STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – As summer rolls on, many Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market businesses return to their same stalls week after week, steady and loyal. Others debut on the market during the season, fresh and energetic, some for a single Saturday, which makes this appearance all the more important.
This Saturday, the 27 young jewelry designers, ages 8 to 14, from Steamboat Creates Camp – Jewelry Making a Difference – will bring the products they’ve created to a one-of-a-kind farmer’s market stall. Items will include handmade earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and hair clips, spanning a rainbow of materials and techniques from mixed metal to leather to fabric and pearls.
As beautiful as the jewelry is, the story of its creation is just as beautiful. Strawberry Park Elementary Vice-Principal Eron Haubert and fourth-grade teacher Heidi Hamric both gave theater camp for the first time last summer and loved it. As jewelers, they toyed with the idea of incorporating a Steamboat Creates jewelry making camp with bigger ideas.
“That’s one of the big things in the classroom: how can we help globally and locally?” said Habert. “How can we do more to give back to our community? »
So throughout the jewelry-making week, representatives from the Routt County Humane Society, Bud Werner Memorial Library, LiftUp of Routt County, Denver Children’s Hospital, and the Yampa Valley Autism Project visited the camp, engaging artists with discussions about how and why their organizations work.
“We want students to understand the amazing organizations we have in our community,” Haubert said.
“It’s nice to know that I don’t just make jewelry for my own use — I make it for others,” said Emma Haubert, 11, jewelry camp artist and daughter of Eron Haubert. “It was really fun to know what you donate to and what will happen when you donate.”
To support artists’ processing and brainstorming, each kept a journal. Sharing circles encouraged cooperation; teamwork was everywhere. Within the camp structure, campers’ questions and ideas guided the trajectory of the week.
“It was really student-run – it was really beautiful,” said Eron Haubert. “They just went for it.”
Along the way Erin Kreis, art teacher at Strawberry Park Elementary School, and several interns supported the group.
On Saturday, jewelry will be available for purchase by suggested donation to one of the partner nonprofit organizations.
Jewelry will be displayed at the booth, a process the artists learned at camp. The artists themselves will occupy the market stall in shifts, and each has a business card and artist statement, conceptualized and crafted over the course of the week.
“We’ve learned that you need a story behind what you’re selling. That way it will sell better because people will know what inspired you,” Emma said.
For example, Emma’s artist statement describes how she and her friends created “this weird character” earlier this year called Pizza Cat. The first jewel she made this week was Pizza Cat.
“It inspired me to do more food jewelry,” Emma said.
Her jewelry series includes clay s’mores earrings, donut earrings and a hamburger ring.
The Jewelry Making a Difference booth will be open at the Farmers Market on Saturday August 3rd.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.