Unleashing creativity at JBLM Arts and Crafts Center

By Pvt. Carlos Marquez, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment on January 31, 2024

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD - Within the vibrant walls of Joint Base-Lewis McChord's Arts and Craft Center, the Alcohol Ink Arts class has emerged as a dynamic hub for artistic expression.

Led by Alicia Butler, the Arts and Crafts Center Business Manager, and attended by participants like Genevieve Shelby, the wife of a military veteran, this class provides a unique and collaborative experience.

"I thought this class would be a unique opportunity to engage with my community while learning a new skill," said Shelby, emphasizing the camaraderie and shared experiences that enhance the creative outlet. "Seeing the creativity of others makes the overall experience more enjoyable and contributes to the final products we create."

Alcohol ink art is made by applying alcohol-based inks to a non-porous surface such as glass or ceramics. Alicia Butler shared her expertise, providing a glimpse into the versatility of alcohol inks.

"Over the past couple of years, alcohol inks have taken a prominent role in arts and crafts" said Butler. "They are brightly colored pigments that dry quickly, offering endless possibilities, including abstract painting and photo-stained glass art."

Newcomers can feel comfortable attending the class as the art itself is meant to experiment with various ink colors and see the creations that come out of it, said Butler.

"I only have a bit of experience with alcohol inks, but the medium is quick to learn and pick up," shared Shelby, reflecting on her learning journey. "It's more about the artist's ability to use it in different ways that will surprise you."

Butler continued to elaborate on the accessibility of the alcohol ink medium.

"This craft and art are great for beginners," said Butler. "You only need to understand basic color theory to get the most out of it, however, those with past art experience will flourish with this particular medium."

"We offer preset pre-printed designs, but if you'd rather draw your own, we provide the materials and instructors to help you develop your unique creations," said Butler.

"The class truly caters to a range of skills," said Shelby. "Whether you're a novice or have experience with art, the environment is conducive to exploring and honing your creative abilities."

The class, offered once every few months, can also be arranged on demand for groups such as parties, friend gatherings, or work events.

"Everybody that has attended the class so far really enjoys it," Butler mentioned, highlighting the positive reception. "Alcohol Inks are a new experience for many, and most feel like they've learned something new and had a great experience."

"Due to the intimate setting, advanced registration is required, with a maximum of 10 participants per class," said Butler.

As participants continue to discover the vibrant world of alcohol inks, the Arts and Craft Center remains a hub of artistic expression, bringing together individuals to share, learn, and create. The Alcohol Ink Arts class stands as a testament to the center's commitment to fostering creativity and community engagement within the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community.

For those eager to explore their artistic side, the Arts and Craft Center is located at 1121 Barnes Boulevard on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Interested individuals can register or inquire by calling 253-967-6719.