I thought it was about time I let you know my answer to that question.
I grew up in a home where my parents, WWII babies, learned from an early age to make the best of what they had on hand. They were each one of eight children which meant that they learned from their parents, who were children during the Great Depression, that you saw the treasure in everything around, and you made it work for your needs. As a result, I grew up with hand-me-downs from my aunts, which I then passed on to my little sister; I also grew up surrounded by creativity. whether that was growing your own veggies, or altering a dress, or taking something apart to make something new. So it is no surprise that I became ‘crafty’, learning to sew, learning to crochet, wishing I could paint like my mom, trying out every creative outlet that was presented.
But nothing lasted long, nothing seemed to be “IT” for me, until I won an online giveaway of a 4 ounce hand painted roving.
Now-while I had tried nearly everything, I knew that I did not want to learn to use a spinning wheel (more about this at a later post), so I wondered just what the blazes I was going to do with this beautiful fiber aside from petting it! I happened upon a ‘teach yourself to needle felt’ kit, figured the cost was minimal, and gave it a try.
Finally, I found the ‘IT’ that pulled my other loves together and made a whole. Felting. After two months with those 2 needles from the kit, I had covered nearly every horizontal surface in my home with needle felted pretties. And-BONUS-I discovered that the fibers acted very much like watercolors in the way they blended together and finally found my wish to be a painter come true.
But there is more.
Felting came into my life at a very dark and low time, and I discovered the healing power of creativity. I had a way to work through my pain and sorrow, had a therapy that enabled me to stab things into existence, or thwack things to stabilize the felt…I found a light at the end of the tunnel, I found hope in the joy I received when I created. I found my purpose.
I also was blessed to have found a group of individuals who wanted to keep the fiber arts alive and well, a group that would educate and encourage others to find their joy in creating. Potwin Fiber Artisans (www.potwinfiber.org) was born out of the love of fiber, and the desire to help others through that love of fiber to spread joy. I am lucky to have stumbled on my purpose, both individually as an artisan, and collectively through my participation with PFA. A portion of my class fees and sales go to the organization to help it continue to grow as a non-profit organization, to help others find the joy in creating. And I’m glad that PFA is working alongside other non-profits in the area to help keep people warm.
I would invite you to consider joining PFA and me in our efforts to reach out to others, to help others discover the joy in creating with fiber, to educate the state in the beauty and necessity to keep these heritage arts alive and well in the 21st century. Who knows? You may discover “IT”.