Monday, May 21, 2007

michelle lynne goodfellow

I've been sewing since I was about eight years old. As a child I played almost incessantly with dolls, especially my Barbies. One day I discovered that one of my closest friends knew how to use her mother's sewing machine to make doll's clothes. I immediately begged my own mother to teach me how to use our Singer, and soon Barbie's closet was full, and the Barbie-sized dollhouse my father had built for me was overflowing with new cushions, quilts, and curtains.

Mom also taught me how to knit, crochet, and embroider. I'm just one generation removed from rural farm life, and every adult female I knew as a child did some sort of handiwork. Even the men in my life dabbled at fibre arts: my paternal grandfather designed patchwork quilts in his retirement, and my father learned how to crochet when I was a child, creating ponchos for me and my sister to wear. My brother was a meticulous machine sewer who tapered his friends' pant legs as a teenager.

My mother always nurtured my creative talents in her own quiet way, and encouraged me to pursue art or design when I finished high school. I have a bachelor's degree in home economics with a major in clothing, textiles, and design, and also studied visual arts at the university level for two years before transferring programs and finishing my second bachelor's degree in film studies.

Looking back, I can see that the times when I ignored my creative impulses were the bleakest and emptiest of my life. There were many wake-up calls along the way. Once, when participating in a watercolour class at a local Waldorf school as an adult, I was shocked to realize that nobody else's work looked like mine - because I had engaged in the process on a completely different level than everyone else in the class.

I'd cried on the way to class because I'd just left a singing lesson where I despaired of ever singing well; I cried on the drive home because I finally realized how much time I had wasted worrying about all the things I couldn't do, while letting my true talents languish.

My art - whether fibre or fabric crafts, drawings, photographs, or even writing - is my way of putting the beauty I see in the world back into the world for others to see. I hope you enjoy it.

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