Stony Brook’s chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance, Dumbledore’s Army, held its first wand-making factory on Friday, Feb. 22. The club, which put together last semester’s Yule Ball, is part of a national organization with the goal to translate some ideas from the Harry Potter series into the real world and helping others through events that have included benefit concerts and book drives.
The idea for the factory was found online. Members and nonmembers were welcome to stop by the workshop and create a wand.
“It’s mostly just to have fun and relax a bit, get some knowledge out about the club,” Samantha Andujar, the club’s treasurer, said.
Students surrounded tables in a Student Activities Center meeting room stocked with dowels cut by USG, along with paint, glue guns and beads to create unique designs on the wands.
The process, President Emma Ottinger explained, entailed sanding down the rough edges of the dowels so that they could be painted and decorated. Some looked as if they could have been used as props in the Harry Potter movies.
Music played in the background, ranging anywhere from classic rock to Harry Potter parody songs. In addition, there were some rules found on the chalkboard at the event that warned visitors “Do NOT touch the glue guns. Ever,” “Use caution when dueling. NO stabbing. NO eye gouging,” “NO Unforgivable Curses” and “Do NOT do anything stupid.”
“We wanted to do something crafty because a lot of events we’ve seen that have had crafts have been really successful,” Secretary Ivy Peckman said. She explained that it was an enjoyable way to incorporate features of the books.
“We wanted to call it Olivander’s Wand Factory, but that was too long so that’s where we got the ‘Wand Factory’ from,” Peckman said.
The workshop found much success in gaining interest from students who are not formally a part of the club, according to Peckman.
“Most of the people here aren’t actually general body members, so it’s always a good sign when you have people outside the tight-knit club,” Peckman said.
David Meltzer, who is not a member of Dumbledore’s Army, described the event as “nice,” referring to how he liked that the workshop was “relaxed.”
Tristan Catalano, a member since last semester, said of the factory “I think it’s awesome,” and would definitely want to see it again in the future.
The club’s president and secretary agreed that it was something they wanted to continue.
“I think we might make this an annual thing. It’s a lot of fun,” Peckman added.
The wand-making factory was not only a test-run for Dumbledore’s Army, Ottinger explained, but for the Craft Center as well. The Craft Center heard about the event and is looking to incorporate it into its upcoming Fantasy Night.
The club also organizes a carnival called “A Day at Hogsmeade” based off of the town feature in the series. Members will create different kinds of booths that include food, displays of Harry Potter merchandise, and games like last year’s “Pin the Tail on the Dudley.”