Women’s Center holds quilling workshop and Native American discussion


Jan Radar and Diana Ryman, attendees of the Women’s Center’s Quilling Workshop, put their skills to work during the event on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. 

Lyric Aquino

In a meeting room within Kent State’s Women’s Center, 10 women gathered to discuss their affiliations with Native American heritage and learn how to quill — a type of paper rolling craft where folded strips of paper are turned into pictures.

Their goal was to make a card that they could gift to someone. But in the end, the women left having learned so much more.

“You’re only limited by your imagination,” instructor Nell Orndorf said.

The women sat side-by-side as they carefully watched Orndorf take strips of paper and turn them into intricate card details.

Orndorf has been volunteering at the Women’s Center for five years. She came to the center to attend a movie with a friend and noticed that nearly every nationality was represented with a flag — except for Native Americans.

“Well, that gave me a cause,” Orndorf said. “That’s all I needed: a cause.”

She teaches a large variety of classes, from card making to stress management, and eventually hopes to have a class on traditional Native American beading.

Kathy Mims, manager of student accounts at the university’s Bursar’s Office, attended the quilling event in hopes that she’d learn a new craft.

“I saw the email and I love these types of things,” Mims said.

As she created an intricate flower out of paper rolls, she said that she attends many of the events that the center holds. 

The Women’s Center hosts multiple events and activities that bring members of the community together. A donation-based pantry is set up for students and those in need to access, and they also host events for card making and empowerment. The center also aims to provide support for victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse and sexual harassment.

Brea Gunn, a sophomore nursing major and student employee at the Women’s Center, said she sees people come and go all day long.

“It’s not just for women,” Gunn said. “If a man is victim to sexual assault or abuse, we can help them.”

Gunn said the events are so popular because “they mean something.”

“I would do one of these classes for one person,” said Ordnorf, who said she is a big believer in the use of one’s time in order to create things and learn.

“If you have a good imagination, you not only could relax; you could make a dress, make a card or cook a meal,” Orndorf said.

During Wednesday’s meeting, she discussed how her Native American culture has shaped who she is and how it has contributed to Kent State. Orndorf has also donated a quilt to the university’s Multicultural Department, along with many other items.

Orndorf once made a shawl and gave it to a Kent State student, who wore it to a protest. The shawl is now on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

“I think people should come to these events because they give people a sense of relief,” Orndorf said. “I just want people to be able to take what I taught them home and use it in their own lives.”

For a schedule of events, check out the Women’s Center website at kent.edu/womenscenter.

Lyric Aquino is the humanities reporter, contact her at [email protected].