Monthly musing from Rebecca Crichton

For many of us, the synonyms ‘amateur’ and ‘dilettante’ were negative, tainted with judgment. They both refer to someone who has a ‘superficial’ — as opposed to professional — interest in something, often something artistic. They imply a lack of depth, a likelihood of dabbling. But they also both mean doing something because we love it and value it. 

I admit to being ‘arty.’ I love beautiful things and have a lifetime of involvement in a variety of arts and crafts. I’ve explored fiber arts — weaving, felting and knitting. For the past five years, I have experimented with fused glass, producing objects that span the spectrum from the useful to the fanciful. I enjoy the process of working with such a beautiful medium, never tiring of seeing what is revealed when we open the kiln. And, to be honest, the more intentional I am at planning a piece, the less successful I seem to be. One friend, regarding my effort to depict the angels ascending and descending the ladder from the Bible story of Jacob’s dream, exclaimed about the half fish-half birds they saw. Occasionally someone recognizes what I envisioned, but it doesn’t really matter. I enjoyed making it and I enjoy looking at it. 

I am reminded of a sign a housemate posted on her door: “Involvement Precedes Commitment.” I studied it a few minutes before understanding it. Once I got it, it became one of my mantras. We don’t know if we will love and commit to something until we have tried it and engaged with it. For August’s Featured Resource essay, I asked my friend Lynn Terpstra to reflect on her new passion for ceramics. There are ample resources around to start you on your road to becoming a passionate amateur. See you in September!

Clay is not dirt
“Pottery starts with dirt. Nothing else is more basic, a primal meeting of gravity with earth, air, fire and water.” This month’s Featured Resource is a paean to creativity and dirty fingernails. We also include some Seattle-area ceramics and pottery studios.

It’s Vacation Time!
No August program at Horizon House or Writing Group with Rebecca

But there’s still a lot going on locally. Be sure to visit our Events page and see what appeals to you! 

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