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FabLab hosts Halloween-themed workshops

Student molds laser cut leather mask

By Nick Tarrant, The Shorthorn Staff

After a month of designing and creating, costumes will come to life on Halloween.

During the month of October, the Department of Experiential Learning and Undergraduate Research hosts an event called “More Than a Mask,” a series of workshops where students can use the FabLab to create Halloween costumes. Students can attend the department’s costume party from noon to 4 p.m., Oct. 31 in the FabLab.

“Part of the hope of this is to, from my perspective, is to get students thinking about the process of creating things,” Experiential Learning and Undergraduate Research Department head Gretchen Trkay said.

Sponsored by UTA libraries, Trkay said every month is a different theme of workshops related to arts and crafts, as part of the Experience UTA Libraries series. During September, the series was titled Life At College, where one workshop taught students how to cook food in their dorm room.

Trkay said More Than a Mask is the first event to focus on costume design and making, and was chosen as October’s theme because of Halloween.

Students brainstormed their costume ideas during the first workshop and then began to design and create their costumes during the following workshops. Free supply kits are given to the first 20 students who attend. Students are also advised to use the FabLab on their own time to finish their costumes in time for the costume party.

Nathalie Palacios, broadcast and journalism junior, said she attended October’s first workshop, where she brainstormed ideas for what costume she wanted to create. Stuck between characters from ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and a character from “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” she decided to make a Harley Quinn costume because it’s easier to make than her other ideas.

“It’s kind of good to have someone to help you throughout this whole process,” Palacios said.

Because professionals from businesses Tandy Leather and Reynolds Industrial Contractors Inc. will attend Wednesday’s workshop to assist students, Trkay said she thinks the student turnout will be higher than in the past. An average of 15 students attend each workshop.

“We have so many students who didn’t even realize that stuff was there for them to use,” Trkay said.

Norma Ayala, secondary English education teaching senior, said if she heard about the event sooner, she would have attended last week’s sewing workshop. She also suggests the library use social media and posters to advertise future events.

The month of November will focus on teaching students how to build digital portfolios for graduate school applications.

The next workshop will be from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the FabLab.