Local crafter offers niche for fellow artisans
By Erika Steele, Contributing writer
Northborough – One of a kind. The phrase can be used to describe the unique crafts made by local artisans, as well as the woman who endeavors to bring those crafts to the public. Ande Lockwood, owner of Craftworks in Northborough, promotes artistic diversity in her shop, as evident in the work of over 70 artisans, from stained glass artists to potters and woodworkers to knitters.
Lockwood’s dedication to promoting such variety in crafting is unusual for someone who admits she never had her “aha” moment in the field.
“There wasn’t any one particular turning point or person who made a difference in my life,” she said of her induction into the crafting world. “I just decided this looks like fun and I’m going to try it and it evolved.”
At just 10 years old, she completed her first craft project, sewing her Girl Guide uniform. Her skills progressed as she made clothes for herself and her dolls, moved into quilting, and then found a knack for knitting as a freshman in college.
“I wasn’t passionate about one particular thing,” Lockwood said. “Once I really got into crafting, clothing turned into quilting, which turned into art quilts, which turned into fiber and so on. I just kept adding mediums.”
Her creativity flourished as she challenged herself to sew beautiful quilted wall hangings, vests, sweatshirts, children’s clothing, and toys. Her designs reflect her love of color with vibrant tones which she incorporates into her projects in unique ways. Her enthusiastic talent is reflected in her work, but also in her children, both of whom picked up on mom’s creativity in their own ways.
Her younger son, Christopher, who she describes as good with his hands, loves to work with infused and molded glass and has blown glass into color-streaked stars, hearts, paperweights, and vases during his free time away from his job installing solar panels. Casey, her older son who lives in Weymouth, is more comfortable in the kitchen and loves the art of cooking.
“I am not surprised they both got into art. Their great-grandmother was a pianist, their grandmother is very artistic. You could say it runs with the family,” Lockwood said. She added that she is grateful to her sons’ middle school art teacher, the late Mrs. O’Hara, for exposing her boys to multiple mediums.
Lockwood studied nutrition in college, but after a few years in California and a handful of computer-type jobs, she chose to go down the path of her passion and began to incorporate her hobby in the public sphere. Having attended craft fairs in the past, she explored Craftworks, an artisan cooperative in Northborough and became a member to sell her crafts. Now, as owner of the shop, she continues to display other artists’ work, and hold classes for people who want to hone their crafting skills or learn something new.
“We are there to help share the realm of crafting with everyone. Art has always been a passion and it is always where I go when I need to be creative or vent,” she explained. “We want to offer that same release to everyone else at Craftworks.”
Now operating as a yarn shop, creative arts center for teaching, and a gift shop, Craftworks is a real niche for local artisans and admirers.
The shop is located at 234 W. Main St. For more information on workshops and crafters and for a class calendar, visit http://www.craftworkscoop.com.
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