A fondness for art and craft runs in our immediate family. Starting with our mother, whose pottery graces tables and appetites. Our father is as skilled a writer as he is a doctor. In an unconventional sense our brother is the ultimate artist. A strategist, schemer, one who sees the grand plan, pulls it together, and makes it happen.
We share a fondness for artisanal cuisine. Growing, harvesting, and of course cooking. This is one reason we love Greece, the food. And a major reason I am jealous I am not there right now - Feta, small fishes, flat bread, tzatziki, olives, and capers.
We prefer those arts with purpose. We appreciate the painting on the wall, but would prefer a ceramic mug, made with love, filled with warm coffee or two fingers of bourbon.
You know, from this blog - Lucy touches fabric, and it defines functional art. A quilt to keep you warm on a frosty winter night or a wooly hat to protect my ears from the wind off Alaska’s Chugach mountains.
I took painting lessons as a child; I always loved to draw. I play music with my friends, yet never sing a song. Growing food, while hard in Alaska, is a passion for sure, but the preparation is the best part, crafting meals for all to enjoy.
These days, my crafting is a different sort, yet functional all the same. With a bit of deer hair, colored wool, rooster tail or chenille I make small “flies” – Fake bugs, tiny fish, or nothing in particular at all. Their function - to catch fish. Big fish, small fish, elegant fish, and edible fish (such as salmon).
For each of us, despite our differences, we all find a bit of healing in artistic ways. Lucy found community through knitting and her blog, our mother finds strength in the spin of the pottery wheel. Art, indeed, can heal. It can also lead us to fight for things important to us: family, friends, or endangered spaces.
My passion for fish has led me into the middle of the biggest environmental fight in Alaskan history – protecting Bristol Bay, the world’s largest sockeye ecosystem from the ravages of a proposed open pit mine – North America’s largest. It is a greedy quest for gold versus the red gold of salmon.
Art or craft steadies our nerves, gives us a focus, and most importantly puts us into action – whether contemplative or engaged. To all you artists out there how has art led you toward healing, or drawn you to fight for your passions, things important to you?