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The Fabric of Life: Back to Basics at The Handwork Studio

Where a hands-on approach to hand-making shows kids what investing time and creativity can do.

“My 6-year-old took a Creature Creation workshop via the Girl Scouts, it was cool! I helped with tying the thread and holding her project steady, but she did the rest. I was impressed! The instructor was great.”   

~ Nykia M. Perez Kibler

Since the dawn of humankind, survival has depended on the handmade: shelter, clothing, and tools of all kinds, crafted with human ingenuity. Even just centuries ago, in harmony with the advent of industrialization, handworking skills continued to be passed from generation to generation. Needlework, carpentry, trades, and cooking techniques were taught out of necessity, and then later, a simple sense of family pride. 

But with the Digital Age upon us, our survival no longer depends on handmade goods. Our lifestyles have changed, and so have our values. Handworking nearly anything is hobby instead of art, pastime instead of necessity. Crafting is quaint, and even a homecooked meal can be foregone, with so many convenient options at our disposal. Working with our hands, creating, building, and all of the tradition and psycho-social development that comes with it? These natural human inclinations are falling by the wayside. 

Enter The Handwork Studio, a place where a needle and thread looms larger for a child than the bottomless abyss of an iPhone screen, a kid-oriented artistic oasis that returns to us the uncomplicated joy of creating by hand. Machine sewing, quilt-making, and other fiber arts are the core of the varied, year-round programming offered here for kids from 5 to 15. 

“The Handwork Studio. Where Kids Learn by Making.”

When founder Laura Kelly conceived her vision of The Handwork Studio 18 years ago, it was in answer to a question of her own, from a mother’s perspective : how would her children be cared for and nurtured, away from her, out in the world? How would their learning inform who they would become? While visiting a potential preschool, observing a class as the children worked with their hands, on needlework and cooking, with closely engaged teachers, Kelly saw the multilayered education a crafting, project-based curriculum could provide. 

Fiber Arts Workshop

Built from the ground up, with all of the loving attention to detail of one of its own studio projects, Kelly designed The Handwork Studio. Today, it’s with pride that Kelly acknowledges the breadth of learning that needlework and other hands-on traditional techniques contribute to childhood development: fine-motor skills, math, planning, problem-solving, and that elusive quality for today’s screen-scrolling kids: patience. Add to this the satisfying bonus of tangible, take-home projects and skills that last a lifetime.

Machine Sewing Class

“I feel lucky to be able to do the work that we’re doing in the time that we’re doing it,” Kelly says. 

Always available to enrich our regional community’s children with enduring skills, The Handwork Studio’s new program will embrace our global community with Handwork Academy, soon available online. This world-wide expansion will allow parents, teachers and craft enthusiasts across the globe to know the pleasure and pride that handwork brings.

More locally, The Handwork Studio features new summer camp choices for 2019, including woodworking, cosplay, and cooking. Enjoy innovative camp options for all ages: 

·     Fiber Arts Camp (Formerly Handwork Camp) (Ages 5-12)

·     Glamorize Your Doll Camp® (Ages 7-12)

·     Fashion & Machine Sewing Camp (Ages 9-15)

·     Fashion Bootcamp (Ages 11-16)

·     Sew-Tech Camp (Ages 8-14)

·     Memory Quiltmaking Camp (Ages 8-15)

·     Sweets, Treats & Eats (Ages 6-12)

·     Theatrical Costume Design Camp (Ages 9-15)

·     Cosplay Camp (Ages 9-14)

·     Woodworking Camp (Ages 8-14)

·     Counselor-in-Training (14-16)

Woodworking workshop

Now thriving in over 30 sites in six states, offering 700 summer camps to over 3,000 kids, The Handwork Studio has come full circle, truly woven into the fabric of daily life for children and families across the region. To cultivate the artist and crafter in your child and enroll for summer, find out more about The Handwork Studio.

This Sponsored Story by Karen Barbuscia supports the Main Line Parent Community. Photography courtesy of The Handwork Studio.

The Handwork Studio, a fun, summer enrichment camp where kids learn by making. Since 2001, they've been the leading educators in teaching kids hands-on skills that you won't find in the school curriculums anymore. Whether your child is interested in building, sewing, coding or design, they provide engaging activities for kids to embrace their imagination and think like innovators. 📍PA, DC, VA, MD Learn more at thehandworkstudio.com.