The "Average Joe" Crafter

By Christina Luick

I don’t really consider myself to be an “artist.”

I haven’t practiced my drawing skills since I was a child and can now create a masterpiece. Most of the time I draw scribbles and doodles in my notebooks during the work day.

I can’t sculpt things like “The Thinker” or “Venus de Milo.” In high school I did make a platypus out of clay that I could use as a whistle. That was cute.

I made some things in art class that got a nod of approval or a “oh, well that’s nice,” but I was never applauded or revered for my prowess as “artist.”

I’m just OK, an average Joe in the fine arts with mediocre talents. So I hone in what little skills I have and do crafting.

This hobby took over my life while I was in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was starting to work from home and was getting incredibly bored.

My friend Maddy and I used to craft together before she moved away. We made Christmas gifts for our family. I remembered the thrill of creating something with my own hands and being proud of the end product. It wasn’t perfect, but I liked it and I liked seeing my family enjoy it.

Crafting also helped with my anxiety because it distracted me. Being trapped inside my house during a pandemic made things a bit worrisome for me so I thought crafting could help!

Pinterest became my guide and Michael’s became my sanctuary. During quarantine, I was honestly worried that employees at Michael’s would start recognizing my name when I ordered supplies for curbside pickup. A local pottery store definitely knows me fairly well now.

For my first project during quarantine, I decided to make something small for my mom. I made her coasters.

She’d mentioned that she needed coasters and she would forbid anyone from putting down anything that could leave a wet ring on her new side tables in the living room.

So I bought some small wooden shapes and stamped them with a black paw (to remind my mom of our late family dog, Lucky). I painted the other side of the wooden coaster blue and then I sprayed the shit out of it with Mod Podge clear acrylic sealer to keep the stamp from rubbing off.

That project might sound pretty lame but it was a stepping stone to all the other fun crafts I created. It also led me to become obsessed with painting pottery and getting them glazed (thanks, Glaze Pottery).