My earliest making memory is obsessively weaving construction paper. So obsessively, in fact, that I quickly ran out of construction paper and took to shredding any paper I could get my tiny hands on. Always one to encourage my creative pursuits, my mom allowed me to paint wall-sized murals in the kitchen and on the windows looking out into our backyard — worms were my speciality.  Around the same time, I started creative movement classes and my love of making was joined by my new love of moving. Growing up, I continued to dance and make (knitting, glass blowing, macrame, gardening — you name it, I was going to try it!) and eventually graduated from York University with a BFA in Dance.

Let’s be honest, I try to be at the workroom as often as I can! I love everything about it: The fabric, the community, the projects, the creativity, the learning — all of it. It is such an inspiring space and I love the conversations that I have every time I am there. 

When I am not at the shop I work as an arts administrator advocating on behalf of Toronto’s professional theatre, dance, and opera community.

The magic of making never stops affecting me and I am always proudest of whatever project I have just finished. No matter how simple or complicated, no matter if I have made it a hundred times or only once, making with my hands is pure (insert sparkle emoji).

If I could make my making dreams come true, I wouldn't pick a specific dream project. My dream would be to have more time to do all the projects I have ever dreamed of. I would love to travel and learn from artists in their studios in a variety of different mediums. Harvest bullrushes and learn to weave them? Incredible! Go to Shetland Wool week? Of course!  For now, I have the amazing opportunity of learning from the extremely talented teachers at the workroom.

September 20, 2019 — Karyn Valino