thought she was going to be signing up for a dice game but she became an artist instead. Her work is displayed through July on the Art Wall at the .
For years she and her late husband spent the winter months in Ocala, FL, and she passed some of her time at a senior center there. One day she misread a sign and a new career as a Bunka artist was born.
“I went into the senior center and saw a sign that said Bunka,” Wenke said. “I mistook it for Bunko, the game you play with dice so I signed up to take lessons.”
The Japanese art form requires the use of a punch needle and four-ply rayon thread to create a design on a linen cloth. She is particularly proud of the “fluffy cats” she has made. “I never dreamed I could create fluff,” she said.
In her younger years, Wenke knitted and she was comfortable using needles. It was pastoral for her as well. “It was my quiet time growing up,” she said.
Bunka was strictly a Florida pastime for Wenke. It is part of what made her winters in Florida special but she has no desire to become a professional. “I don’t sell any of my work,” she said. “All my work is for my family.”
The pay she receives comes from within and the accolades she gets from others. She developed friendships away from Deerfield and it became an integral part of her life in Florida. Participating in a class gave her companionship.
“I get self satisfaction,” Wenke said. “My friends would give me such praise. Every year when I would come down they would look forward to seeing me and I looked forward to seeing them. When we came from Illinois I would take up where I left off.”
There are 23 of Wenke’s creations on display on the Art Wall including her beloved fluffy cats.