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Fine Craft Collective

Jessica Peterson White

I've been making things for as long as I can remember. I learned to sew from my great-grandmother, to draw and paint from my mother, and to be handy in a variety of other ways from my dad, who, to my delight, is also in the Craft Collective this year. Craft and art (I am never clear on the distinction) have been a vocation and an avocation at various times in my life.

I studied art with a heavy dollop of feminist and sexuality theory at Carleton, and I enjoy my work the most when I think of it in the context of the long history of women making things with their hands. My skill in working with fiber expanded exponentially when I owned a yarn shop for several years in downtown Northfield. At the shop, I had the pleasure of teaching hundreds of people to make things themselves.

When I get stuck or uninspired, I think of the thrill I've seen so many times, when a person realizes for the first time that they can make something functional and practical, and try to get back to that basic satisfaction myself.