Thanks to everyone who came out for our Visiting Artist Series with Faythe Levine. It proved to be a fantastic evening of crafting, conversation, and Old-Fashioneds.

In addition to the interactive crafting that ensued, Faythe held a seminar where she lectured on ‘Craftivism’, her work and travels (examples include urban camping in Detroit and a boathouse community on the Mississippi River), and how to build your business. The audience consisted of spinners, musicians, teachers, artists, gardeners, knitters, quilters, and makers of all kinds. The open conversation allowed everyone in the group to share their successes, ideas, struggles, and journeys both inside and outside of the creative “industry.”


Faythe began, “A creative community became the foundation of what I do now.” Likewise, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of community and of having- or making- the opportunity to engage with others in a creative environment.

As a creator, Faythe noted how to build those connections within a community: sharing the story, documenting the process, and placing value on good design. For a mind that is focused on design and creating, sometimes it’s hard to sit down to the tedious task of book keeping. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult tasks for any business owner. However, everyone agreed that in order to have a successful business, it must be done and done well.

Using very true words, Faythe stated that craft is very approachable. It becomes a gateway for conversation, because everyone has a story. Even if you, yourself, don’t ‘make’, there is always someone you know who does.


The conversation was relaxed and open. We balanced the business topics with the creative discussion. Faythe talked about why she blogs and how the internet helps us develop relationships with other artists and designers. Similar thoughts enter my mind as I continue to grow my business and embrace community. Making with a political agenda and learning a trade versus pursuing an academic career are a few of the many interesting conversations that could have gone on for hours.

Faythe left us inspired and motivated to absorb and share all that we learned.

A big THANK YOU to  Faythe for sharing her work, ideas, and talents with us (and for the amazing “surprise balls.” We enjoyed opening and unraveling them at our weekly studio meeting).

We look forward to your next project, The Sign Painter Movie, and hope to see you back in the Shoals soon.


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  1. Betsy

    I’m not surprised Faythe’s talk went over well, as she is always inspiring, passionate and warm, 3 very important things for facilitating a conversation like this! It sounds like it was a lovely evening!

    And I couldn’t agree more with her that “…craft is very approachable. It becomes a gateway for conversation, because everyone has a story. Even if you, yourself, don’t ‘make’, there is always someone you know who does.”

    That’s one of the most beautiful things about craft, that we all have our own stories, whether they contain tales of our own making or memories of others crafting items from their creativity.

    It’s a gift craft gives that I fall more in love with everyday- that everywhere we look, there is craft, there is making, and there are stories.