By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
Monday, November 19, 2012 —
Origami, cake decorating, crocheting, cross stitching, photography, stained glass artwork and writing: these are the things that occupy Sandhi Rushing’s time.
Growing up in the mountains of Kentucky, Rushing spent her childhood learning about various crafts, anything that needed to be created.
“It was a really good foundation for expanding your imagination,” said Rushing.
Since the age of 9, Rushing has been doing origami. It began in a grade-school math class, where she built a basic model, and blossomed from there.
She works with colored paper of all sizes, shapes, densities and colors, but Rushing prefers using money.
If a particular piece requires more than one bill, Rushing uses sequentially numbered notes.
“They are folded consecutively, what they call sister bills,” said Rushing as she displayed stars, a cannon and even a rabbit, all made from money.
When she leaves a tip at a restaurant, it’s not just money; it has been formed into a piece of origami.
“They call me the money lady at certain restaurants. I say, ‘No, I’m the origami lady.’ ”
Rushing has also made more than 5,000 paper cranes.
“There is a Japanese legend that if you make a thousand paper cranes, your wish will come true. I didn’t think a thousand was enough, so I kept on making them,” Rushing said.
She has her cranes strung together, and at Christmas she strings the chains of cranes around the Hospice Christmas tree.
When not folding paper into precious shapes, Rushing can be found out in her workshop, creating orignal pieces of art from stained glass.
Unique creations adorn the ceiling of the tiny workroom and crafting materials stretch throughout every corner.
“I find it very relaxing,” Rushing said.
“Some people get worried about the glass they use, worried about breaking a piece. I don’t care if I break a piece of glass or not; if it’s broken, I’ll make a stepping stone out of it.”
Rushing’s stained glass artwork ranges from pieces arranged to resemble parrots to dogs to even a Star of David.
Rushing draws inspiration for her work from all around her. If she sees something that she thinks she can make, she does it.
“There is a reflection of your life that comes through in your artwork,” Rushing said.
“I want people to remember my art. I don’t care if they remember me or not.”
Rushing thinks it is more important to touch a person’s life, than to be remembered.
She doesn’t believe that people have to restrict themselves to a certain medium in order to do that.
“You shouldn’t limit yourself. There’s so much art, you don’t have to stick to one thing,” she said.
Rushing is a member of the Stanly Arts Guild and also displays pieces in Falling Rivers Gallery in Albemarle from time to time.