Using Yarn as My Crayons: A Simple Act of Self-Expression

27 October 2021
By Marichka Melnyk
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They arrived in a brown paper package tied up with string, a cylinder with a handwritten label carefully wrapped around. When I opened one end of the tube, fuzzy colours tumbled out into a pile on the table in a lively tangle of yarn, and right behind them slid out a handful of sticks of various lengths and thicknesses, the kind you’d scoop up from a forest floor. It was such an unlikely, unusual but curiosity-inspiring collection of art materials, it felt a little bit magical.

The fairy godmother behind this gift was Pamela Schuller, a Toronto-based artist and community art facilitator. She shares her concept of story sticks as a mix of art and therapy, a tactile form of self-expression. I found her offering a Zoom workshop through Eventbrite, amid a pandemic-long fit of visual art-making. Though I wasn’t completely clear on what story sticks were, I did know that after months of painting, drawing, collaging, and doodling, I was longing for a new creative project to explore.

All images by Marichka Melnyk.

About Marichka Melnyk

Marichka Melnyk is a Toronto-based radio producer and broadcaster, photographer and compulsive traveller, who became an avid distance walker after completing the Camino de Santiago de Compostela across Spain in 2013. She hikes nature trails both inside and outside the Toronto city limits, including the entire Pan Am Path, and regularly writes and presents publicly about her travels. Follow on Facebook or Instagram @Marichpix and @seventy7sunsets, or to get in touch

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