Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Crafting through adversity

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

Members of Boston Handmade get together once a month to talk about whatever is on our minds that relates to our art, craft, business, upcoming shows, marketing, finding inspiration, you name it, we talk about it. At our recent November get-together the conversation turned to crafting through adversity; how we continue living creatively and making our work when faced with big life challenges.

As it turned out, almost everyone in the room was currently, or had been recently, dealing with hardship that forced focus elsewhere rather than on craft. The difficulties ranged from illness, to injury, to floods, to sudden changes in financial security. Through it all however, no matter how difficult the situation, it seemed that everyone was finding a way to continue creating, and that by doing so, they found strength in themselves to push on and stay calm. I found everyone's stories uplifting, and inspiring.
Sometimes working creatively can help us through tough times, sometimes we can rely on our artist friends to help us along, and sometimes we need even more assistance. The stories of our current members' situations reminded me of friends of mine who survived other tragedies and have continued on with their art despite it all. A couple of craft artists I know have also utilized assistance from an amazing organization called the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. According to their mission statement, "CERF was founded on a single simple premise: people caring for one another during tough times. Building upon the grassroots gesture of passing the hat at craft shows for artists dealing with emergency situations, CERF created an ongoing pool of funds that are available to professional craft artists when they suffer career-threatening emergencies. In addition to the financial assistance, we help acquire donated goods and services for beneficiaries from individuals, organizations and businesses."

If you are dealing with a sudden emergency and are curious about CERF's services and how they might help you, definitely check out their website. If you want to make a donation to this very worthy cause, and assist crafters in need, you can do that on their website too, "Your contribution helps CERF+ provide the immediate assistance craft artists need to get back on their feet and back to work after a career-threatening crisis." Another great way that you can assist a craft artist any time of course, is to buy handmade.

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