Local artist Madeleine Sabo won't allow anything come between her and doing what she loves.
That includes continuing to create her art despite losing her vision several years ago. Sabo has since adapted well and continues to create her works of art using her skills in wood turning, painting and pottery.
After learning about her "art without sight," New Mexico Commission for the Blind Orientation Center in Alamogordo contacted Sabo about hosting an event for program participants to educate them about the techniques she employs in making her creations.
"We do activities weekly to show people that blindness need not limit one from having a full and productive life," New Mexico Commission for the Blind Orientation Center director Lucy Alexander said. "We can do anything we want to do. We just employ alternative techniques to get the job done."
Alexander said the commission's main goal is to give participants the skills needed to make being blind a mere inconvenience instead of a major impediment to working and living a full and productive life.
"Often times people feel like their life is over, but I feel like I have the good news, 'You're life is far from over, you're just going to have to approach it differently with a new normal,'" Alexander said.
Sabo herself benefited from the commission's assistance. She uses a tool they provided she calls her "magic wand." With the wand she records the names of items she uses so she can identify them.
"It is the coolest the piece of equipment the commission has given me," Sabo said. "I've been very fortunate to have the commission for the blind help me out with recovering from losing my sight to adjusting to do these art works still."
While the commission usually focuses on teaching participants basic wood working and home repair, the event offered the group of nine a chance to get their creative juices flowing as they toured Sabo's home and workshop in Nogal Friday.
"I'm so honored that they picked me," Sabo said about the commission. "They teach them everything. It's a wonderful facility for adults."
"We went in to show that you can participate in leisure activities of your choice," Alexander said.
Sabo gave the group a tour of her home and workshop, offering information about the techniques she uses at her wood lathe and clay pit. The group also had the opportunity to try their hand a making their own pinch pots under Sabo's direction.
"Each one had a different interest," Sabo said. "Some were excited about the wood turning. Some were excited about playing with the clay and learning about the different processes. The main things is like I told them, their hands are one of the most important tools."
Although woodworking or pottery may not be to everyone's liking, Sabo emphasized "at least you can do whatever you want to do."
"I was trying to encourage them," Sabo said. "If you've got a little bit of a challenge. Look on the bright side, you can still do anything, you might have to change it a little, but you can do it. That's the main thing I pushed."