Q. I am an artist at heart. I enjoy creating pictures with cross-stitch and paint, making new items from broken items, adding something from nature to a household decoration, or creating a new function from something that has just been sitting around gathering dust. What ways can/do the Amish express their artistic side when so much of their life is consumed with the chores of everyday living? Does the concept of a “plain” life limit self-expression?
~ Monica Eggleton
A. The many rules of the Amish church will somewhat limit self-expression. Yet, there are many ways that Amish women can express themselves: through their beautiful flower beds or the pretty dishes they like to collect and display in their china cupboards or on top of a dresser. Creating quilts is also a ready outlet for expressing themselves. Scrapbooking, making cards, and embroidery are all ways that each individual can shine with their own talents. Amish men can express themselves through woodworking, taking special pains in keeping their farms looking neat, and keeping their animals well-groomed.
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