16, 2017 – Detroit, MI

ArtandScraps5ArtandScraps1ArtandScraps2ArtandScraps4Arts and Scraps is a thrift store, but it’s an art-products-based thrift store, which to me makes it the coolest thrift store on the planet.

The Detroit-based shop/charitable organization geared toward encouraging childhood creativity among low-income populations had been on my mind for months – since late winter/early spring, when I cleaned out the closet in my home office and gathered up buttons, crayons, yarn, bits of fabric, safety pins, and other craft-related detritus, bagged them, and threw them in the trunk of my car with the intention of going there and making a donation. Finally I made it over there on a sunny Saturday afternoon in mid-September.

As instructed on Arts and Scraps’ website, I parked near the side delivery door where donations can be dropped off, hauled my bag of offerings out of my car, and knocked. A friendly older woman answered, thanked me for my donation, and asked if I wanted to have a look around. I hadn’t planned on doing that, but I was like sure, why not? So she let me through the back area to the front of the shop.

OK, let me say, when I walked through that shop, I was like, WOW! I brimmed with excitement as I took in the fabric room with its shelves of colorful offerings and the main shop area with its bins and bins of every crafting material you could ever think of: buttons, pipe cleaners, cardboard, yarn, wallpaper sample books, spools of thread – even metal cookie tins in all shapes and sizes. And it was all there for super-cheap prices, such as a dollar for four spools of thread. A dollar!

This place was heaven to the 10-year-old craft-happy kid inside of me. It had me fantasizing about using the shop contents to craft the kind of large-scale modern art installation made from everyday materials that I adore; if inspiration hit me someday, I would know exactly where to go. Give me five baby-food jars, some embroidery thread, a wallpaper sample book, and those wine corks – stat! I’ve got creating to do!

So if you’ve got a creative project you’re looking to dive into, consider skipping those pricey national-chain craft stores and hitting Arts and Scraps for your supplies instead. You’ll save money and support a good cause – a total win-win in my (scrap)book. 🙂

If you are interested in donating supplies to Arts and Scraps, here’s the link to the page on its site that gives donation-material guidelines: www.artsandscraps.org/get-involved/individuals/save-materials-from-home. Financial donations can be made through the site, as well.

6135 Harper Ave.

Detroit, MI 48224

http://www.artsandscraps.org/