By Louise Yokoi
I’d heard that the Museum of Craft & Design (MCD) had recently relocated to the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco a few months ago. When I discovered that MCD and Etsy were collaborating together for Etsy Meet & Make: Craft Lab at MCD events, I knew I’d found the perfect opportunity to go check out the Museum’s new home, get a much-needed dose of creativity, and learn how this super successful partnership had gotten off the ground.
From the eye-catching glass entrance to the bustling creative energy from the crowd, it became immediately clear that the MCD is a terrific new edition to the changing face of Dogpatch. Judging from the social, artistic vibe all around me, the MCD and Etsy have found the right fit to promote people’s creativity in an environment that highlights innovative contemporary craft and design.
Here are some photos from my recent Meet & Make experience:
Originally located off of Union Square, MCD curated and produced a series of five pop-up museums throughout San Francisco in the two years preceding its April 2013 grand opening in Dogpatch. During the opening, Michael Cooper’s mind-blowing sculptures and vehicles were featured in the main galleries.
Artist and illustrator Rick Kitagawa was the featured artist at the recent Meet & Make I attended. With his screen-print design, he was ready to give an introduction to the screen-printing process to visitors. Rick worked closely with Sarah Wininger, Etsy Meet & Make Program Manager, and Katy Atchison, SF Etsy Team Leader, to come up with the concept and design for the evening’s workshop. For more about Rick see his website: http://www.rickkitagawa.com/Risk/.
To make sure that everyone in attendance got a chance to learn about and try screen-printing, the MCD staff gave people slips of paper with time slots when they checked for the event. This system allowed the small group to get a hands-on experience without waiting in a long line.
The screen-printing project used 100% cotton paper with hand torn edges with a special textile ink. Attendees learned that lining up the screen in different positions creates special effects on the final piece of art. In addition to Rick, the teaching artist, two volunteers were on hand to answer questions and offer assistance.
The result of MCD and Etsy both sharing the common goal of providing opportunities for people to socialize with friends, make art and connect with others who like to create art? The Etsy Meet & Make: Craft Lab at MCD has been a big success!
After the screen-printing workshop with Rick and socializing with the crowd, I took a quiet break in a side gallery to look at Rebecca Hutchinson’s nature-inspired sculptures titled Affinity. The site-specific work is made from porcelain paperclay, handmade paper, and sanded tree limbs. MCD has made the most out of the industrial space – showing the work of three artists specializing in very different mediums.
Every month, the Etsy Meet & Make is sponsored by a different San Francisco Bay Area brewery, allowing participants to enjoy free artisan brew while they craft and mingle. Pictured above, volunteers serve two kinds of beer provided by Potrero Hill-based Anchor Brewing Company. Past sponsors include Bayview-based Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, and new-to-Dogpatch Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery.
Here is information regarding the August 2013 event:
Etsy Meet & Make: Craft Lab at MCD – Moss on Wood
Thursday, August 8, 2013 from 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Museum of Craft and Design
2569 Third Street, San Francisco
Registration highly recommended: http://sfmcd.eventbrite.com/
Join San Francisco entrepreneur, interior designer, artist, and DIY expert Kelly Malone in creating moss-on-wood art! In this simple 20-minute activity, use stencils or create your own designs to cut and shape moss, then mount it on reclaimed wood panels. Be one of the first 25 through the door and receive a free “Drink Beer, Make Stuff” tote bag from Workshop!
Admission is $10, or $5 if you're a Museum member. Includes supplies, instruction, and beverages sponsored by Speakeasy Ales & Lagers.
To purchase tickets in advance: http://sfmcd.eventbrite.com/
Don’t live in San Francisco? See Etsy’s site http://www.etsy.com/community/events for Meet & Make events in other cities.
Louise Yokoi is the Assistant Director of Resource Development at the Lawrence Hall of Science. She is passionate about helping museums utilize tools and strategies in innovative ways for capacity building and effective fiscal management. Louise received her BA in English Literature/Art History from the University of California, Irvine and Masters of Arts in Museum Studies and Masters of Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University.