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Neurodiversity and a love of crafting, with Needle Felting Gem.

Meet the Maker

Gemma from Needle Felting Gem talks about neurodiversity, crafting, and the benefits of pursuing a career you love.

Guest blog written by Gemma from Needle Felting Gem.

Hello there!

Today I would love to introduce myself to you and for you to get to know me a little more. My name is Gemma, I am a neurodiverse needle felting artist from Yorkshire. I run a small creative business called Needle Felting Gem. If you would like to view some of my work, you can find me on FacebookInstagram and Etsy. I am excited to be taking part in this weekend’s virtual market event run by Pedddle and Handmade Hour, called ‘Love Leaving Lockdown’, where I can showcase some of my work with you.

As we are celebrating all creative businesses and the creative people behind them, that got me thinking about all the types of wonderful creators we have amongst us, and the impact our work has on us! I am autistic; therefore, my brain works differently to some people. I have a hard time conserving my social and emotional energy, which I found was quickly drained working with people in a ‘regular’ workplace. 

Sometimes on the days that I felt I needed time to reset or recharge from the overwhelming world around me, I would turn to art. I would go out with my camera and take photographs of nature, paint, draw, or make things. One day I came across needle felting, and I instantly loved it. I love the sound of needle tapping into the wool as it tangles the fibres. I love the repetitiveness of the whole process and how it helped my mind concentrate and focus on the here and now. I was able to create items people enjoyed, whilst grounding myself with auditory stimulation (the needle
tapping). 

I know there are many artists and designers who find their work extremely therapeutic, and that is the real beauty of working doing something you love. I get to look after my wellbeing, reduce the chances of having an autistic burnout and make beautiful items for people, all in the quiet of my own safe, home environment.

I will forever be grateful of the support and kindness I have received so far, and I hope to welcome all types of people to my work and creative circle.

I hope by writing this post that it may inspire someone to go back to a craft they once loved or get back to a hobby they used as a coping strategy when times feel tough. Because sometimes, practicing self-love and enjoying art leads to beautiful places, like the Pedddle and Handmade Hour platform, and the amazing community I feel honoured to be a part of.

Have a lovely day and remember – your wellbeing is important.
Gemma x