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The Craft Student League Is Losing It's Home!

I am a student at the Craft Students League in New York City which is
losing its space in March and whose continued existence is under
serious threat due to current circumstances. Students and all those
involved w/ the CSL have been asked to come up with ideas, contacts,
anything that might help its continuity and I couldn’t think of a
better group to turn to then Orchid.

For over 75 years The Craft Students League has been home to all
types of crafts and craftspeople including jewelers, metalsmiths,
enamelists, ceramicists, glass workers, woodworkers, papermakers,
bookmakers, painters, mixed media artists and many others.
Professionals and dedicated enthusiasts alike have nutured their
skills in its classes.

For 30 years the Craft Students League has been based in the 53rd St.
YWCA in New York City. Unfortunately, the YWCA’s building has been
sold to developers and all classes end in mid-March. It is unclear
where the Y is going and regardless it appears that the Y will no
longer maintain its relationship w/ the CSL. The New York crafts
community and NYC itself will suffer a huge loss without the
wonderful service, community and space that the Craft Students League

If anyone knows of any space that might support a variety of crafts
people or would like to contribute time, money or ideas to help
support the CSL in its search for a new home, or to contribute to the
CSL’s new space when it finds one I believe the best contacts are
listed below. I am merely a student at CSL who thought Orchid and
other groups might be able to help. Please direct all your contacts

Fran Perrone, the Director of CSL 212-735-9730
Janna Gregonis
Director, Jewelry and Metalsmithing

For those of you who are also on other chat groups or involved with
any other organizations or businesses that you believe might be able
to help please pass on this request.

Thank you,
Joel Elfman (student, CSL)

Dear Orchid members,

I really want to thank Joel for bringing up this urgent issue. As an
instructor at the Craft Students League, I am deeply saddened by the
thought that this great organization could be dissolved. I find it
very difficult to put into words the value that CSL for myself and
everyone involved with it.

During the time I have been associated with CSL, I have come to see
what an important place it is to both new and returning students. We
have so many people who have been coming for decades. It is the
highlight of their week to spend time working on their craft. There
are the elderly students who thrive because of their creative work,
and there are also the people who have stressful corporate jobs who
take classes at CSL as a way to relax or to explore an alternate
career path. Not only do the students benefit, but the greater
community of craftspeople benefits from the great appreciation that
our students have for all handmade work, even if they take only one

My own association with the school has allowed to reach certain
stages in my own career that would have been far more difficult
otherwise. Where else in NYC could I have found a studio with so
many open hours? It was the first place I found after college to go
and work on my own projects. I also began my jewelry line so that I
would have some work to sell at the annual sale in December. It was
with the encouragement and support of my fellow staff as well as the
students that I have been able to stick with it in the slow

We have a considerable amount of physical equipment and tools, but it
is the human capital and collective knowledge of the instructors and
students that would be impossible to replace. I know that the Craft
Students League can be a self-sustained organization on it’s own. We
just need help at this critical moment to keep the momentum.

Please contact Fran or Janna, as Joel mentioned.
Thank you all in advance,

Natasha Wozniak

To Joel,

Please contact me off-line as to a new location for the Crafts
Student League. I have been a student there also ( a few years ago)
and would like to help in their search. I live on the Upper West
Side and know of a few good spots.