Thursday, October 2, 2008


I haven’t talked much about crafts on this blog, despite including it in my header, but I actually really love crafts and artisan-ship (is that a word?). I often look through the courses offered at the UC Davis craft center and Davis Adult School, and I can’t decide which one I want to take, because I want to take too many of them.

I’ve been crocheting for about twelve years, and in that time I’ve made tons of stuff – mostly blankets, but also hats and other little things. I can also do some really basic knitting, but I never really picked it up and so I’m slow and incapable of being creative or fixing mistakes.

When I tore a ligament in my knee almost two years ago, I took glass fusing. Now THAT was a great class, although I didn’t make anything super useful. I made a beautiful set of sushi dishes, gray with red and green maple leaves. I made my sister a really cool dish with a purple dragonfly. For my mother-in-law, I made a dish with a mosaic-style sun on it, and for my friend’s wedding, I made a small trivet (or tile) with a Native American turtle design.

The problem with glass fusing, though, is that glass is EXPENSIVE. And I never got any good at cutting out circles. Those things are hard.

So now I’m signed up for a mosaic class, and after just two lessons, I don’t like it. I love the idea of mosaic, but I think one of the reasons is that it can be useful. Or rather, it can be a way of decorating useful things to make them unique and beautiful. I don’t really like doing art for art’s sake, partly because I’m just not very artistic. Crafty, yes; artistic, no.

But also, I'm trying to declutter my life, and having beautiful, useful things seems like a better idea than having beautiful, useless things. And we only have so much wall space.

This class requires making a decorative mosaic to hang on a wall. I'm struggling for ideas, but I think I have one now. It's going to be a "Tree of life" theme, really simple. I don't have time to make something complicated, and I want to use my new mosaic skills to make some really cool gifts for Christmas, too. I'll post some pictures if I ever manage to get started.

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