Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Worcester County Annual Poetry Contest: Frank 0'Hara Prize: Judge Doug Holder

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                      ****                  Just a reminder that folks need to have a connection to Worcester County, or be WCPA members, to have their submission qualify for the contest.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sarah Kramer: The Artisan's Asylum's Dinosaur Lady.


                                                                   By Doug Holder

I met crafter Sarah Kramer at the Artisan's Asylum right outside Union Square in Somerville. This is where Kramer works amidst all the high tech gadgetry, and cutting-edge art the other members are involved with. She talked with me about her craft-- creating what she calls semi-saurs which in a nutshell is taking small plastic dinosaur figurines, cutting them in half, add a magnet, and let the consumer mix and match body parts of many types of dinosaurs. She also makes gift magnets, with intriguing images under glass. She places them in gift boxes with colorful Japanese Washi paper.

Kramer lived in Somerville for three years. She now lives in Somerville with her husband. Kramer laughed and said, " I made a big sacrifice moving to Somerville--giving up a rent-stabilized apartment in New York City for love."

Kramer has quite the eclectic background. She studied theatre at New York University, as well as the Lee Strasberg's "Actors Studio". She has worked on the technical side of theatre.  She had a stint  on  the play "Heidwig and the Angry Inch," as well as working on the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

The she found another calling. That was-- tutoring students for the Law School Admission Standardized Test. She told me, " I love to use logic in my teaching. This was a great fit for me. I helped students prepare for the test, and even more importantly I helped with deciding if the law was the right fit for them."

Unfortunately, the black dogs of depression found her, and she was unable to teach this demanding material. She went through a number of clinical trials. She was in a major study at Mass. General Hospital about the use of the drug Ketamene. With Ketamine her depression lifted, but there was still cognitive impairment from the many treatments of  ECT, and the other drugs she has taken over the years.

Kramer told me that she buys mini plastic dinosaurs on Amazon.She uses a drill press to secure a space for the magnets inside of the inanimate creatures. They have been quite popular, according to Kramer, and  she is starting to make a small profit.
Kramer hopes to get back to teaching, but for now her little creatures, magnets occupy her time, and keeps her creative juices flowing here--in the-Paris of New England.

For more information about Kramer and her work:  go to