When I was in high school, I discovered photography. This medium really helped me to explore my creative side. The mix of technical know-how and creativity was really appealing to me. Getting my hands dirty in the darkroom was just as much fun as going out to shoot. I began to craft using old slides in college. I carved, melted, and generally abused slides and then printed from them to see what I got. Little did I know that I was just beginning to discover my destructive side.
When I transferred to Towson University, I did not realize that my photo credits would not transfer. I was already accepted, so I had to change gears. Photography was fast becoming all digital anyway, so I was happy to learn something new. I soon discovered the Inter-Disciplinary Craft major and thought it would be a great fit. After taking a crazy mix of metal smithing, stained glass, paper making and so much more, I was released into the "real world" to find my niche. It was pretty difficult, after college, to figure out how to make work without the parameters of a teachers syllabus to guide me.
I took a good 6 month crafting break and got a job with the Howard County Arts Council. I was surrounded by so many creative people that I soon needed a project and decided on creating a mosaiced mailbox. I had never made a mosaic, but was inspired by artist Ginger Peloquin, as I watched her create the HCAC 25th Anniversary Benchmark.
When my mailbox was complete I had a pile of left over plate pieces that needed a new purpose. I decided to wrap one in silver solder and make a pendant out of it. I began to get lots of compliments and asked were they could buy one. I opened my Etsy shop in September 2006. With encouragement from my friend Annie, I did my first craft show, Handmade Arcade, in November and was hooked on craft ever since. I soon became known as "The Broken Plate lady" and decided that this could be a full time job.
On my last day of work at The Art Council, I learned there was going to be a kink in my full time crafting plan. I was pregnant! With the OK from my doctor, I was able to continue soldering after my first trimester and do a lighter craft show schedule. Even with this kink in my plan, the crafting community kept me busy, sane and entertained as I awaited the arrival of Nolan in September. I even opened a new shop in this time called MuthaCrafter, to sell some of my new baby and maternity ideas. I am in the process of finding a good screen printer to really make my ideas for this a reality.
I am getting used to this motherhood thing and slowly getting back to crafting. It is pretty hard to break plates and solder with a baby, but I am figuring it out. I just started writing for a new blog called Crafting in a Green World which explores the world of recycled crafting. Please check it out!
I think that covers me. I can't wait to get more involved with BEST and see how far our teamwork can take us!