Did it start in the cellar with wood scraps, a hammer, nails and some string? Or was it at the kitchen table with scissors, scraps of fabric and paper, glue, crayons and paint? Either way, it was before my memory could capture it that I became absorbed in making things, and I am still making things more than half a century later. The crafting of objects has been my pleasure, my therapy, my career, and a means of expressing myself.
There is always another craft waiting to be explored, but first I have to test the possibilities of the one I’m working on at any given time – and one thing leads to another, of course. Paper marbling led to bookbinding, covered box construction and handmade cards. Reed basketmaking led to weaving baskets from vines and leaves and other natural materials from my yard, and then to making splint baskets from ash logs. A trip to the scrap metal junkyard with Steve led to learning to weld in order to construct metal sculpture. Sometimes things go full circle; fifty years ago I was sewing doll clothes for my own dolls and now I sew them for my grandchildren’s dolls.
My creations are often easily parted with – sold or given away. But sometimes the fruits of my labor seem like a part of me, almost like children, and can’t be given up. It isn’t so much the expense or the amount of time put into them, but the emotional connection.