Liz Smith is a crafter and business owner who lives in an old textile mill on a canal in Lowell, Massachusetts. I caught up with her recently to find out about where her craftiness comes from.
Liz puts her creative energy to good use in her business Made in Lowell, working with wool and polymer clay amongst other things.
Coming from a creative family, her mother an artist and her father an architect, Liz always knew that art was important.
I grew up understanding that art was an integral part of everyday life.
For Liz, it was more figuring out which craft she was most interested in than the need for encouragement to create. She has moved from one form of art to the next, finding the passion and letting it run its course and then moving on.
I would have torrid love affairs with waxy colored pencils, precise Rapidograph pens, compact little watercolor cakes or silky brush and ink. The passion would burn hot for a long time but when it faded, I was really no longer interested in what once had consumed me.
I learned to use polymer clay in the late 1980s. I think I have remained interested all these years because it is so versatile a medium, and incorporates both my love for surface pattern and sculpture. Working with wool and making felt is newer to me so I am still in that exciting dating phase.
Loving one craft and being immersed in it is something that happens to so many of us; we are so consumed by the act of creating that even if the craft itself one day changes, that passion rarely ceases.
When it comes to having a support network, Liz has her bases covered. Her family are very supportive, and as she sells some of her mother’s artwork as cards, they are partly sharing her business journey. Her husband is also a writer and can completely understand her need to craft.
Liz also finds support from the online communities that she is a part of and within the studio space where she works. She works solo, but is surrounded by other artists that she can connect with. Working in that environment, she can hear others creating all around her.
Liz’s journey helps to remind me that, when it comes down to it, creativity is part of our everyday lives. We embrace it and it helps us to carve our path in the world.
Do you feel that way too?