It's been a super-charged weekend - Craft Demonstrations & workshop at Femme City Exhibition. The response from the public was fantastic. We averaged 30+ participants at each craft session. There were six sessions, two per day. Our ACG members long time members (Kak Yong, Siti, Jessrine) and new members (Abby, Felicia, Bremen, Mastura, Ling, Yati, Norlie & Nirwana and family) came to give support. Many ACG facebook frens also came by. Such was the bond. They either cancelled or re-scheduled their other appointments, to come. And those who could'nt because of work or family commitments, were very disappointed. Even the same participants came for many of the sessions - Sally, Celine and that charming lady from India, to name a few.
Camaraderie / friendships made - Many were strangers when they came to the Community Centre (our booth) to enquire what we were doing and decided to join in. But once things got going - everyone was conversing the same language - the language of craft!
There were sharing of experiences & helping each other out. One boyfriend was roped in to thread needles for those with 'low fah' (short-sightedness). A father ended up cutting felt for her timid daughter.
Learning to let go of inhibitions and be creative. Some started very 'kaku' (awkward). One participant didnt know how to knot the threaded needle. It's okay. With the help of our helpers and her own fren, she finally got it! Good for her. Not knowing how to do something is understandable, wanting to learn & finally getting it is commendable.
This is WHAT CRAFTING DOES - it develops patience, imagination, persistency, determination eye & hand coordination, judgement of proportion, working towards a goal. Many found sewing a challenge. But they persisted, encouraged by other fellow participants & instructors. And the RESULT is joy! Joy in seeing your own hand-crafted item finished. A sense of accomplishment & pride. Many were busy taking photos of their finished products, especially the wire art earrings. They were proudly wearing it, even the next day!
And many also agreed that crafting allows them to relax & explore the creativity they never knew they had. It's a stress buster too. I believe its not just doing crafts, but doing it in a group!! A form of group therapy, possibly. There was not competition. Each one did it at their own pace. The more experienced crafter/sewer came out with perfectly twisted, painted, stitched items. But what was more intriguing was those beginners (craft-virgins) - Those who found sewing too demanding, glued the items, instead. Others came up with patterns different from that prepared by the instructors. So crafting teaches us to be innovative. At one point, instructors ran out of beads for the wire art earrings because there were so many eager participants. So, we bought beads from Gerai OA's (Orang Asli-indigenous community) booth. Those are handmade & painted ceramic beads, very reasonably priced at RM0.50 per piece. Gave us a chance to help these marginalised communites. All proceeds of the sales goes back to the crafters. Gerai OA is run by volunteers.
SO DOES ANY ONE STILL THINK CRAFTING IS FOR CHILDREN ONLY? Unfortunately, that's what has been FREQUENTLY portrayed in photos (in the papers) or stereo-typed as limited to senior citizens or housewives only. YES, during our run at Femme City, we did get a few kids & quite a number of seniors & homemakers, but the majority were working women, college students and teenagers. A few guys also joined in. CRAFTING IS FOR EVERYONE!! CREATIVITY HAS NO LIMITS, NO BOUNDARIES!!
For photos of the fun everyone had - participants, instructors & helpers, check :
Felicia's blog : http://the-art-mind.blogspot.com/
Yati's website : http://www.riqzmiecreation.com/?p=5658
Norlie's blog : http://sekocinorlie.blogspot.com/2010/08/femme-city-picture-taken-on-that-day.html .