EKRA | Emily Kircher Recycling Artist

Around this time every year, I think about my business: what has sold well, what have I enjoyed making, what do I want to do for the next year.  At the beginning of 2012, I decided to focus my efforts on making rugs and even more specifically than that, custom rugs for people to match their decor.  It was going great, I was busy all year long, lots of orders and interest.  Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bad idea.  I was too busy, working my arm and body too hard.  In early November, I went to the doctor because my arm hurt so bad I couldn’t do anything, much less crochet.  She sent me to get an x-ray, a nerve conduction test, and occupational therapy.  The x-ray showed nothing broken, but the nerve conduction test showed nerve damage.  The occupational therapy wasn’t really helping and I wasn’t able to crochet without a lot of pain.  The doctors and therapists suggested that I take a real break from crocheting so that my nerves could heal.  I cried and cried, cancelled my pending orders, and stopped taking custom orders.  I felt lost because I had basically just lost my job.  And I did it to myself!

Every crisis is just another opportunity, right? So, with all this time on my hands, I bought a few looms to try my hand at weaving rugs, I think this might be a way for me to make rugs in a way that is less stressful on my body.  Also, I’m revisiting making mosaics.  I left it by the wayside once we moved to Carbondale because it was really difficult to find supplies and I was not really interested in photographing them for my etsy store.  Well, in the 3.5 years we have been here, I have become better at finding other sources of second hand supplies and also have become a better photographer.  Mosaicking uses different muscles than crocheting, so I’m back to it.  I’m also working on rebuilding my crocheting muscles.  I need to go very slowly, for example, crochet 5 minutes a day for a few days, then 6, then 7, all the while taking breaks and maintaining good posture.

My year end business review came early this year, and forced me to recognize that I won’t be able to make anything if I’m not healthy and taking care of myself.  I’m going to reintroduce mosaics and maybe some other things depending on what clicks.  I hope you are ready!

Green and Orange Mosaic Frame




  • Jennie

    I’m so glad to see you taking care of your physical AND creative needs. The mosaics are super cool, and your photos rock. Your attitude (and honesty) are refreshing. I heart Ekra, in whatever form she takes :)

    • emily

      Thank you Jennie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-Bush/100000129439194 Sue Bush

    Understand completely and hope you feel better, soon. Rest rest rest those hands and arms. It’s the only thing that will help and yes, using other muscle and bone groups will help! Been there! *compassion*