I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the Create Collective Worship Nights organised by Godly Womanhood Ministries. In the September and October, part of the session included a time of crafting before worship and I was the facilitator for the craft corner. It actually wasn't about crafting but we couldn't really think of an appropriate title so "Craft Station" it is for now. My intention wasn't really for people to make another pencil holder or tote bag or sock puppet. Nowadays, there are plenty of workshops around for people to learn the skills of crafting and painting. But I still find there is something lacking, something more we need in our lives.
I've been trying to get my children and other children to engage in more sensory and loose parts activities to create art, because I know that once they 'grow up', such opportunities are going to gradually decrease. I like how children freely explore simple materials given to them and create meaningful fantastic art. And then I realised as adults, we don't engage in exploring and creating too because we're always so busy with getting on in our lives. God has given us materials to create, we've his creative DNA. My hope is that we just pause for a moment and create something, anything, even with the simplest materials given to us, no need for anything fancy, expensive or skills needed.
So I wondered, if adults will be able to benefit from such sensory and loose parts art activities as well? Both activities were conducted with children before. In September, we made a sun catcher just using paper plates, contact paper, dried and fresh plant parts, yarn, coloured paper, markers. In October, we made a "quilt". No sewing involved but a replica of a "quilt" with cardboard, fabric scraps and yarn. At each session, I just introduced the "craft" to be created and the materials to the participants. Just before they start, I always tell them to just rest, bask in the presence of God, explore the materials and just let their hands flow. Initially, people were shy, modest about their creative abilities and skills but after that they just took off naturally. Amazingly some could spend more than an hour in creating even though they seemed hesitant at the beginning and I myself was so blessed by the sharing of their creations.
So let's start to spend some time alone or with friends, to pause, explore, create something and express ourselves through art. I hope that as we approach the end of the year, we find some time to rest and relax, refresh and recharge.