KWEC to host Cheyenne Bottoms Craft Fest

HAYS, Kan. - The Kansas Wetlands Education Center will host Cheyenne Bottoms Craft Fest - a free afternoon of crafts, demonstrations from local artisans and hands-on activities - from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center.

The KWEC, 592 NE K-156 Highway, is at the southeast side of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, northeast of Great Bend.

Participants will be able to meet local people who practice old crafts such as soap making, woodcarving and weaving. Participants will also have the opportunity to get hands-on with the presented crafts.

"Over the last few years, the KWEC has seen great interest in the quarterly workshop series," said Jean Aycock, KWEC program specialist.

"With so many people excited about learning hands-on crafts, a craft festival featuring local artisans was a natural next step," she said.

Past workshops include papermaking, basket weaving, cold process soap making and dyeing yarn with plants found in the area.

"There are quite a few people in central Kansas with a talent for these sorts of crafts with some even practicing them professionally," said Aycock.

Rebecca Ford, owner of Artisan Soaps in Great Bend, got involved in the historic process of soap making out of her love for the finished product.

"Many get into soap making because they are in pursuit of a better solution for difficult skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, and handmade soaps are a great alternative because they don't have all of the irritating ingredients that are found in commercial projects," said Ford. "But for me, I got into soap making because I just really like a good bar of handmade soap."

Terry Asper, an artisan who will demonstrate at the fest, got her start in weaving through her participation in the Society for Creative Anachronism - a nonprofit that encourages the study of history through the hands-on learning of crafts and skills.

"These two artisans are just a few of the many local folks who will be displaying their work at the fest," said Aycock.

For more information, call the KWEC at 1-877-243-9268.

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