Why are you a maker? What compels you to continue creating even when your days are busy, your schedule is crunched, you are in a funk, or maybe your “clever idea tank” is drier than the Sahara? Why do you still gather items found on your walks; organize and reorganize them; collect them in your windowsills; try to braid, knit, paint, sew, stencil, or otherwise process and combine them together to make something new?
Me, I create because simply observing something feels incomplete, and nature is my pathway to taking my experiences to the next level—to discovering more. When, in the course of a typical day, I come across something delightful, simple, or imperfect, just seeing it is not enough. I need more, and I suspect that you do, too. For example, every morning my coffee mug and I step outside to wander around the yard, looking for the remarkable in nature. One of those days, I happened across one of those little wild violets, snuggled down in the grass, almost invisible. They are unintentional visitors to the landscape and typically are ignored, then mowed over. I instantly wanted to sketch it or dye a swatch of fabric that exact color, or maybe I could knit a scarf to remind me of it, or . . . do whatever else I could think of to further explore the magic of discovering it in the first place. Nature invites us to slow down and live in the present moment and those tiny slices of magic don’t go unnoticed to a maker. They feed our creativity.
James Brunt working on Filey Beach, the ultimate backdrop.
And that is why I wrote Create Naturally. The 15 artists included in the book broke my heart open with their passion, and they will do the same for you. Many of you know how much I cherish fiber arts and textiles and my background in writing about them. This book is a love letter to makers. Each chapter is like an article that includes a “Go Outside” section at the end to help you operationalize the wisdom that the artist has provided.
Even more, imagine my appreciation to Kaffe Fassett for sharing his personal story of how he discovered the nuances of light and color perception, and more about how his life experiences influence his work. His foreword sets an open tone of curiosity and learning.
Meredith Woolnough arranges embroidered elements inspired by coral.
A stunning layout and breathtaking imagery were critical to the impact the book could have on the makers and aspiring creatives who crack open those pages. As makers, we are tactile, visual people. Create Naturally brings you in close and reveals the richness that nature and creativity bring to your daily life. It offers a warm embrace for you and everything you are making and planning to make. So, I invite you to meet these 15 remarkable people. They will show you how to let nature accompany and inspire you on your journey. Your heart will thank you and your creativity will blossom.
Marcia Young is the founder of Fiber Art Now and wrote the book Create Naturally which was published in 2022.
Image at top of post: Leaves and stems hand stitched together using plant dyed silk/cotton thread. Part of Leaf Stitching series
Artists featured in Create Naturally:
Meleah Bretz @wovenbyleah
James Brunt @jamesbruntartist
Bethan Burton @journalingwithnature
Judith Content @judith_content
Nicole Dextras @ndextras
Alice Fox @alicefoxartist
Jan Hopkins @janhopkinsart
Munir Jones @expressionsbymunir
Krank Kraljic @fjkraljic
Kari Lonning @karibaskets
Nick Neddo @nick.neddo.eartharts
Lorraine Roy @lroy.art
Barbara Schneider @BarbaraJSchneider
Carrie Anne K’iinuwaas Vanderhoop @wampahaida
Meredith Woolnough @meredithwoolnough