Expanding your creative tool chest at West Tisbury library

A group at the West Tisbury library practiced single rubber-stamp embossing as part of the library's adult crafting program. — Photo by Michael Cummo

“Libraries are increasingly becoming specialized community centers,” said Nelia Decker, children’s librarian of West Tisbury library, “offering classes and events focused on social and intellectual engagement for children and adult patrons alike.” The library’s event calendar reflects this progressive vision, enriching the community through a myriad of activities. This weekend was a prime example, with Family Crafting on Saturday morning, Tween Book-Making in the afternoon, and an adult Rubber-Stamp Workshop offered on Sunday by stamping aficionado and educator Martha Flanders.

“What I love most,” Ms. Flanders said after her Velvet Embossing class earlier this winter, “is to see how, with the same collection of stamps, and the same pieces of velvet, every participant comes up with something unique.” Ms. Flanders, librarian, crafter, and former owner of Good Ideas, a rubber-stamp shop in Vineyard Haven, taught the gentle, yet precise, technique of heat-embossed stamping on velvet in December. After a hiatus from teaching of nearly 10 years, her Velvet Embossing workshop was her first, and clearly her finesse for creative instruction has not faded.

Last Sunday afternoon, Ms. Flanders offered her second class in the series of rubber-stamp arts. Nearly a dozen local crafters gathered in the bright meeting room of the West Tisbury library to work on the simple and relaxing craft of rubber-stamp techniques. The participants practiced single rubber-stamp embossing, heat embossing, using various dyes and pigments for cards, scrapbooking, and memory-book making. Ms. Flanders generously offered her expertise in the entire process, and proved that when one looks for new ways to express creativity, local talent is one of our greatest community assets.

“We hope to offer more adult crafting workshops,” she told the class, “and we are open to suggestions from the community, as well as seeing if there is enough interest to offer more of these types of afternoons.”

To join the crafting mailing list, email the West Tisbury library at programs@westtisburylibrary.org, or visit the web site to view upcoming events at westtisburylibrary.org.