Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mediumless: ...more commonly known as, Art and Craft ADD

My very first paper mache sculpture - based on a children's book. You can see it took some abuse from the preschoolers before this picture was taken.  

I was probably younger than four years old when my mother sculpted a head out of paper mache and baked it in our oven in attempt to dry it.  It turned black and moldy and never hardened the way it should have.  Little did she know she was going about the drying process in the wrong manner.  After her attempt, I begged her on several other occasions to try it again.  "Paper mache doesn't work…" she would tell me, or something like that.  She probably doesn't even remember this, but it made a lasting impression on me.  I thought there was something truly amazing in turning something into something completely different.  

Already, I was addicted to art and crafting.  As a kid I made doll furniture from cardboard milk cartons, coasters out of yarn scrolled in flat disk shapes and held together with tape, looped potholders, hooked rugs, crocheted squares, line drawings, macrame, tissue paper flowers, corn husk dolls, sock puppets…  Some of these items I haven't thought about in years. They were all wonderful and fun, and yet, I didn't stick with any of them for long.

I started sewing in high school; mostly because my mother was of the "why should we pay this much for it when we can MAKE it for this much…?"  school of thought.  She had her own sewing machine, but she never sewed much.  She got me a pattern and some fabric and told me to "look at the pattern directions and figure it out."  After I while I got pretty good at it, although perfectly set zippers still elude me.  I made ruffled shirts, button down shirts, jackets, pants and costumes.  I stuck with sewing for a while and I still love to sew but I can't sew exclusively.  I'm a craft cheater.

When I worked at the preschool I tried other crafts, most notably, paper mache.  Then I drifted to making beaded jewelry at home, but I still managed to take up scrapbooking, painted wood crafts; I tried soap making and I dabbled in herbal and essential oil crafting.  One thing that's disappointing, though.  It's difficult to get spectacularly good at any one thing when you keep losing interest and switching to another craft or medium.  I used to read articles about various types of crafters and artists - telling how "… the moment they picked up…"  this or that item they were mesmerized or hooked or whatever. I still dream of finding my One True Art and Craft Love, or maybe I'm just looking for that perfect combination of paint, sculpture beads, fabric and wire…

In any case,  I am willing to keep looking, and  willing to try them all.  

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