I have some very sad news to share with you this morning. One of our regular instructors, Marinke Slump, better known as Wink, took her own life last Friday after a long battle with depression.
I only worked with Wink for a short time so I didn't know her very well, but I was immediately impressed by her creativity and her love of crochet, as well as her enthusiasm for sharing that love with others.
It's better for those who were close to Wink to provide the tribute to her. So I'd encourage you to read her sister's moving post on Wink's blog. Other bloggers throughout the craft community are also posting their own thoughts and reactions to this terrible news.
And here are some words from the former Tuts+ Craft Editor, Rebecca Lowrey Boyd:
"It was my great honour to work with Wink on Tuts+. She brought so much joy - and vibrant colour - to the pages of our site, and taught scores of people how to crochet from scratch. She loved rainbows as much as I did, and enthusiastically created the most beautiful projects.
Wink had always said that crochet saved her life, and I’ve heard so many other people echo that sentiment: the slow, meditative process of crochet - or making anything with your hands - is a fantastic way to experience mindfulness, which anyone can do - and benefit greatly from - in their own lives.
Wink had a rare talent to teach and inspire other people with plain language and simple instructions, and created the most wonderful mandalas; fruity pot-holders; rainbow baskets; and the ever-popular crochet pink rug.
I believe her tragic death highlights the need in our society to talk more openly about depression, anxiety and suicide, and how we so desperately need to establish emergency mental health crisis centres.
I’m utterly devastated that we’ve lost Wink, and she’s left the global craft community in mourning."
One crochet blogger has created an online project called #MandalasForMarinke that is designed to honor her work, raise awareness about depression, and give crafters a creative, positive outlet for their grief. For more information and to take part, read the announcement post.
I'd also encourage you to read some of Wink's wonderful tutorials to get a glimpse of her creativity. Here are just a few of her creations over the years: