I’m Susan Puckett and I’ve lived in Burlington since 1981. I am a retired early intervention specialist, working with children with special needs for 30 years. I have always been a crafter. I grew up with parents who were constantly making things and an older sister who was an artist from the minute she was born. My father loved woodworking and made beautiful furniture. He could fix anything! My mother was a home economics teacher and was always trying something new such as decoupage and basketweaving as well as being an accomplished cook, decorator and seamstress. I was allowed to sit at the sewing machine very early, and encouraged to try all types of arts and crafts. I learned embroidery in my pre-teens, and embroidered many jeans and “painter’s pants” which were popular then! I made an oversized Raggedy Ann doll and a smaller version for a friend while in high school. I tried my hand at knitting with our neighbor who knitted my Christmas stocking when I was born. Even with the best teacher, I was not a successful knitter at a young age. All of my life I have found arts and crafts to be an important part of what makes me happy. I continue to try new things and have joined a group of fiber artists who volunteer in efforts to fundraise for Peacehaven Community Farm. I have learned needle felting and other felting techniques through my work with this wonderful group.
Around the time that my daughter went to college, I had finally learned to knit from another very patient teacher. I found it to be fun but very slow for me. It was then that I read about repurposing wool sweaters by felting them and sewing them into other useful items. With my sewing skills and an urge to try something that would not require counting stitches, I launched into making “woolies” and loved the freedom of creativity that it allowed. I continue to find each piece to be unique and a celebration of fun “imperfectness!” The patterns and colors of the wool inspire new ideas. I enjoy giving new life to unused and discarded clothing. My career with young children has certainly influenced my work. The individual and exceptional differences in each piece is celebrated and highlighted. In recent years I have been drawn to making toy animals for children (and the young at heart!) Each animal is totally unique and double or triple stitched for safety. I avoid the use of buttons so that all pieces are safe for even the youngest child. I am now the grandmother of a baby boy and I know that Jack’s interests will inspire and influence my work in the future. I find great joy in the process and result of making something fun and functional. I hope that my work will bring joy to others!