In 1977, a seven-year-old John Carlisle sewed his father a tiny sleeve for holding a pen. It featured yellow whip stitching on blue felt. He also watched his mother cross stitch pattern after pattern while working at the Craft Center in Murray. This inauspicious beginning led to a lifelong devotion to craft in a variety of forms, mainly sewing and photography. Although his eighth grade guidance counselor steered him away from sewing, John finally sat behind a sewing machine in his last semester of high school. His enthusiasm for sewing next took him to the House of Fabrics, and then to an alterations studio. With his knowledge of fabrics and access to several sewing machines well established, John started making bags and packs after hours. As friend after friend left on LDS missions, John sewed soft-sided briefcases for each one in turn. His frequent trips to WAVE Products for buckles, straps and Cordura nylon led to a sewing job at WAVE in which he designed a variety of crazy bags while earning a bachelor’s in English. In addition to his enthusiasm for sewing, John also found great pleasure in photography. His fraternity brothers elected him historian, and he bought his first SLR, a 35mm Nikon 2020. Shooting from an unlimited supply of fraternity film, John began documenting people and parties. After graduation, he bartered his sewing skills for a key to Bret Colvin and Bruce Gardner’s shared studio in ArtSpace. With a few photo classes at the U of U as a foundation, John began developing black and white portraits of friends and models he shot at the ArtSpace studio. Bartering also earned John a spot in a Dennis Mecham photography workshop shooting studio nudes. Sewing and photography may have shaped John’s crafty persona, but education paid the bills. He finished a master’s in education in 2001 during his first year of teaching at Granger High School, and he is currently endorsed to teach English, economics and visual arts (photography). His current classes include digital photography, yearbook, newspaper and humanities. This recent endorsement to teach photography required several art classes which renewed his enthusiasm for all things arts and crafts. In addition to his art education experience, he believes that his curiosity and enthusiasm will benefit Craft Lake City as he serves on the board of directors.
- Angela H. Brown
- Barton Moody