Ceramics, jewelry, glasswork, paintings, and much more filled the Wake Center’s halls on Saturday, along with the Adult Ed students and instructors who fashioned them. The annual Arts & Crafts Fair, held December 11 by Santa Barbara City College’s Continuing Education Division, is believed to have had record participation this year.
But despite a noteworthy turnout, the fair wasn’t backed by City College’s administration.
“We got zip,” said David Schwartz, a three-year jewelry student who organized the fair this year. He was referred to by volunteers as “the kingpin” of the event, managing everything from the registration of vendors’ tables in the morning to wiping down the bathrooms at day’s end.
Volunteer Jane Dyruff, an Adult Ed student since the ’60s, said this is the first year the administration hasn’t supported the fair. Regardless the lack of help from on high, the fair registered more than 80 tables. “I was surprised at the turnout,” Schwartz said. “I expected 50 at the most.”
Tabletops teemed with glazed pottery, hand-embroidered children’s books, and framed watercolors. Fused-glass Christmas tree ornaments tinkled lightly in the breeze while four violinists harmonized in the courtyard. Vending students bantered and bargained with holiday shoppers, calling attention to their “Christmas specials” and handing out candy canes.
Six-year ceramics student Peggy Koegler chatted with passersby as she stood with her husband behind her table of earth-toned mugs, plates, and vases. “We can’t stop throwing pots,” Koegler smiled. “We’re addicted.”
This is often the case with the students here, Schwartz said. “Adult Ed is such an integral part of the community. For a lot of people, this is their life.”