Art instructor founds spot for crafting, learning and sharing
A red door, a red porch swing and a brightly colored sign with the words “Let’s Paint” adorn a small house on Teasley Lane in south Denton.
The building houses Marynell’s Craft Attack, which offers crafting classes in pottery, drawing and painting, fabric painting, jewelry making and more, as well as parties and rentals.
“We’re really just five retired ladies who got together, who still want to learn and create,” owner Marynell Kaufman said. “Each of us had a specialty and we decided to share our knowledge with everyone else.”
She and Carolyn Wimp, Ginger Smith, Merrily Prescott and Merla Pittman all met at the Denton Senior Center while Kaufman taught classes.
Kaufman has volunteered at the Senior Center for 17 years. She’s also taught summer camps, home-school classes at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center and classes at Briarwood Retreat Center.
She said teaching classes and collecting the needed supplies like molds and paints overwhelmed her.
“I told my seniors where I was. I told them, ‘I am 65, I could stop and throw everything away or open my own studio,’” she said. “In three days, I went from drowning in stuff to opening my own business.”
Before choosing her location, Kaufman said she had driven by the “old house” for about a year before inquiring about it. She learned it had been a business and the owner wanted to rent the 2,400-square-foot space to someone else.
Kaufman, a grandmother of eight, said she finances all the needed items for her business and her friends volunteer by teaching their classes. She said she’s thankful for her husband, who helped finance the project.
“The business does not have employees, and they are all here to support me,” Kaufman said.
Since Craft Attack opened Sept. 1, the group has managed to work out a schedule that fits everyone. In the house’s kitchen, also called the “whatever room,” a wall calendar lists the classes and times.
“The ladies at the Denton Senior Center have been absolutely fabulous,” Kaufman said.
Smith, who teaches stained-glass classes, said the instructors at Marynell’s Craft Attack are really good artists.
Smith said she doesn’t have a formal education in her craft, but over 20 years she’s learned enough to share her knowledge.
“I have worked with Tiffany-like artists,” Smith said. “It is a craft that you can either do or you can’t, because it is real tedious.”
She met Kaufman five months ago at the Senior Center and felt welcome in the community. When she learned of Kaufman’s idea, she wanted to participate.
“I’m at a point in my life when I want to have some fun. She is one of the most giving artists I’ve ever seen,” Smith said of Kaufman. “I used to be a full-time jeweler years ago, and I found that the more secure an artist is, the more they are willing to share. And that is one of the ways you can tell someone who wants to be an artist from someone who is an artist.”
In addition to having people who volunteer and share their craft, Kaufman also helps her students create businesses.
Cindy Hartsock attends Wednesday morning ceramic classes at Marynell’s and started selling items at her church.
“She got me started. Now I have my own little business, and thanks to Marynell, I am able to sell ceramic Christmas trees,” Hartsock said.
Kaufman said she wants to provide customers with a chance to dream something up and then create it.
“Life is about learning and creating,” she said.
During the holidays, Kaufman plans to offer specials — to be displayed in front of the house’s entrance — and an opportunity for customers to create memory plates and other gift items.
Kaufman said she and her staff are patient and willing to work with anyone interested in trying out any project.
“And we are very reasonable because we are all retired,” Kaufman joked. “We are not trying to earn a living — we just want to make our bills and have a good time. That is mainly what we are here for.”
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARYNELL’S CRAFT ATTACK
Address: 9085 Teasley Lane
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; classes booked by appointment.
On the Web: www.marynellscraftattack.com