When we stated that our mission was to build community, that also meant finding our community. Sure, we knew people who knit and sewed and did lots of crafting in their spare time, but we didn't know the extent of local people quietly making things and happy to either share their knowledge or ravenously desiring to learn more skills.
One of the people who contacted us early on about teaching was Erika Molnar. Erika is one of those amazing can-do people who operates a circular saw with the same degree of confidence that she has with a sewing machine. She grew up making and fixing things with both of her parents - her father is a computer programmer turned cabinetmaker, and her mom was a custom dressmaker for years before returning to school to become a librarian. While a scientist by training, she found her true calling in the fiber arts, finding a rich textiles community in the Bay Area and obsessively quilting and dyeing and spinning. Like any true scientist, she is fearless with experimentation and bold when it comes to jumping in. Her mind goes in a thousand directions at once and she always has ideas to explore.
It quickly became clear that Erika has a lot to offer to the Craftstitute community, and, at the same time, we were discovering limitations in how much we could do between the two of us. So, when Erika broached the idea of being more than an instructor, it was easy to see how she would fit into the larger enterprise. She shares our vision of building a community, she brings with her a wealth of connections to creative folks in the area, she has enormous reserves of energy for her personal creative endeavors, and she generously shares both her ideas and energy.
We are so excited about our plans for Craftstitute in the coming months. While we will never stray from our core mission of bringing quality classes and instruction to the community, we do want to make esoteric materials more accessible and continue to find ways to draw more people into the creative arts. We all believe that, on a fundamental level, making things makes people happy. And creating isn't limited to playing with fiber or clay or paint. Cooking and baking, creating a great cup of coffee in the morning, keeping a journal - all of this flexes the creative muscle and forces you to slow down to go through the process. And it is in the process that you develop gratitude - for those who came up with the original idea and those who have developed it - and patience, which all of us in the 21st century of immediate gratification could practice more. You can only knit as fast as you can move the needles.
Look for any one of the three of us to be at the classes and hosting the Drop In - actually, you'll probably find all three of us at those, they are really fun. Let us know what you'd like to see in the coming months; let us know how you heard about us; let us know what you're obsessing about on Pinterest.
This is your community.