By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 22, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Choosing the right gift can be a hard decision for many people, but Fort Rucker offers a facility where people can put a personal touch on their gifts.
The Fort Rucker Arts and Craft Center offers imaginative gift ideas from hand-crafted items to engraving to monogramming and more -- many of which people can create themselves or have someone create for them, according to Angel Dietz, arts and crafts center program manager.
The center provides services to people on post for lower cost than they would find elsewhere, said the program manager. In addition to the savings, people can give a gift that truly comes from the heart and their hands, since the center currently offers framing classes, as well as has spaces for pottery and glass working.
"We have an amazing framing class and we get a lot of amazing feedback -- even my husband has taken the class," said Dietz. "Our framing teacher has an artistic mind, which I love. She's great at teaching and she's very personable.
"People should definitely take the framing class -- it's worth it," she said. "It's extremely easy and it's super cheap if you do it yourself."
The center has a full pottery and ceramics area with more than 2,000 ceramic molds for people to choose from, and a wide variety of hobbies and skill classes are offered monthly ranging from sewing, quilting, mosaics, drawing and painting, as well as classes for children. Currently the only class offered is for framing, but the center is always looking for new volunteers to teach other classes, said the program manager.
"We have an amazing glass workshop, as well," she said. "The only thing anyone has to do is show up and we have everything they need to get started."
Although currently unavailable for use, the center also boasts a fully-equipped woodshop that allows people build anything from a jewelry box to custom furniture, said the program manager. Once the craft center acquires the personnel to run the woodshop, it will be fully operational again, said Dietz.
Once the woodshop is operational again, to use the woodshop or take classes in the woodshop, participants will have to first complete a one-hour safety course, which will help people become familiar with the equipment and how it works.
Most classes have age requirements and are available by appointment only, so it's suggested that patrons sign up for all classes at least 24 hours before class time.
If people would rather have someone do the work for them, the center also offers a host of services, including framing, gifts, engraving, custom embroidery, screen printing and sublimation, which allows people to customize just about anything from clothes, bags, mugs and more.
"We can put a face or an image on coasters, mugs, polyester shirts, onesies, bibs -- just about anything," said Dietz. "As long as it's made of the right material, we can do it."
There is also plenty of merchandise that people can purchase and engrave, including the miniature sculptures of Sgt. Ted E. Bear; silver, bronze and copper award eagles; various plaques and trophies; as well as personalized name plates and office gifts.
For more information on the center's services, classes or products, call 255-9020.