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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March is National Craft Month | My crafting journey

March is National Craft Month and I thought it would be a perfect time to share about my love of crafting. Plus I want to know what kinds of crafts you like to do. And don't think that you aren't crafty, because I know you are. Everyone loves to create something whether it is what I call 'big art' or just something small, like a little pencil sketch or doodle.

Ah, doodling. Doodling is what led me to quit my corporate job over 7 years ago and jump full-time into the photography business I operate along with my husband, Allan. I used to sit in long meetings and on conference calls and doodle. And one day I realized I wasn't cut out for the boring corporate world, but for bigger things, like doodling. And photography. But you are probably wondering what in the world photography has to do with my Sassy Glass Studio blog. Well, nothing and everything.

If you have been around me or my blog for a while you know that I inherited the fused glass business from my sister-in-law and that I agreed to take over the kilns and glass because I was already thrashing around in the land of the self-employed and figured I would have time to 'mess around' with the glass a bit. Ha! I no sooner took possession of all the equipment and glass than had a website and blog and an Etsy shop set up. But that's not what I really want to share during National Craft Month. What I want to share is how I have always loved to craft, to create something from nearly nothing and want to keep learning.

Since as far back as I can remember, you know like a hundred years, I have loved to draw. I am not very good at it, but I have a huge collection of crayons and colored pencils so that when I get the urge, I can sit and draw something. Anything. I think I just love all the colors more than anything. Which would explain why I love make-up but don't wear it. The colors overwhelm me, I think. Anyway, I digress. Art class through my grammar school years was the best part of every week and I learned how to create some many cool things. To this day I still think about papiermache. And paste. And construction paper. And right-handed scissors. And I smile.

During this time I experimented with creating really cool works of art with every type of wood I could lay my hands on. My dad was a home builder and architectural woodworker so there was never a shortage of wood. Give me a hammer and a nail and I would make a cool piece of art. I learned how to be very abstract during this period. Nothing ever looked like it was supposed to and I was pretty cool with that. I also designed my own greeting cards. A holiday wasn't complete unless you got a specially designed card from me. I had my own tag line on the back...Sign of the ____. Sometimes it was whale, sometimes it was owl, sometimes it might have been dog. I could have been Hallmark!

When I was in high school I took every art class possible. I learned about fine art and tried all the techniques only to find that as much as I loved creating, I was never particularly awesome at any one medium. For instance, to this day I love, love, love to get out my watercolors and paint. But I am not very good. I paint the koi in my fish pond and they end up looking like limp orange noodles. I give it my best shot, but I would starve as a watercolor artist. High school art classes definitely helped give me confidence to try art and experience some success. It also showed me that teaching art was pretty cool too.

So years go by and I don't really do any art. Not formally at least. I try out graphic design. Before it was done with computers, mind you. And I liked that. But it didn't really click. Fast-forward to the early 2000's and there I am with a camera in my hand. It's not the first time I held a camera, but this was different. This was exhilarating. And then, of course, came the fused glass. And now I combine the two, fusing full-color images by way of a specially created decal to fused glass. Pretty cool. And that knowledge I gained in high school that teaching art was cool, has led me to teaching fused glass classes. Teaching is so much fun and I learn something in every class. Amazing!

So there you have a round about, rather long story relating my love of crafting. But there is more than just the art. There's the love of writing, of attempting to stitch two or more pieces of fabric together and of renovating old homes. It's all crafting. And it's all me.

I want to know about you! What are your favorite arts and crafts? What craft or art would you do if time and money were of no concern? What would you like to learn? What craft or art would you want to teach?
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