The Unforced Rhythms Behind Reedsmith Co – Tanika’s Story
I come from a really supportive and creative family. My parents have always encouraged my sisters and I to explore, experiment and create and now that I am married, my husband Ashton has become my biggest cheerleader. I have tried a variety of different mediums and creative pursuits over the last few years and spent a LOT of money on craft and art supplies.
When I became a mum to two beautiful and adventurous girls, I found I needed a creative outlet to prevent me from going insane being at home all day every day changing nappies and pumping food into tiny mouths. I think as a creative person, I needed to find that niche that would help me feel like I accomplished something every day apart from cleaning a house and doing the washing. Last year my Nan passed on her much loved vintage macramé books to me and I discovered my love for knotting and weaving. It didn’t take too long before I realised that there was a lot more that could be explored with this craft.
Inspired my daughters love for colouring in between the lines in her colouring books I experimented with knotting between the lines of rope. I knot large fibres and then use smaller fibres to knot in between the spaces, adding layers to create texture and a three-dimensional effect as the piece unfolds. No has been more surprised than me at how quickly and enthusiastically people have embraced my designs. Within a short time of starting our business www.thereedsmith.co I have become inundated with requests for custom designs, wall hangings, and wedding arch weaves. It’s been an exhilarating and challenging journey.
Ashton and I had an epiphany recently whilst on a trip to one of our favourite places, Bunnings. We spotted a little table set up with a few retirees who spend their time hand carving and burning incredible art. A gorgeous hand carved spoon caught our eye and we asked how much it was to buy.
The woman at the table replied “Oh, I don’t know, $10 if you like?” I couldn’t believe it. “That is way too cheap!” I said. She was surprised by our response. “So much time has gone into this spoon, it is so beautiful!” I gushed. The little lady with calloused, rough hands went bright red with embarrassment and gave us her spoon.
Every weave I create is unique and the result of late nights and long hours. The rush of adrenaline I get as I work is incredible and I feel enormously blessed to have a beautiful husband and family who are so supportive, putting up with the highs and lows of the creative process. But each time these hands work the cotton and unravel and weave, it is time I realize I could be spending with my girls cuddled together on the lounge or playing at the park.
Every weave I create carries this most precious price, the gift of time. So right now I am learning to live with the tension of balancing the delights and challenges of motherhood with the wise stewardship of the creative opportunity that I know has been gifted to me by my Creator. Ashton and I are seeking to live in what the Bible describes as ‘the unforced rhythms of grace’. It’s a work in progress but then so are we.
To find out more about the beautiful designs of Tanika Reed go to www.reedsmithco.com