While her love of art started at a very young age, Emily didn’t discover her talent with yarn until her last year in medical school. With the fourth year of medical school being referred to as the “easier” year, Emily decided that she finally had some time to learn a new craft. Armed with a “Teach Yourself to Crochet” book, a crochet hook and 6 balls of yarn, she did just that.
Starting out with the crochet basics, she quickly made the art of crochet her own. Along with making the conventionally thought of scarves as homemade gifts, Emily has transformed her skills into being able to create some amazing one-of-a-kind pieces for those facing a difficult time. Many of her friends and family been faced with organ resection or transplantation over the years. As a gift during these difficult times, Emily crochets an anatomically correct body part to “replace” the one they have removed. For one friend who had his thyroid removed due to cancer, she crocheted a thyroid with an embroidered smiley face on it. “I made something I thought he could hold onto and hopefully feel good about when he thinks about his cancer,” Emily stated.
Emily not only finds making these gifts extremely rewarding, she also uses the ability to work with her hands as a way to relax after a hectic work day. “I was in the middle of a very hard rotation in the hospital, and the thought of expressing my creativity at work really struck a chord with me,” remembers Emily after noticing a flier advertising the exhibit in an elevator bay. She knew right away that she wanted to enter a piece that showed not only her talents with yarn, but would provide an outlet for the emotional and physical stress that can accompany work. Using work as her inspiration, she created “I Heart Yarn”. The piece is a life size, anatomically correct heart that demonstrates her love for what she considers to be two of the most important fields in medicine – art and science.
The piece not only caught the eye of the judges and the NAP Executive Director, who was in attendance to present the awards at the reception, it has also made a huge impact on Emily’s co-workers. “Many people at work are familiar with my interest in yarn because I talk about it all the time, but after participating in the National Arts Program® exhibit I have received a TON of congratulations and comments from my co-workers, including people who work at the hospital, but I have never met before.” Stunned by the feedback, Emily hopes that her work continues to inspire others to find a creative way to express the inspiration that they find in their daily careers.