By Jessica Crabtree
In 2011 Amy Binder and her husband Cy welcomed their fifth and final child into the world. “That was in April and here it was, we had five kids and began thinking about the Christmas season, bills and providing for all of our children,” the mother of five explained. Binder’s profession is a teacher and coach, choosing teaching as a way to spend the most time with her kids, and coaching because she is passionate about athletics and competition. Binder considered her options. With little time on her hands, she resorted to what she knew, being inventive and using her artistic ability.
October of 2011 the Muenster native began painting glass Christmas ornaments, adorning each with names, initials, school or college logos. That year Binder sold approximately200 ornaments, acknowledging it was purely a source to help provide for her family. As popularity grew, customers began challenging Binder with different requests. Admitting the quality of her work improved through experience, the entrepreneur and artist has gained knowledge of paint and the process of assembly. Every year since, Binder has hand-painted around 200 glass Christmas ornaments per Christmas season. “Due to the success of the ornaments and the confidence I gained through selling my artwork, I realized that with five growing children, I could help ease the financial burden of a large family by continuing to paint throughout the year,” Binder expressed.
Afterward, Binder began creating family trees on canvas. The base of the tree uses the matriarch and patriarch names and the tree then is formed on up by all family members’ names. It is a unique display, one that combines a handmade, personalized touch. Once the family tree canvases took off, Binder started incorporating wood. “I love the family trees, but canvas is not forgiving. With wood, you can sand it down, re-paint and redo if you mess up; wood is so forgiving,” acknowledging wood as being her favorite material to work with and paint on.
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