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A Story...of Craft

Once a crafter, always a crafter.  Wildcraeft Works was Inspired by many things which are present in our current culture: the increasing need for holistic, meaningful occupational experiences for our youth; the startling reduction of active healthy play experiences, especially outdoors; and the increasing complexity of life which demands improved self-regulation, social-emotional functioning, and higher-order executive skills…

for all of us!

 

Fundamentally, Wildcraeft Works was inspired by an early foundational memory which has served as a guiding principle for a solo-practitioner of pediatric occupational therapy spanning three decades: the impetus to adapt a hand embroidery craft for my sister that we (myself, my mother, and my grandmother) were all deeply engaged with one summer afternoon, many years ago.  The adaptation of the craft was necessary so my sister, who had a neuromotor disease (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), could hang out with us as we all “crafted”.  There simply was no other option…there was no reason that my sister would not be able to craft…so the Tupperware bowls (turned upside down and stacked) and the duct tape came out…to make a jig that would hold my sister’s embroidery hoop as she fatigued. And so it did..as clunky as it was…the jig worked.

She engaged…we engaged…we Crafted!

 

But why…why did it matter?  Because Crafting matters!  

To engage in Craft brings all of the life-things we experience…excitement, uncertainty, discomfort with the unfamiliar, the courage, the “doing”, the emergence of skill, the mastery, the recognition of competence, the satisfaction and fulfillment, the belief that we…can!  

These are the things that will see children through the challenges that life may bring.    

 

It is The Knowing that we can create something from seemingly nothing…the Maker Mindset…which grows us, heals us, inspires us.

Wildcraeft Works is dedicated to:

My sister, Jennifer Ann DeNault, EdD., a Doctor of Education, special education teacher in NYC, my big sister, my hero…I miss You.

My son, Ashe James, the always-willing Crafter and Adventure-Taker, my Maker...You are my Why.

About Kathleen

Aware of the power of Crafting, the traditional modalities of occupational therapy, therapeutic crafting, offered the perfect combination of creativity, craft, and health/medicine upon which a career has been built.  Kathleen has been a pediatric occupational therapist for over 30 years, supporting children with sensory, learning, and attentional differences in school, clinic, and home settings. Having completed the certification in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test through Sensory Integration International, including clinical observations and training at the Ayres Clinic in Torrance, CA, Kathleen’s clinical approach is guided by the underpinnings of the Sensory Integration Frame of Reference (Ayres), as well as: the Model of Human Occupation (Kielhofner), the  Doing-Being-Becoming-Belonging Framework (Wilcock), the Intentional Relationship Model (Taylor), the Dynamic Model of Play Choice (Miller), the Model of Playfulness (Bundy), and the ConTiGo Approach (Figueora). 

 

It wasn’t until later that a deeper understanding of Craft emerged. Enriched by the perspectives of Montessori, Waldorf, Froebel, and Educational Sloyd, Kathleen recognized a unifying thread amongst the seemingly disparate fabrics of craft, nature, child development, learning, and occupational therapy.  Wildcraeft Works emerged.    

Image by Markus Spiske

Mission

To support the development and well-being of children through the curation of play experiences in nature, meaningful movement, therapeutic crafting, and the "just-right challenge".  To celebrate the Makers in all of us.  

Traditional Craefts for 21st Century Skills.   

Vision

To respect and reinvigorate the traditional OT constructs, infuse them with progressive educational perspectives, and add a dash of the Modern Maker Mindset to create a vibrant patchwork quilt of human occupation ready to carry us  towards the promise of tomorrow's world.

Tire Swing
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