For me, craft has always been about the process. Since I was young I’ve been drawn to learning the process in which things around me are made. I used to make paper sculptures, like giraffes and dolls, and even a T.V. once when I was about six years old. My first dabble in ceramics was when I was seven, and our teacher took us to the school’s ceramic studio for a day. She told us to make a pinch bowl first, and then let us make whatever we wanted. I loved the idea of something I made being able to be used (albeit the things I made then were heavy and too small to hold anything realistic). She took us in a week later to glaze the things we made, but after that I didn’t do anything with clay until I reached my second year of college.
Instead, I made use of a wide variety of craft materials. I started folding paper at age seven, and my grandma taught me to crochet and knit at age nine. At age eleven I was learning macramé and at age twelve I had started working with wire to make my own jewelry, including a non-pierced earring design that I still wear today at age twenty-two (most people don’t notice that my ears aren’t actually pierced).
At age twelve, I was also taking piano lessons and simultaneously composing music on my own. I recorded an entire album of self-composed new age instrumental piano music, called “Eslithia” when I was fourteen.
At age fourteen, I started using my wire-working skills and combined it with my new interest in glass seed beads and started making small-scale sculptures such as flowers and animals and even a few small flower bud vases by stringing the beads on thin wire and wrapping it around a stronger wire frame. I yearned for a functional medium, but I was still five years away from discovering my true craft medium.
I continued with all of the different mediums I had learned throughout the years, and I also continued with music. I started learning how to play the guitar at age fourteen. I was part of my high school’s ballroom dance team, the school’s junior women’s choir, and the school’s musical production club. I still found time to work on craft projects at home and fill my sketchbooks during classes.
I started sewing clothes for myself out of curiosity. Instead of using store-bought patterns, I looked at the clothes I already owned and created cutout patterns by seeing the different shapes. I painted the shirts I made, and soon had about ten different ones that I would wear to school. In combination with my sculptural jewelry, I had a unique style of my own.
I started writing lyrical songs with my guitar in my Sophomore year of high school, and in my Junior year, I won the high school’s talent show with my first complete original song, “Show Me the Simple Things”.
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