My particular creativity is expressed through things I make with my hands. I prefer to make functional things because it makes me feel useful. But, I also like to make non-functional things as a giddy release from all the practicality of making useful things. Although, the functional things I make usually have a tinge of giddiness about them. You just can’t banish that sort of thing. And why would you want to? That brings me to why I make functional things: becauseit’s more fun to live and interact with interesting, fun things than with things that are boring and uninspired.
I especially like to make furniture: the things we use most in our personal spaces. I use fine joinery in my furniture, so the pieces will outlive me and probably you. The wood is dyed and finished with my very own hands using low VOC polyacrylic or whey-based finishes. These products are used so as to spare my brain cells, as well as the environment.
In addition to being a woodworker, I am also a fiber artist. I like to dye and weave cloth, then use it in my furniture as a design element. It’s a fun challenge for me to think of different ways to make cloth interact with wood. Since I use the same dyes in the cloth as I do in the wood, the colors coordinate beautifully.
Most of what I do has stripes in it somewhere, if not everywhere. Stripes are fun! They also provide a stable format within which I can play with colors. Stripes and I go way back. Growing up on a farm in central Illinois, I was surrounded by the stripes of rows and rows of corn and soybean fields. My farmgirl background also explains why I like to make practical things: there are quilters and farm implement inventors swimming around in my ancestral pool. And the feral summers of childhood on the farm helped establish my sense of adventure.
To sum it up, I just really like hand-made things better than machine-made things. Things made by the human hand feel more human oriented and more kind. And it makes me happy to be one of the lucky ones who can design and create beautiful things with my hands.