Crafty Dads

I've heard and read lots of interviews with artists and crafters, and usually when the question "why are you creative" comes up, moms get the credit for leading by crafty example. But in honor of the month in which we tip our hats to dads, I'd like to take a little peek into how the fathers (and husbands) of some {New New} members have inspired, collaborated with, and otherwise conspired to make us want - and need - to make stuff.

The Art Stick

Brooklyn based artist Kimm of KimmChi, who makes unique jewelry, tote bags, and tee shirts, had this to say: "I grew up with a very crafty dad - everything was art to him, and everything was inspiring. He once found a branch on the street and was so taken with it that - I kid you not - he covered it in canvas and painted it a very unnatural metallic copper. That was 25 or so years ago. He still has it, as adults we have taken to calling it the "Art Stick" - the ever-inspiring art stick."

Tailor Made
May of May Luk Ceramics cited both her father and her husband as inhabiting the crossroads of craft and good old fashioned labor: "My dad was a tailor before he retired, so he can be considered a craftsman. But in Hong Kong, he is just another worker in a sweaty shop (not sweat shop, just hot in temperature). Back then when Hong Kong was still manufacturing goods, most people worked with their hands. He tried to teach me how to make patterns when I was a kid but I never got it. I sewed one shirt and the collar was lopsided. I enjoyed drawing fashion when I was a kid but I never picked up fashion design. He did tell me not to do things that everybody can do. I do get that from him; I try to have a very strong individual style as a person and in my designs. Now I am married to a graphic designer. Graphic design and typography used to be crafts but are no longer considered so."

Love of Craft
Jen of JT Stitches talked about her father's inspiring handiness: "My father has always been a very handy man. I can always remember my father building something, sometimes ripping down a room and totally rebuilding it. He's has made backyard and pool decks, rebuilt bathrooms, and has helped a many members of my family with home based projects. These things just come naturally to my father. He's not in construction professionally; he is retired from the New York City Police Department. My favorite example of his handiness is: when I got my embroidery machine a couple years ago I needed something to prop it up to make it easier for me to embroider large pieces. I gave my father the measurements, showed him a picture of what I had in mind and he made it for me, adding detail to the edges and engraving the bottom, To Jen Love Dad."

Jack of All Trades
Karen of Karen's Monsters is married to a man of versatile craftiness: "My husband Joe is one of the most creative people I know. He calls himself my idea guy. He has come up with half the ideas behind the monsters I make, he names each one, and he just recently designed the t-shirts I'm having printed. When I first started selling, he made me the most awesome sign (see attached photo). And now he's gotten into making hula hoops. We spend most evenings up on our roof hula hooping now. Since he was little he's always liked making things and I'm happy to have him putting a lot of that creative energy into my crafting business. Though I'd love it if he could have a work space to make all of the big ideas he has."

DIY Dadoo
Kari of ikyoto talked about her father's DIY influence on her: "While mom was the one in my family to pass on the sewing skills that I use every day, the DIY attitude of my dad (aka Dadoo) has made quite an impression as well. Long before I was born, he was clinching his title of "super geek" by building a hat with it's own built-in fan. An impish prank that got him in trouble in elementary school was a handmade valentine to his teacher. The box said on the front "You pierce my heart..." upon opening shot out a little dart and continued, "Did I pierce yours?" He has helped me on many projects over the years including learning black and white photography in the bathroom lab, team effort handmade paper, and soldering together a theremin kit. For this I'm forever thankful, with a bonus thanks for the fact that I always know what to get him for Father's Day: some kind of instruction manual!"

Here's to the paternal (and husbandly) influence on craftiness!

-MaryAnne, wabisabi brooklyn