Featured in the February 2011 edition.
Written by Tracey Kifford from WowThankYou
"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do ... but how much love we put in that action."
What drives the artist, the crafter, artisan or small producer? Hopefully it’s not always a case of "I must get these orders filled for Valentine’s Day or Easter or else I’m for the high jump!" Surely there must be an element of loving what you do and a sense of satisfaction at producing items that are unique, personal and brilliant? What makes you get out your sewing machine/sketch pad each day - why do you do it?
For some there is an element of breaking free from the mundane day job and entering the freedom of doing what you want to do. For others who have already made the jump and given up the day job there must be a sense of liberation and excitement, of course tempered by the need to pay the bills. How do you feel about what you do? Is it therapeutic ‘chicken soup for the soul’? Does it provide some useful pennies? Does it give you more quality time with your family?
The crafters on WowThankYou have told us their reasons for doing what they do and these range from being able to spend more time with the kids to feeling more at one with the universe.
Ley Holloway from the Vintage Beadery says she works intuitively "If it feels good do it ... I make it up as I go along". Ley adds "Sometimes the best bit about creating is being able to surprise yourself with the result ... and it is not what you set out to accomplish but is just great all the same". Ley recently produced a fabulous piece from the accidental mixture of two sets of beads that occurred simply because she had not cleared away a previous project, "untidy is sometimes good and some of the best work comes from this type of spontaneity ... producing something totally off the wall is sometimes the best way to start a new trend or brand."
Martina Macklin of Sparrow Primitives has a more primeval need to create something new; she says "Creating is something I am driven to do and I have been doing it from when I was old enough to hold a pair of knitting needles ... The best bit for me is seeing something take shape from a piece of fabric and take on a character of its own." She gets a real sense of satisfaction from creating her products and ends by saying "Nothing beats the feeling you get when someone likes your creation enough to buy it."
Pandy Grenville-Evans of Princess Kitten has a more earthy view of crafting and grafting telling us that "the very best bit about crafting is getting all mucky and realising that you have forgotten to cook dinner! You get so involved in what you are doing the whole world disappears." I suppose one could call this the shear organic joy of creating something unique and escaping into your own world just for a little while.
Lisa Galvan-Reyes of Craft on Canvas is an artist and a talented interior designer and uses her skills to do the things she loves. "I have a passion for home interiors and I love to create an individual look." She loves the colours and the challenge of producing a unique design to give an individual look. She sums up her love of crafting, "I love the excitement, the apprehension, the challenge. I also love the variation of painting, cutting and sewing that is involved with my artwork. I love to involve my children, asking them to draw new designs and colour them in. The kids actually give me some great ideas and they know that their opinions are valued in everything I produce."
Charlotte Hupfield from Charllotte Hupfield Ceramics is a talented ceramicist producing wonderful contemporary pieces, which she markets through her own studio and shop. She loves the idea of having her workshop/studio at home and only a few paces away so that when inspiration strikes she can act immediately and produce that ‘killer’ piece. She says "nothing can beat the wonderful feeling when someone buys a piece that I have produced, and knowing that the item will be loved and appreciated as much as I have done."
There are of course added perks to working from home, as Helen Lloyd-Hoare from Moonstone Glass enthuses, "I love crafting, because it means I can be surrounded all day by the people I love. We enjoy working together, and spending fun-filled days at fairs and festivals. My daughters love being part of the family business."
Gaye Milton-Weekes from A&V Designs is of the opinion that most crafters do not do it for the money. She has such enthusiasm that she says "when a new batch of fabrics arrives, I always feel like a child in a sweetie shop!" She loves all her items, and feels this is important, "I know I love what I do and every item I make becomes my new favourite – until I finish the next one! ... Even when I’m not working I find myself drifting into the work room to look at the fabrics which excite me." She concludes, "How do I know I love what I do?" "Well, I’ve not made anything I wouldn’t have loved to keep for myself."
So there you have it - crafters do what they do for a variety of reasons: Immense satisfaction being a great start, an enjoyable hobby that brings in a modest income that can be carried out around being a parent, a ‘release’ from the everyday stresses of modern life ... they do it because they love it and can give over part of themselves in what they do, producing articles from the heart of their creative imagination for the rest of us to admire, appreciate, purchase and cherish.
Happy Valentine’s Day from WowThankYou. I started on a quote, so I’ll end on another one:
"Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination."