I have always had a special place in my life for art. It relaxed me and enabled me to solve problems I was not confronted with anywhere else. Being creative meant freedom from thoughts, stress, and day-to-day problems. Alas, growing up in a rural farming community, art was nothing more than a happy diversion and not to be taken seriously.
Over the years I dabbled in almost every medium. Whatever struck me as interesting or challenging, I tried. My very favorite gifts were not flowers, candies, or clothes, but welders, tools, and torches. I remember the first welder I ever got. It was a Valentine’s Day gift from my husband. When he and his coworkers sat around during the lunch break to talk about who gave their best girls what gift, my husband admitted to the welder. The coworkers were determined he was sleeping on the couch for life after that day. I was thrilled.
When helping to organize an Old West Reenactment Festival weekend, I met up with a whip cracking cowboy and I fell in love–with the whip, not the cowboy. Not only did I have to know how to crack that whip, but I needed to own one. Sadly, I learned right away that owning a cheap whip was worthless. Quality was worth the money. I found a new challenge, learning to make a whip–a good whip of my own. This is where things got difficult. There are so many videos and tips and tricks out there, but nothing for a true beginner who had never plaited more than a pigtail and had no idea what went into a real quality whip. I have such horror stories of duct tape, electrical tape, rope, newspaper–all these things failed me and I was left with a lot of wasted money and no whip.
It was then that I wandered/was invited into the Whip Basics forum. Nowhere on the internet was I welcomed so warmly by the members. The whipmakers were helpful and skilled, the whipcrackers were too and more than happy to answer questions and direct me to where I needed to go. It was the support and friendships and knowledge I gained there made it possible to be here, as Sui Generis Whips. No one had ever told me that my vision was frivolous, no one ever told me no.
For this, I thank you Robby Amper, for creating Whip Basics in the first place. For being such a wonderful friend, teacher, and support. To the other Whip Basic members and talented whip makers that guided and taught me how to be better at creating what I create. Finally, I thank the new people that come in to the forum, curious and determined, who help me most of all by teaching me how to think in new ways and solve new problems with their questions. Without all of you, I would not be here.