I'm a crafter. For the most part I stick with the fiber arts; knitting has always been the craft that I return to again and again. But I've dabbled with all sorts of things. I've done embroidery, decoupage, papier mache, needlepoint, sewing, woodworking. (I'm sure there's more, but I'm still on my first coffee here.)
I believe in the power of making things. I believe that it's a way to unlock your creativity, to relax, to form community, to think of the world in new ways, to raise awareness, to raise funds, to raise spirits, to see what you're capable of, to express yourself, to free yourself from dependence on mass production, to appreciate our foremothers and fathers, to connect with children.
Maybe it's my grandmother's recent passing that has made me think of the wide variety of things that I used to make. She was primarily a needlecrafter, herself, but she turned her hand to a lot of things, too, and we used to do a lot of crafts together. Lately I've been interested in exploring what else I can make for my home, my family and friends.
Last week I did a needle felting workshop for some friends, and despite the chaos of many kids swirling about, we had a fun time. Not only did I enjoy sharing this new little craft that I've been doing lately, I got to see what other people did with the skill. I loved seeing that, other ideas, other perspectives, other techniques being innovated. One woman made a stab at making realistic carrot tops for her carrots -- not easy with a needle felter, let me tell you! One woman made a banana with peel that comes down.
So that got me thinking, wouldn't it be fun to do a lot more crafts? (Big leap, I know.) I'm thinking I might start an informal crafting group, with an emphasis on crafting things which are meant to be used, and using shared, thrifted, or inexpensive materials. Crafting is very tied in with opting out of consumerism, for me. Or maybe that's exerting too much control. That's the big thing that crafting is for me, but who's to say what it is for someone else? That's something to find out, I guess.
Next week I'll call about this superb space I know about and see if I can have it for a regular thing. I'm pretty sure that getting members for a crafting group will *not* be a problem.
Here's some of the felting that's been eating my brain: