Photography by Hannah Kopacz (potholder), Fredda Perkins (mosaic), Opal Cocke (quilt) and Mimi Kirchner (doll)
RESPECT YOUR ELDERS (Clockwise from top left): Funky potholders by Socorro Rivera; a stylish mosaic by Fredda
Perkins; an art quilt of vintage Japanese panels by Opal Cocke; and a tattooed man doll by Mimi Kirchner.
“That’s what keeps crafting vital and alive.”
And while age is just a number to most of these
women, their years of experience have left them
with some invaluable lessons.
“As I get older, I care less about rules,” says
quilted fabric artist Opal Cocke, 64, of Camano
Island, Wash. “I do what feels right in the moment.”
For Cocke, that may mean leaving raw edges or
combining media in ways she hasn’t seen before.
Her work also includes painting, beading, stitchery,
photography, and found objects. “But, I know that
learning the rules from my mother and grandmother
has given me confidence in breaking the rules.”
These lessons from our grandmothers prove
to be priceless. And if you haven’t been able to
partake in your own grandmother’s wisdom, you
still have a chance to experience what previous
generations have to offer.
“I wish new crafters, whatever their age, would
take the time to learn some of the history,” Kirchner
says. “People have been making things for as long
as there have been people. Everything about craft
and everyone who has enlivened the conversation
with their vision is not necessarily on the internet.
Go to the library. Check out some older books. See
the amazing work that was being created all during
the last century.”
» Socorro Rivera:
» Fredda Perkins:
» Mimi Kirchner:
» Opal Cocke:
Rachel Hobson blogs at Average Jane Crafter (averagejane
crafter.blogspot.com). Diane Gilleland blogs at CraftyPod