It’s that time of the year again, where looking for that perfect holiday gift can either result in great delight or acute anxiety attacks. Either way, this year that gift might be just around the corner at the Craft Center.
The Seventh Annual Staff Show and Auction begins today, showcasing handicrafts donated to the Craft Center by its participants.
“We wanted to showcase the work of the people who actually use the Craft Center and have a one time sale [that] could benefit the Craft Center at the same time,” said Janet Garrison, gallery co-curator. “So now, it’s slowly become an institution. People on campus are starting to realize that it’s a good place to shop for a unique gift.“
The four-week silent auction will exhibit close to 200 pieces created by the Craft Center instructors, students and volunteers. Items for sale will be an assortment gathered from the center’s studios – ceramics, glasswork, flameworking, jewelry, screen printing, photography, textiles, metalwork, welding, woodwork, painting, drawing, mixed media and other arts and crafts.
Popular items include ceramic, glass and jewelry pieces, such as necklaces.
“The [gallery] serves as a really nice show of our participants‘ work and what you can do at the Craft Center … so you can get an idea of what’s possible,” Garrison said.
Gerilyn Maslowski, who made her first piece of ceramic art in 1968, will be donating three large ceramic bowls and a tall, lidded jar – all created at the Craft Center this year.
“I was demonstrating in [the studio] when I made those,” said Maslowski, a Craft Center recreational program instructor. “I produced these large bowls because people are very impressed that someone small can build something so big.“
Prospective buyers have the option of placing a silent bid throughout the month-long showcasing during the center’s open hours or waiting until Dec. 5 for the live auction. Starting bids begin at $1 and can only be increased in whole dollar amounts.
“It’s interesting which items sell,” Maslowski said. “There are always some items that are hotly contested. You know, that everyone wants.“
“Sometimes I notice men come in because their wives have given them a [wish] list with the items they want,” she said. “To him, this is so easy; he can come here, and it doesn’t matter that he’s maybe going to pay a little more for it because it’s the item she picked. Everyone has that one thing that they want.“
The funds raised from the auction will go towards buying books for the center’s library and other program areas.
“Some of these things are a steal,” Garrison said. “You could not get them for that little at any other holiday crafts fair where they’re already priced.“
Thomas Holloway, a UC Davis history professor, will be the auctioneer at the event on Friday, Dec. 5, starting at 6 p.m.
“[The gallery] gets packed,” Garrison said. “Our gallery space is wonderful. I love our gallery space, but it’s small and it gets full; but that makes it fun for people to come look at.“
POOJA DEOPURA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.