Have you joined the DIY movement? If not, now is the perfect time. The month of March marks National Craft Month, created to bring people together, along with their shared ideas of innovative craft projects.
Native Hawaiians have a long tradition of creating unique arts and crafts, many of which have become symbols for the Hawaiian Islands today. In addition to cultural enrichment, crafting has many personal benefits. According to the Craft and Hobby Association, crafting can reduce stress, build self-esteem and increase physical dexterity. In fact, they say, recent studies from NYU and Harvard have shown that activities ranging from scrapbooking to knitting can actually improve concentration while enhancing health and mental wellness.
It’s also a great way to spend time with family members of all ages and there is the satisfaction that comes with making something creative with your own hands.
To get started, one of the best places to go for inspiration is the Honolulu Museum of Art, where in addition to enjoying the exhibits you can watch films, listen to music and conduct research. What’s more, you can explore your own creative side with studio art classes at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, at Spalding House in Makiki Heights, and at the Kroc Center in Kapolei. With classes for both adults and children, and all skill levels, there truly is something for everyone. The only hard part will be narrowing down which class to select. In addition to traditional courses like watercolor and ceramics, some of the more unique classes include, Fairy Tales and Narrative Collage/Assemblage, Travel Sketching, I Can’t Draw-I Am Not An Artist, The Arts of Hawaiian Kapa Making and Painting with Pulp. Classes are offered three semesters a year, once a week for 14 weeks. The summer semester classes have not been posted yet, but registration typically begins in April.
If you have an interest in quilting, stop by Iolani Palace on any given Saturday morning from 9:30am-noon to learn the art of Hawaiian quilting from seasoned masters. In the lecture room of the Kanaina Building (Old Archives) on the Iolani Palace grounds, Poakalani and John Serrao, and their daughters Cissy and Rae, guide quilters of all skill levels. The family has been perfecting their craft since 1972 and their work has been exhibited at the Mission Houses Museum and Queen Emma Summer Palace. Classes are $6 per session; $15 for a beginners first session.
Jewelry lovers can find ways to hone their craft at Bead It!’s three Oahu locations-Kaimuki, Kapolei and Kailua. The spring schedule began in March and runs through May. Beginners can start with the “Basics” classes and then move on to more advanced techniques like Bezeling Beach Glass. Bead It! offers approximately 150 classes per quarter, with new classes each quarter, ensuring that you’ll always find something new to learn.
Whether crafting is part of your cultural history or you just like to get inspired by Pinterest or HGTV, celebrate your craft this March for National Craft Month.