Fort Campbell, Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Peter M. Guenette Arts and Crafts Center, 89 Screaming Eagle Blvd., offers a prime location for individuals to hand-craft a unique Christmas gift for his or her loved ones.
“It’s not quite like Hobby Lobby. We are here to provide a service to help the Soldiers, patrons or Family members who come in,” said Jacqueline Williams, Guenette assistant business manager.
The center has space for people to make pottery, ceramics, painting, framing, engraving and a woodshop area.
“I’ve taken the pottery classes, the fairy house making classes and I’ve taken the wheel throwing classes,” said Theressa Hill, who has been coming to the center for the past six months. “I just love coming here. It is a very relaxing place to be.”
Hill makes a lot of gifts for her daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and friends at Guenette. She encourages her Family to come to the center Saturday for the winter workshop.
Classes for children
Rachel Wells, Guenette recreation assistant, said the winter workshop is an annual event hosted on the first weekend of December.
Parents pay a fee of $12 per child and Families walk around the center Saturday to the different stations making a craft at each one.
“There are five crafts and it is meant to be a holiday gift, but they can use as a gift or they can make it for themselves,” Wells said.
At the winter workshop, children can paint a mini canvas, create an ornament with the pour paint technique, make a card with bubble printing, make their own soap and snowman soup, aka hot chocolate.
Children also can decorate a gift bag to hold their gift for Mom or Dad. Wells said the workshop has been successful every year.
“I think the snowman soup they keep for themselves and most of the other crafts are given as Christmas gifts,” Wells said.
Wells said the winter workshop is the No. 1 event Families have to make gifts for giving. The center added the ornament painting class specifically for gift-giving.
“We try to definitely include those gift-giving classes in December especially,” Wells said. Guenette also has an ornament painting class Dec. 8. At the class, children or adults can paint their own ornaments or use the pour paint method, which creates a marbled effect on the ornament.
“People who feel like they don’t have a lot of artistic ability we don’t want them to be left out we want them to be able to make something really cool,” Wells said.
The center has offered ornament painting before, but this is the first year they have used a pour paint method to decorate ornaments.
“Sometimes we will sell them an extra ornament for a dollar or two and they will make one for themselves and one for gift giving,” Wells said.
The kids’ canvas painting class – scheduled for 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 – also is popular around the holidays.
“Almost all of the children who come in during the wintertime plan on giving their canvas painting as a gift for Christmas,” Wells said. “I get a lot of requests from grandmas and grandpas especially.”
Classes for Adults
The center not only offers classes for children during the holidays, but for adults as well. The framing class, held on every third Saturday of the month, is geared toward adults and is popular for creating gifts, Wells said.
Guenette staff said the classes are especially popular with Soldiers when they come back from deployments with canvas art or prints they want to frame, Wells said.
Wells said many gifts are made in the woodshop where patrons make cutting boards and butcher blocks to give as gifts.
“The cutting boards and butcher blocks are the most popular gifts made out of the woodshop because they are fairly easy and you can make them in two days,” Wells said.
A popular class in the woodshop area is the pen turning class, during which patrons can make their own pen. Wells said people give the pens as gifts to their bosses and coworkers.
The center always has someone working who knows the machines and can help those unfamiliar with the equipment.
“I instruct people on how to use the machinery safely,” said Warren Wahner, Guenette woodshop instructor.
Wahner oversees the safety class needed to work in the woodshop. The class includes a video of a previous instructor providing instruction on proper operation of each machine available at the center.
Anyone ages 16 and older may use the equipment provided they attend the safety class first and have a valid Department of the Army Form 3031 qualification card.
Guenette also offers an engraving area where staff can engrave metal, wood, plastic, glass, jewelry and coins for customers.
“Usually during the holidays we do a lot more ornaments, mugs and glass,” said Erin McNamara, artist illustrator.
Wells said during the holidays people are on a budget. The center does not charge for engraving. If a customer buys a flask, ornament or clock and would like it engraved it will not cost extra. Engraving is always included in the price of items purchased at Engraving Etc.
If a customer brings in a travel mug, knife or glasses from elsewhere that they would like engraved, then the center charges for the space being engraved, instead of by letter.
“We are here to serve the Soldiers,” Wells said.
The engraving area also can print a picture on a ceramic ornament.
“People also bring mason jars in so we engrave that as a nice gift, beer mugs and all kinds of stuff,” said Cytherea Addley, an engraver at the center.
Around Christmas, the center provides premade clay figures that have been poured into different holiday molds that visitors can buy and paint to give as gifts.
Wells said the Christmas-themed clay figures, Christmas trees, reindeer and Santa Claus, are the most popular during the holidays, but the “Star Wars”-themed figures like Darth Vader mugs and little R2D2s, are a close second.
“There are a lot of people who love their ‘Star Wars,’” Wells said.
Wells said clay figurines and ornaments are fired at Guenette.
The wheel throwing area is popular around the holidays as well. Patrons typically make handmade bowls and cups or a set of dishes.
The center has premade coffee mugs, bowls, platters and plates that people can embellish with their baby’s hand or footprints to give as gifts. Wells said parents usually make them for grandparents.
“We have something for everybody and we keep it as affordable as we can so people do not have to spend as much,” Wells said. “There are no little extras that they have to purchase, we provide everything.”
Each area has daily shop fees. The multi-craft area that houses the pottery and paint supplies costs $4 for ages 17 and older, and $2 for ages 16 and younger. The framing and woodshop areas have a daily fee of $5.
Guenette is open to anyone with access to post.
For more information on the crafts or framing, call 270-798-6693 for questions about the woodshop, call 270-798-6540.
IF YOU GO
Peter M. Guenette Arts and Crafts Center, 89 Screaming Eagle Blvd.
Tuesday, Thursday – 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Wednesday – 12:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday, Saturday – 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
•Winter Workshop – 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Fee of $12 per child. Children visit different craft stations making a different gift at each.
•Wheel Throwing Class part 1 of 2 –
5-7 p.m. Wednesday for ages 14 and older. Cost is $26.
•Adult Canvas Painting – 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday for ages 16 and older. Cost is $25.
•Galaxy Painting on Canvas –
4:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 for ages 8 and older. Cost is $12.
•Wheel throwing Class part 1 of 2 –
10 a.m.-noon Dec. 7 for ages 14 and older. Cost is $26.
•Marbled Ornaments – 10 a.m.-noon
Dec. 8. Cost is $2.50 per ornament.
•Teen Canvas Painting – 1-3 p.m. Dec. 8 for ages 11 and older. Cost is $11.
•Kids Canvas Painting – 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 for ages 6 and older. Cost is $11.
•Wheel Throwing Class part 2 of 2 –
5-7 p.m. Dec. 12
•Wheel Throwing Class part 2 of 2 –
10 a.m.-noon Dec. 14.
•Clay Fairy Houses – 10 a.m.-noon
Dec. 15 for ages 8 and older. Cost is $11.
•Framing Class – 12:30 p.m. Dec. 15 for ages 18 and older. Cost is $10 plus materials.
•Stained Glass – 5-7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 for ages 18 and older. Cost is $22 plus the cost of the glass.
•Stained Glass – 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Dec. 21 for ages 18 and older. Cost is $22 plus the cost of the glass.
•Kids Canvas Painting – 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 22 for ages 6 and older. Cost is $12.
All classes require prior registration, call 270-798-6693 or walk-in to sign up.