Scraps Authors Speak Out

April 13, 2010, 11:14 am  Posted by Lark
elsebeth gynther and christine clemmensen

Elsebeth Gynther and Christine Clemmensen

Every now and then we like to ask some of our favorite crafters and creatives how they choose to craft their life. It shouldn’t surprise you that the answers are as diverse as the individuals. This time around we present the question to Elsebeth Gynther and Christine Clemmensen, co-authors of Scraps: A Field Guide to Collage.

Elsebeth has worked in publishing as both an editor and an author in addition to exploring fabric and clothing design. Christine has worked as a graphic designer illustrator for years and is currently exploring her love for photography. With a shared passion for the creative potential of collage using collected ephemera—from playing cards, old photos, maps and theater tickets to vintage greeting cards, game pieces, beads and baubles—both Elsebeth and Christine view the world around them with wonder and delight.

So how do they keep their creativity charged? Where do they find inspiration?

Elsebeth: “I look at my couch and see three sweaters in progress. On my table are piles of fabrics, on the shelves papers and books, in boxes buttons, yarn and all kinds of stuff, in drawers colors, glue, stamps.

For as long as I can remember it’s been crucial for me to combine colors, materials, words, ingredients, decorative elements, patterns, shapes and textures. I don’t consider it a hobby; it’s a way of living, being alive. To me, it is natural to give life to every process, be it by preparing a meal, designing a dress, knitting a sweater or writing a text. Creativity is a sort of silent communication with whatever is in front of me, that absorbs me in a world of inspiration.

My main inspiration lately has been my scraps, or collages. Those scraps embody the never-ending possibilities you see when you are curious, open and alert, and which keeps you looking at everything as a new entrance to a picture and image.

I don’t feel that I choose my subjects – they choose me, and I’m very thankful, and consider it to be one of the biggest gifts in my life.“

Visit Elsebeth’s blog at www.elsebethgynther.blogspot.com

Christine: “Being a graphic designer, I sit by my computer every day, so curling up in a corner with needles and yarn by the end of the day is such a treat. As is playing with paints, glue, paper and scissors. Experimenting and creating. Losing sense of time and place, simply being, creating and unfolding.

To me, crafting has always been about the process. I never regret the situations where I’m in the kitchen the better part of a day, and the meal is over in less than twenty minutes. Or that the shawl I spent 4 months knitting lies more on the shelf in the closet than on my shoulders. Because generally it is not the result, or the outcome, but creating that fills me with joy.

That being said, a funny thing happened not long before I started blogging some years back. Coming up with ideas for craft projects, I often found myself sketching them up, perhaps gathering the materials for them, sometimes making half a project, and before I knew it, the half-made project was in a drawer, and new projects were being sketched. I found I needed a place to chronicle my crafty ideas and to commit myself to carrying them out. It worked – I don’t have these cluttering unfinished projects lying around anymore, and hence have a much better flow in my craftiness. Little did I know that this would only be a fraction of the wonders of blogging: the sharing, the oceans of inspiration, the kindness and community. Those were all aspects of blogging I had yet to learn about … aspects I cherish deeply today.”

Visit Christine’s blog at www.christineclemmensen.blogspot.com


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