Award-winning Arts & Crafts Center offers host of activities for the creative

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brandon Valle
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Fresh paint splattered across aprons, the smell of freshly cut wood lingering in the air, the steady hum of an embroidery machine strumming away -- if this sounds like an ideal place to be, then F. E. Warren's Arts & Crafts Center might be a place to check out.

The base Arts & Crafts Center offers a wide variety of activities and specialties that most bases no longer have the ability to offer. From custom framing and engraving to a fully functional wood shop, almost all your arts and crafts needs can be satisfied at the Arts & Crafts Center on base.

The center is known for its full wood shop. The shop is so publicized that it works with bases from all across the United States to provide them with the wood carvings, plaques and sculptures, used as awards presented to individuals or to group accomplishments.

"We take pride in what we do," said Larry Horsley, the manager of the Arts & Crafts Center. "We don't allow a bad product to leave our shops."

This year alone, the shop has worked with 23 bases, from all five military branches, supplying various items.

The wood shop is more than just an order-and-receive kind of shop; the full shop is open to the public for people to create their own works of art and finish their own personal projects. In order to use the equipment, guests are required to attend a mandatory safety course, which is offered at the Arts & Crafts Center.

"The shop takes pride in the fact that it has been accident free for years," said Horsley. "Safety is our top priority."

After taking the safety course, there is a fee of $5 an hour to use the machinery, plus the cost of supplies.

For those who don't necessarily specialize in woodwork, the multi-craft shop has many other activities to choose from. They offer a wide selection of classes to participate in. From stained- and fused-glass workshops to various ceramics to choose from, the multi-craft shop has something for customers to do. The chalking class has been a big item recently, where guests learn to use layers of chalk on a ceramic piece to give it a more life-like texture.

"We always have fun," said Monica Poison, the embroidery specialist and one of the staff who helps operate the multi-craft shop at the Arts & Crafts Center. "It's a fun place to come to."

The center is also flexible in starting up new classes for any project, as long as there is enough interest for a whole class to be started.

Besides hands-on activities, the Arts & Crafts Center offers a host of services.

The engraving shop has two laser engravers and one rotary engraver, which allows users to engrave any material they can choose. From wood to metals to glass, they can custom-engrave a wide array of materials.

The custom framing shop is another service that the Arts & Crafts Center offers to everyone. The shop is capable of a vast number of projects, from the classic framing of a picture or poster to creating custom shadowboxes, a favorite retirement gifts. The framing shop is able to provide cheaper prices and lower wait times due to it being a centralized business, meaning that all the work is done on site.

The newest addition to the Arts & Crafts Center is the embroidery shop. This shop can create custom-embroidered hats, shirts, and vests for many different reasons or occasions. Just recently, they created vests for one of the many groups who participate in the events during the upcoming Cheyenne Frontier Days. The shop also services many retirees, creating custom shirts specifically ordered.

The center offers a variety of programs throughout the year, from summer camps for children to working with the youth center. One of the programs offered is a special holiday program for families with a deployed member. The center offers free ceramic ornaments for kids and spouses to paint and send to their loved ones.

The F. E. Warren Arts & Crafts Center is one of the last profitable centers on any base, which is expanding its shops rather than contracting like most other centers. Last year the center won the 2012 Air Force-level A1 Award and the 2012 Air Force Global Strike Command A1 award for the best Arts and Crafts Program of the Year.

"The large quantity of activities available here, from ceramics to framing, wood shop to embroidery, are what makes this center so great," said Poison. "That's why we are continuing to be the best around."

With so many choices to choose from, it's no surprise that the F. E. Warren Arts & Crafts Center is the best center Air Force wide. The center continues to expand to offer varying activities. So stop on by and see what the center can offer.

"Come in and use the facilities," said Horsley. "It is the best in the Air Force and you will not be disappointed."