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Try different things, and bring all your skills together
Some people like to pick a single craft and perfect their abilities in it. Others like to try a lot of things and not specialize in any. I’ve found that a combination of the two can be a great way to create unique art and crafts.
In the 25+ years that I’ve been crafting, I have experimented with all sorts of arts and crafts. I started out with general crafting when I was just a tyke, learned to crochet at 5, then moved on to drawing, painting, beading, sculpting, wire work, jewelry, and only heaven knows what else. I’ve found that by dabbling in various different crafts, I can bring more to the table with my favorites.
When I was in high school I was really big into drawing and painting. One year my art teacher taught us a technique (I forget what it was called) for applying sequins in layers over a base image. It was laborious, but the end result was breathtaking when done properly. After learning that technique, I started doing it on portions of my paintings to add extra depth and punch to the final piece. Later in life I also used scrapbooking techniques to add interest to my paintings.
In my late teens and early twenties I loved sculpting with FIMO clay. However, I could only do small pieces because it wasn’t stable enough for larger projects. I had a relative who made wind chimes with twisted wire animals on them. I learned how they were made, and it prompted me to start using wire to create a skeleton for my larger clay pieces. Learning about papier-mâché also helped me to create “guts” for larger projects. As time went on I learned how to incorporate beadwork, wire work, painting and relief techniques into my sculptures, and I created some amazing pieces.
I have incorporated a lot of my crafting knowledge into my jewelry-making. Sometimes I paint my own beads, I wrap wire to get interesting shapes, I crochet some parts of my jewelry too. I mix and match all sorts of skills when I’m making jewelry, and I love the variety of results that I can achieve.
Even if you have a particular type of craft that you specialize in or enjoy most, there’s no good reason not to learn a bit about some other forms of crafting. The more techniques and tricks you have in your arsenal, the more unique and interesting you can make your craft projects. Every technique and skill opens up a world of possibilities. Even if you think there’s no way to mix two crafts, like painting and crochet, you might be surprised. (I’ve actually painted art on crocheted pieces.) Mix and match your crafting skills, and you’ll be amazed at the variety of wonderful things you’ll be able to create.