MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Wood, clay and stones begin here as nothing, but are transformed by
artisans? hands into unique works of art.
The Craft and Hobby Center, tucked away in the 16 Area for nearly 30
years, offers civilians, military personnel and family members a chance to be
creative, said Felix Saguing, community recreation specialist for Marine
Corps Community Services. It offers three different sections: the wood
shop, ceramic shop and lapidary -- an area to shape and polish stones.
Acess to all sections is free or for a nominal fee.
The ceramics section offers a variety of projects -- including pottery,
figurines and household items -- and more than 1,000 molds available for
decoration, said Linda Whitcomb, assistant manager.
"I love to come here on Saturdays and relax," Mirta Cruz said while painting
a jewelry box. "Since I love to shop, it saves me a lot of money to come here
Center employees make ceramics by pouring mud into a mold. Once the
item has dried, it is displayed for purchase, Whitcomb said. Catalogs are
available for pieces not on display. Prices are 85 cents and up.
"This is a fun place to come," Michelle Davis, 9, said while painting a little
bathtub that will become a piece of jewelry. "I come here almost every
Saturday with my mother."
There is no table fee for the ceramics shop, but participants must pay for
supplies and services.
The wood shop provides tools for novice and expert workers, Saguing said.
"We provide enough tools to get people in trouble."
Lathes, planes, sanders, table and band saws, drills and routers are available.
Supervisors provide a relaxing but safe work atmosphere and share their
knowledge, Saguing said. "We will help as much as possible."
"When I got here, the only thing I knew how to do was hammer a nail," said
Ronald Roberts, religious program specialist. "The guys were right there to
show me what to do."
Roberts has been working on an entertainment center for his house for five
weeks, he said. "This shows how much they have helped me. I hope to be
The wood shop fee is $1 per hour, Saguing said. Customers must provide
their own materials.
The wood shop is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 5 to 9:30 p.m., and
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The lapidary offers equipment to shape, cut and polish stones. The lapidary
fee is $1 per hour.
The lapidary is open every Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m.
For more information, call 725-4880.