How does a crafter come up with an idea? What makes them want to turn a sheet of paper into a work of art, a lump of clay into a fabulous pot, a chunk of tree into a bowl, a glob of glass into a delicate vase, or a strip of precious metal into a piece of bespoke jewellery? How do they get their ideas and inspiration?
If we see a leaf, how does a jeweller like Amanda Hunter see an earring? How does she turn a sheet of silver into something so beautiful and timeless: leaves that will last forever, giving endless pleasure, and linking to the natural environment around us.
How does artist Helen Pateman combine a sheet of paper and a pencil into such a fabulous image as this one?
How does woodturner Mike Booth produce something as beautiful and varied as these items out of bits of log?
The creative mind is more than just the physical ability to produce an item, it is the creative process of imagining it to begin with, to have an idea and to turn that idea into a reality. Whilst some look at a sheet of paper and wonder what to do with it, creatives are already filling the space with designs, doodles, outlines or ideas.
The world needs creative minds, we need the people who can take something and make something out of it by using their own imagination and skill, and to think of new uses for old and new materials.
Creative people are the "inventors" of the arts and crafts world - not for us the mechanics of making a faster engine, or a more productive solar panel, but we invent new designs for jewellery, glass, pottery, wood, fabric, yarn, even plastics.
Creatives and crafters are all designers with our own unique way of looking at the world and at using the materials we find within it to make things of beauty. I don't know how we do it, but I am very glad that we can do it!