By Adriana Higuera
Although a bookbinding or basket weaving class may be a joke among some students, Web sites, such as the ever-popular facebook.com, show BYU”s Visual Arts Department does in fact offer courses in those subjects as well as calligraphy, stained glass, ceramics, sculpture, framing and printmaking.
“Depending on the availability of teachers and other staff, we offer classes on bookbinding and other subjects year-round,” a Visual Arts Department secretary said.
While the secretaries said the Visual Arts Department has no way of knowing the number of non-visual arts majors signing up to take these classes, they said certain VAStu classes – like bookbinding, basket weaving, introduction to sculpture, stained glass and introduction to watercolor – are open to the whole student body and not just to those individuals within the visual arts program. However, it seems that many in the general student population are not aware that such classes are even available to them.
“I didn”t know BYU offered classes in bookbinding and basket weaving,” said Elizabeth Jenkins, 20, a public relations major from Reno, Nev. “But it”s pretty freaking awesome! I would have taken one if I had known about them.”
One student, Laura Fernsten, 19, an open major from Castro Valley, Calif., was amazed that BYU offered classes on subjects like printmaking and oil painting. Fernsten said it was cool that all BYU students could have the opportunity to take such classes.
“Now that I know about them, I might take one or even both classes [basket weaving and bookbinding] for fun!” she said.
Not only are classes like bookbinding interesting classes to take and perhaps even serve as an escape from the stress of other courses, some of them can even count for the general education arts requirement.