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Creative Crafters 03/06/18

Samantha McCullough, standing, craft store supervisor, works with crafters at Creative Crafters in Charleston on Tuesday.


CHARLESTON -- Creative Crafters clients are getting the chance to take on bigger projects with additional space.

Creative Crafters is a vocational service as part of CTF Illinois, which supports area adults with mental and physical disabilities. The service gives clients an opportunity to create crafted art pieces that then can be sold, like at 9 Muses, another CTF service, but specifically for crafted works.

And in December, Creative Crafters attained a storefront, 503 B Jefferson Ave., to display and sell works made by clients.

"The plan was always to have a store just like 9 Muses," said Samantha McCullough, Creative Crafters supervisor. "It was just about timing and finding the right space for us."

Creative Crafters has offered an avenue for these individuals to create crafted works since 2015. McCullough said the new space gave the clients the chance to sell their work outside of festivals and other art shows in the area.

"We didn't have any area to put our works up for sale," she said. "Now we can actually show them year-round."

The profits from each craft go directly to the clients who made them. The supervisor noted that, for some, it is their only source of income.

She noted the additional space has allowed them to delve into large art projects, including refurbishing furniture and woodworking. This includes potential refurbishment of chairs and end tables.

"We just didn't have the space (before)," she said.

Clients also create an assortment of other items like pillow coverings, shirts, jewelry, button letters and other works.

"We explore everything that we can do," McCullough said. "This is not the limit on what is possible. Anything that we can try and experiment with and see that we can work on with them, we do."

Creative Crafters is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.



Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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