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  • Writer's pictureJulie Alleshouse

It's Not Going to Craft Itself

Updated: 5 days ago

Perfecting my Craft

Growing up on African soil, I recall playing with toys made with our very own young hands and can still hear the joy and laughter of the young boys and girls. Then, off to school, we went where arts and crafts were introduced in class. It involved various activities such as sewing, knitting, carpentry, and cooking, among others. Fast forward many years later, and the pursuit of mastering this creativity is still being perfected.

As a graphic designer, I learned about the basics of design early on. This included learning about fundamental elements such as line, shape, form, and balance, among others. Texture was also introduced in this class, and students were given an assignment to create a piece that effectively represented texture.

Nothing Seemed to Work

The challenge was not in creating the piece but in finding the materials necessary for the composition. It was 2020, a year marked by a pandemic that forced the closure of nonessential stores, making it even more difficult to find and purchase the required items. For this reason, the instructor urged the class to search their homes for materials that could be used to complete the task. And so, the hunt began. From shelves to drawers, from closets to the garage, nothing was left unturned. The list of what I found was endless: craft ropes, petals, plates, pegs, sharpies, burlap, markers, and much more. However, my frustration only grew worse. None of my ideas seemed to work; I would start on one, then a different idea would come, and I'd start all over again. To make a long story short, I settled on re-purposing a chipped old platter I had found in my kitchen. After doing some research online, I came up with a plan. This old platter was hardly used because of its "shortcomings," but eventually became a beautiful black, gold, and red tactile textured piece of decor.

Shown above is the different ideas in the process

How Texture was Achieved - Final Piece

I placed an online order at a local store for modeling paste, hot glue, and black paint then used a curbside pickup to get the items. Next, I applied the modeling paste evenly on the platter that had been previously painted blue. Using a hair pick and a bottle top, I created rounded shapes to achieve the desired texture. After letting the paste dry, I spray-painted the platter with black paint and waited a few minutes for it to dry. Finally, I highlighted the texture with gold and red paint, which I applied using a sponge. The result was a stunningly beautiful piece that stands out in my living room!

Materials (Idea 3): Krylon paint, hair pick, bottle top, sponge, gold acrylic paint, red paint, paint brush & red glitter.

Pitfalls /Triumphs

I made several attempts to create this composition, but it never looked quite right. On my third try, I decided to paint the focal point red, but it still wasn't satisfactory. I searched through my belongings and found a ribbon full of glitter from a previous Christmas gift. Adding glitter as an embellishment was what the composition needed.

Opportunities to Learn

In my work as a designer today, I still apply the lessons I learned while working on this particular piece. Firstly, design (or any craft) begins with a problem that needs to be defined and resolved. Achieving good design requires a well-thought-out process that takes time and effort. Lastly, it is crucial to know that it's okay to fail, as it provides an opportunity to learn and improve.

The moral of this story is that you might have something in your home that can be used to create something amazing, something that will awaken your senses and bring you joy and laughter. We all have some untapped ideas stored in our minds, so don't let them go to waste. Take the challenge and be creative! Whether it's drawing, crafting, knitting or designing, enjoy the process. Learning along the way will add value beyond the project. So, Unleash the power of your creativity and set off on an exciting and rewarding adventure.

It's your turn!

1 comentário

22 de jan.

Beautiful piece!

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