Farmers Market Spotlight: Jewelry Making a Difference | SteamboatToday.com

Farmers Market Spotlight: Jewelry Making a Difference

Steamboat Creates summer camp learns art techniques, business design, partners with community organizations

From left, Izzy Hamric and Azi Van Orden work on original jewelry pieces in Steamboat Creates camp Jewelry Making a Difference.
Heidi Hamric

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As the summer meanders along, many of the businesses at Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market return to their same booths, week after week, steady and trusty. Others make their market debuts partway through the season, fresh and energized, some for only one Saturday — making that one appearance that much more important. 

This Saturday, the 27 young jewelry makers, ages 8 to 14, of the Steamboat Creates camp — Jewelry Making a Difference — will bring products they created to a one-time-only Farmers Market booth. Items will include handmade earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and hair barrettes, spanning a rainbow of materials and techniques from mixed metal to leather to fabric to beads.

As beautiful as the jewelry pieces are, the story of how they came to be is just as beautiful. Strawberry Park Elementary School Vice-Principal Eron Haubert and fourth-grade teacher Heidi Hamric both taught a theater camp session last summer for the first time and loved it. As jewelry people, they played with the idea of incorporating a Steamboat Creates jewelry-making camp with some bigger ideas. 

“That’s one of the big things in the classroom: how do we help globally and locally?” Haubert said. “How can we do more to give back to our community?” 

So throughout the week-long session of jewelry-making, representatives from the Routt County Humane Society, Bud Werner Memorial Library, LiftUp of Routt County, Denver Children’s Hospital and the Yampa Valley Autism Project visited camp, engaging the artists with talks about how and why their organizations work. 

“We want the students to understand the amazing organizations we have in our community,” Haubert said. 

“It’s nice knowing that I’m not just making jewelry for my own purpose — I’m making it for others,” said 11-year-old Emma Haubert, jewelry camp artist and daughter of Eron Haubert. “It was really fun knowing what you’re donating to and what’s going to happen when you donate.” 

If you go

What: Jewelry Making a Difference at the Steamboat Farmers Market
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3
Where: 7th and Yampa Street between 6th and 8th

To support the artists’ processing and brainstorming, each kept a journal. Sharing circles encouraged cooperation; teamwork was everywhere. Within the camp’s structure, the campers’ questions and ideas guided the trajectory of the week.

“It’s been really student-led — it’s been really beautiful,” Eron Haubert said. “They just went for it.” 

Along the way, Strawberry Park Elementary School art teacher Erin Kreis and several interns supported the group. 

A necklace made by a Jewelry Making a Difference camp artist. This piece and a variety of others will be for sale at the Steamboat Farmers Market on Saturday, Aug. 3, for a suggested donation to one or more of several local nonprofit organizations.
Heidi Hamric

On Saturday, jewelry pieces will be available for purchase by suggested donation to any of the partner nonprofit organizations. 

Jewelry items will be displayed across the booth, a process the artists learned in camp. Artists themselves will staff the market booth in shifts, and each one has a business card and artist statement, conceptualized and designed during the week. 

“We learned that you need a story behind what you’re selling. That way, it will sell better because people will know what inspired you,” Emma said.

In their week of camp, the Jewelry Making a Difference artists learned about various jewelry making techniques, as well as marketing and business design and about the functioning of several local nonprofit organizations.
Heidi Hamric

For example, Emma’s artist statement describes how she and her friends made up “this weird character” earlier this year called Pizza Cat. The first piece of jewelry she made this week was Pizza Cat. 

“It inspired me to make more jewelry of food,” Emma said.

Her jewelry series includes clay s’mores earrings, donut earrings and a hamburger ring. 

These leaf-themed earrings designed, created and marketed by J. Rae’s Designs, a brand developed by camper Jac DeCrette during the week-long Jewelry Making a Difference summer camp.
Heidi Hamric

The Jewelry Making a Difference booth will be open for business at the Farmers Market on Saturday, Aug. 3.

To reach Julia Ben-Asher, call 970-871-4229, email jbenasher@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @juliabenasher.


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