Tuesday, November 13, 2007

With these hands

I've been a crafter for many years. Ever since I was a little girl and my grandmother showed me how to dry, paint, and then string together melon seeds to make necklaces and bracelets.

My mother showed my how to do some simple embroidery stitches and I made her a sunglasses case out of felt and floss. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she's still using it.

My first Saturday job was in a local needlecraft shop where I discovered the world of cross stitch and tapestry and spending my pay before I even got it.

I got back into making jewellery in my late 20's, this time with glass and wire, then silver and semi-precious stones. I took some summer classes at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham (UK) in silversmithing, stone setting, gemology and pearl stringing.

About two years ago I went to Canada on holiday and went to a class on fabric dyeing and from that started dyeing and selling my own range of fabrics and threads.

I know many people who craft in one form or another and one thing I've noticed along the way, is that the hands that create the most beautiful things are usually hard worn, coloured, scratched, cut, burned, or shriveled and pruny.

I was looking at my hands just now, which after a hard days dyeing definitely fall into the shriveled and pruny category, with a side order of stained, and thinking that they look awful. Then I looked at all the wonderful colours of fabric and threads that I've created with them, and somehow it doesn't matter any more.