Woman Knitting

Hey So Glad You Are Here.

My name is Rachel but my friends call me Rae and I'm a self-confessed arts and crafts addict!

I’ve been creating things all my life.

I can’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t doing something creative. But to be honest, given my family heritage it was inevitable.

On my mother’s side, I come from a lengthy line of French luthiers that sadly I never got to meet. However, my blind grandfather, made the smoothest, silkiest wooden furniture and toys you could ever wish to own.

My grandmother worked as an embroiderer, mainly during the war when she was

making uniform badges amongst other things. She, along with my mother, taught me to crochet, knit, embroider and make my own clothes.

Then on my father’s side – my grandfather never threw anything away and made do with whatever he had to hand. His most memorable creations include - a string vest knotted out of itchy green twine and a quirky greenhouse fashioned out of a load of old wooden window frames.

Clearly all these influences have shaped not only my personality but also my work!

This is why I have such an interest in so many diverse crafts.

There’s such a big wide world of interesting and inspiring things to see and crafts to learn that the list of things I want to try is rather lengthy!

In the last 20 years, my crafting has taken me on a completely unexpected journey.

For several years I struggled with my physical and mental wellbeing which at times was incredibly hard to cope with. It was my crafting that saw me through some pretty tough times.

 

Whether it was making handmade cards or just simply doing some colouring (sadly adult colouring books hadn’t been invented then!) it gave me something to do to calm myself and not have to think about anything.

Whilst I was ill I signed up for a ceramics class and it was this that completely changed my life. The encouragement and friendship I received from my ceramics tutor helped me to further my creative studies and work towards teaching what I’ve learned to others.

I have been teaching for about several years now and absolutely love passing on my knowledge to my students.

Regardless of whether you are struggling with health issues or not I can really recommend doing something creative. Studies have shown that taking time to zone out doing activities that require a slow, zen-like attitude and repetitive actions are really good for your health.

I run a couple of Art Journalling for Wellbeing groups in Wokingham and I’ve also worked on a few Wellbeing in Mind projects for people with mild to moderate mental health issues. I have found these particularly rewarding. Got to ‘pay it forward’ right?

Obviously 2020 has been an extremely weird year for us all so far and has brought up the need for finding alternative ways of interacting with others. 

I've been running some of my workshops online and this seems to be the way forward at this time which is how I am trying to move things forward.

I've always thought of myself as reasonably tech savvy but this has been quite a challenge!

Please bear with me whilst I'm developing my skills and getting my head around it all.

So that’s enough about me!

I look forward to getting to know some new people using the language of crafting!!!

Rae xxx

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