Monday, January 25, 2016

What's an "omnicrafter"?

If you're making jewellery, chances are you also have a stash of wool at the end of your couch and you knit at night while the TV flickers in the background. Those of us drawn to create, design and make are rarely limited to one medium: or, if we are, we've probably gone through several other crafts before settling on our most satisfying creative outlet. 

At any given time I have: wool and needles for working on a small project close at hand (I need to get better before I tackle something bigger since I just recently taught my leftie self how to knit), my design notebook beside me with coloured pens, and my bead board with a project on the go. When I'm soldering or forging metal, I'm also thinking about felting and how I might combine hard, shiny metal with the softness of felt. Sometimes I think maybe I have creative ADD but I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm just a lifelong onmicrafter. 

On the weekend I was watching a Periscope with my friend Kate Richbourg, who was attending a Craftsy instructor summit. She, and a couple of other teachers, were discussing how most creative people are omnicrafters and how they use learning a new craft as a boost of creative energy across all their work. 

There are a couple of definitions for onmicrafter out there on the Internet. One calls an onmicrafter someone who does many crafts all at the same time. Another definition suggests an omnicrafter as someone who creates work using a variety of techniques and materials. I think I'm both!

Being an onmicrafter does many things for you:
Broadens your creative outlook - there's more to jewellery than just beads!
Stretches your creative muscles - thinking about new ways to do things and reading different patterns allows you to be a more creative crafter overall
Makes you a better problem solver when crafting - sometimes techniques used in one craft can be creatively applied to another with stunning effect
Allows you to mix different media to create one-of-a-kind works of art

This handbag I made last year benefitted from my omnicrafter tendencies. It includes metalwork, resin, bead embroidery, kumihimo, painting. 

So learn a new craft to add to your creative arsenal. Learn how to quilt then bead embroider it. Learn how to do needlework and add beads to a sampler. Learn how to knit then add beads to your scarves or ribbon embroidery or both! Learn how to make paper then bind it into books and embellish the covers. Crochet thread or wire and add beads. Sew metal to leather. Solder metal then glue it to canvas. Make an encaustic painting and crust it with beads. The creative horizon is endless and full of creative opportunities. Happy exploring. 

Quick note - I hope to be writing to you next week from Tucson. I'll Periscope some of the new and exciting products I come across. Download the Periscope app now and you won't miss out on the fun. 


Gail Speers said...

I like this explains a lot of things! Omnicrafter...that's me! Thanks Cindy!

Kate Richbourg said...

Omnicrafters unite!