Several years ago I stumbled into the world of Fiber Art. I had been involved with "the arts" and graphic design most of my life, but I was not previously aware of this community. What I found was a world of very talented artists - yes mostly women - dedicated to both aesthetics and technique and very aware of the long heritage of "women's arts" from which today's art quilts, needlework, altered clothing, basketry, and other fiber expressions find their roots. This history was acknowledged personally buy the makers, even though the media, academics and gallery owners still discounted these forms as (uh-hum) craft (with a lower c) not Art.
What I also found was camaraderie and a support group like no other. Perhaps I should have know of its existence, because as a child I had witnessed my mother's long standing 'sewing club' gather at our house. Even then I sensed this was about much more than sewing (and dessert). Fiber artists (and other "crafters")use their hands for expression, expect few accolades, share advice rather than guard secret techniques, and for the most part, worry far more about being creative than being competitive.
Now I have stumbled into this blog, facebook, e-commerce community. The rap is that this is a faceless community that lacks the personal contact of the real world. I have not found that to be true. Whether it is finding 'lost' acquaintances on facebook, making new ones in Etsy forums or as Etsy customers, or bumping into fellow bloggers, the communications have been wonderful and widespread.
The responses I have received regarding my post about Dorothy have been amazing and comforting. Many from people who know/knew niether her or me, but nonetheless left such heartfelt words. I thank all of you... now go hug your mothers, mothers hug your kids, and go create art and craft - or support art and craft.!