Monday, May 16, 2011

Craft Know-how Wishlist

I have massive respect for those who specialize in a single craft and become an absolute master of it. But my personality is such that I would never be happy doing one thing for the rest of my life. Of course there is a tendency to go overboard at times but I try not to do that. Overboard = strain on wallet!

But here is a small list of things I wish I knew how to do - and stuff that I'm going to learn during my life.

Knitting - The idea of taking string and doing fancy stitches on two pieces of metal or wood to make beautiful pieces of fabric and clothing just makes my head spin.

I do have a basic knowledge of knit and purl stitches, but I want to do more than odd pieces of flat squares and rectangles.

And how cool is this bus? I can't tell if that's paint or actual knitting but it's still pretty cool.

Crochet - So even more mind boggling than one string and two sticks, is one string and one stick. I've heard all sorts of arguments why crochet is easier than knitting, but I admit, the whole thing escapes me.

But I do know that knitting and crochet are becoming more in style again. The good things never die, right? They just wax and wane like the moon.

Black Work - Oh those sleeves! An ancient craft (at least 500 years ancient) that uses negative space well. All the black work that I've seen in portraits just makes me green with envy. Beautiful work!

I have ventured into black work before with a blackwork Pikachu which sits in a frame by my computer.  I want to find a book with more traditional patterns but it does seem that black work is in a waning period.

Mosaic - Small tiles, bits of irregularly shaped glass, a flat surface and some tile grout and you have a 4000 year old craft. Companies make mosaics easier due to packaging the necessary materials. Craft stores sell all the tools one needs to make pictures.

Mosaics have graced the walls, floors and ceilings of everything from religious structures, wealthy homes, brothel houses, to kitchens, patios and bathrooms of everyday people. A little time and creativity and you have an eye refreshing approachable work of art.

Wirework - This, like a lot of crafts, runs the gamut from practical goods - like the picture - to works of art both decor and jewelry.

I want to focus here more on practical goods, not jewelry though. I love the idea of giving a wire bowl to my family for Christmas, or having a picnic basket made completely out of woven wire. I saw a pattern for a copper tubing and wire earring holder. It was fun and funky!

Sewing - My mother could fix clothes, make cute things, and could whip out a hem faster than I could figure out how to work the pins!

I did take a sewing course in high school (a lifetime ago!) and made a cloak and a dress, but I don't remember much, nor did I learn what I wanted to learn which is period costuming.

I have a passion for the old, and I would love to work out at Ren Faires for a living selling costumes and jewelry and practical goods.

Viking Knit - This could have gone under wirework truthfully, but I felt this deserved its own section.

Finding information on this craft is difficult. My library isn't the greatest for craft information, I'll admit. And for some reason I'm struggling to find history on this craft. But the tools are simple - a dowel, a board with holes, some tape and wire.

Plus you can add things to Viking Knit like pearls, crystals, and I've seen chain maille added as a focal pieces and the like!

Felting - There are a few different versions of felt. There is knitted felt - you knit a piece first and then you felt it with hot water, soap and agitation, usually in a clothes washer. Then there's punch felting - using a tool that is a handle with a bunch of needles. And then there's a type of felting that I saw at a Faire in Germany. The lady had a ball of wool and was felting it the old way - hand agitation, water and soap.

Weaving - Rugs. Jewelry. Good Luck Charms. Decor. Clothing. Weaving is one of the oldest forms of making cloth.

I was in China a few years ago, and we went to a silk rug factory. Obviously it was just a factory front (there is no way 20 girls make thousands of rugs) but it was fascinating to see. There were mostly pile rugs but there were some picture rugs that were just basic weaving. Well, I say basic, but it's anything but. The glorious patterns they made!

Chain Mail (Maile, Maille) - I have a book of lovely chain mail jewelry, and I just haven't taken the time to acquire the materials to make it. Well, that and I'm a bit on the poor side. ^_^ Ah well, we all need dreams yeah?

But I love making jewelry, and I want to learn this. So I'm going to learn it as soon as I can afford the materials. There is a chain mail watch band that I just adore!

Quilting - What a way to use your scraps from sewing eh? Of course, nowadays quilts are made just to make quilts. But back when the motto was "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" you just had to use scraps for something.

But people being the creative wonders that we are, made patterns. They discovered that doing something 'just so' made something that was not only functional but beautiful.  And now we have entire machines dedicated to the fabrication of quilts! Wonders never cease.

Polymer Clay - From beads to sculptures, decorative and lovely polymer clay is a beautiful way to create. Acryllic rollers, pasta machines, and countless books have helped people create miniature works of art. There are whole competitions based on this craft!

Actually there are whole competitions based on almost every single craft mentioned today.

This is a short list, and not in any particular order, but that's 12 different crafts that have peaked my interest. I could spend forever becoming a true crafter. ^_^ Until then, I'm going to continue learning and doing! The path of a crafter is a long but very, very rewarding one.

Happy crafting out there!

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean by wanting do to so many crafts. I'm in that boat as well, but I'm finding that I'm not that great at some things. Cross stitching so far is the easiest and best thing for me right now.

    Can't wait to see what you're going to get into next. :)