Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pass it on

There's always so much to love at our shows, isn't there? Whether quilting, scrapbooking, needlepoint, or miniatures, there's an excitement that's unbeatable.

Last Sunday I was welcomed at the Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures in San Jose and experienced the usual euphoria of being in a large hall of like-minded crafters. Barb Jones and Phyllis Hedman worked tirelessly to make it all happen.

But there was a special aspect to the Good Sam show that I particularly loved –- the children's corner!

Through the year, miniaturists send supplies and scraps for the children's corner to the show's organizers. They contribute paint, paper, glue, brushes, landscaping scraps, fabric, beads, foam, doll parts, material for bases, and miniature "anythings." They even have T shirts for the children to wear as aprons and take home with them.

Tables are laid out and the children get to work; no parents allowed. Adult volunteers are available for technical help (how much glue do I need for this?), but no judging takes place, only encouragement. The children can choose whatever they want from the large bins of supplies. What a wonderful way to ensure the continuation of a most satisfying way of life.

Pictured here are 3 generations of miniaturists: Phyllis in the middle, her wonderful daughter, Anne, on the right, and Anne's daughter Keshae whom I wanted to take home with me.

Throughout the day, children came by my table of books to show me what they'd created. Some scenes were more elaborate than others; all represented an afternoon of fun and creativity. Thanks to Jonesy for sending the photo of a finished product.

I'd love to know what other crafters are doing to attract the next generation.


Sheila Connolly said...

Re your question: failing miserably. My daughter does not know how to thread a needle, although she has watched me sew by hand and by machine, knit, upholster, wallpaper, shingle, cane chairs, etc., etc. Maybe she simply didn't inherit the craft gene. My grandmother had it, my mother didn't.

What makes me sad is that so many crafts these days don't require any real creativity. You go to a store, you buy all the materials (pre-cut, pre-matched), and you stick them together. Does anyone know how to do things "from scratch" any more?

Terri Thayer said...

Camille, you were in the South Bay, I was in the East Bay. I was at Quilts in the Garden, a lovely outdoor quilt show at Alden Lane Nursery. The Amador Valley Quilters set up a kid's korner with sewing machines and provided fabric and assistance. It's quite popular.

But it's true, much of the younger generation isn't quilting. The fabric designers do try to appeal but it hasn't caught on the way knitting has.

ellen said...

The Bakken - the museum I worked at for twentyfive years - has something similar. We've formed a partnership of sorts with Ax Man (a store which specializes in technology surplus).

And one Saturday a month (though for all I know it's once a week now) a large classroom is filled with tables covered with diverse gadget bits for the kids to put together. The room is always busy.

Monica Ferris said...

Former astronaut Michael Collins wrote a book called Carrying the Fire, the title from a notion that our ancestors were given fire by the gods, and we all have a responsibility to not only carry that fire, but to hand it on to the next generation. I am a stitcher by proxy; that is, I'm not really one. I like it, but it's research. Writing is my avocation. I talk it up, I go to schools, I advise new writers, I carry the fire to new writers.

Camille Minichino said...

I'm glad to hear of other programs -- and it's true that many children don't have things in their lives that require patience as we did: waiting for pictures to be developed, for example, or tubes to warm up! Okay, I'm old.

I missed that book, Monica, but it sounds like one to track down.

Betty Hechtman said...

I love toy stores and have seen lots of kids' craft sets. While they may be pre cut and pre matched, they are a good way to start. In answer to Terri, I think the quilting for kids' might not have caught on because it reguires more equipment than knitting or crocheting.

Camille Minichino said...

Good point, Betty ... more equipment and more physical dexterity perhaps in terms of using the equipment. Or maybe that's just me!

In any case, I admire all crafters, most of whom are better than I am at any of them.

Monica Ferris said...

Camille, mine's *autographed*! I got it as a birthday present. Mr. Collins was working at the Smithsonian at the time it came out, so I shipped it to him with return postage, and he very kindly personalized it and shipped it back. It's a great book, worth the hunt!

Anonymous said...

Everything's relative, isn't it. I still bake from scratch, but doing otherwise has freed people up to create somewhere else maybe inspring some youngster along the way.... xoxoxo

Ann Parker said...

Wow ... sounds like great fun, Camille/Margaret!
As for me, it's more the opposite: My daughter has dragged me along to things such as the Stitches convention (for knitting/crocheting fanatics) and whenever we sit down to watch a movie at home, she exclaims brightly, "Why don't we do some knitting too?"
I'm not much of a knitter (not enough patience) but I will pick up a crochet hook and work on a scarf or something simple, while she knits an iPod holder or some such ambitious project. So, the generational "passing along" of a love of crafts can work both ways!