Handcrafted's Chelsea Miller: Making Things More Beautiful Than They Have To Be
Read more about Chelsea Miller and how she completely embodies what it means to be handcrafted below.
"When I was little I thought I’d solved all my future troubles and it turns out I had. I wished on every shooting star for happiness. I knew if I were truly happy I would be brave, and dare to dream. Every birthday candle and fallen eyelash since I have wished for happiness.
I am a storyteller at heart, my sense of place growing up in Vermont and my admiration for utility in design have cut a path for me which is unique. I have embraced triumphs and failures as a way to digest my experience and share something authentic. My knives are an honest representation of my existence as a woman, a daughter, and student of the world.
Growing up in deep rural Vermont, I was home-schooled by my mother and life-schooled by my carpenter-blacksmith father. I formed a special connection with the land around me and with few other children to play with my imagination was unbridled. Although my family had little material possessions, I was taught the value of natural resources, for they were a renewing source of wealth. My father built houses, kept bees and tapped Maple Sugar trees. My parents were resourceful and we ate what we grew and were entertained by sunsets and feeding fish in the pond. My father used horses to log the land and cut those logs into beams by hand. I was unaware of any other way of life, and looking back I am grateful for the freedom my childhood allowed me.
I have always considered myself an artist and the rural existence left me longing for artistic interaction. I would say to my parents “I want to live in New York where the people are”. While other teenagers were looking to dull their emotions, I was compelled to amplify them. I was active in theater, film, music and dance and attended an acting conservatory after high school in New York. Together with other young artists I made many films, and performed on stage to diverse audiences. After several years working in New York City, my father became ill and I chose to leave NY and assist in his complex care the last few years of his life.
It was In the process of accepting his illness that I began to revisit and explore my father's work-shop. My previous relationship and familiarity with the land and craft provided inspiration for my knife designs. My father imparted his knowledge of metallurgy and woodworking from his crutches and wheel chair. He gave me a lot of space to make and correct my own mistakes.
As my father’s health continued to decline, my work became a clear illustration of my reality: loss, imperfection, vulnerability and it pushed me to cross boundaries, make new discoveries and test my imagination, tough as hand forged nails.
Knife making became a practice, a safe place for self discovery, creative expression and personal freedom…an outlet for me in processing the illness of my father and ultimately his death.
For this gift I am eternally thankful.
I hope my knives will arouse curiosity while retaining their simplicity, cutting one object into two, multiplying nutrients.
The materials I use have personal significance for me, sharing the significance with others is part of my story. I hope my knives enrich relationships between family and friends and the food we prepare and share together."
Check her out: