By Andrea Davis
When people are gathered for an art party, one may imagine paint, canvases, and brushes, or at least some paper and scissors. Since Bryant Holsenbeck was involved, something would be repurposed. But, despite official assurances that the artist herself would be there to guide and assist, I never thought all present would have the opportunity to create her or his own Bryant-style creature!
Sunday, April 22, 2018, was a delightful Spring afternoon and the sunlight and gentle breezes beckoned folks out of their homes and into RCWMS to create whimsical critters and to raise funds to send Bryant’s book to press. Those first on the scene may have been daunted by the pile of textile scraps and the neighboring stash of yarn and string in a rainbow of colors, but Bryant was quick to show people how to begin to shape a creature. She demonstrated how to tuck and wrap the pieces and to look to see whether you might have the start of bunny ears, a mermaid tail, or part of an elephant. If your now-forming fairy needed the turquoise scrap to sparkle, simply stuff less showy fabric inside. Regardless, everyone was taught that the key was to wrap the yarn tightly as one worked. A gaggle of critters took form as friends and new acquaintances chatted, some discussing the tip sheet Bryant provided with ideas to reduce waste.
Bryant became skilled at reducing waste when she began a journey in 2009 to avoid single-use plastics. This dovetails with her work as an environmental artist and The Last Straw transforms her blog into a book. Several thousand of the $5000 needed to bring this to realization was raised at this event, and you too can help bring this challenging and inspiring piece to print.