Martha Stewart is reflecting on her five month stint in prison in the early 2000s, this time by re-creating one of the many projects that she crafted while she was away.
Just in time for the holiday season, the lifestyle maven shared one of the pottery projects on TikTok that she made while in prison: a complete nativity set. Stewart showed off pieces from her original creation, as well as a 14-piece replica set glazed in white rather than the light tan shade of the original collection.
“If you’d like to give a really beautiful and special gift this Christmas with a little street cred, they’re all inspired by — guess what — a set I made when I was confined,” she said in the TikTok video, which included clips of her spliced between shots of the pieces themselves. “They still have my number on the bottom. These are exact replicas of a nativity scene that I made in my pottery class when I was away at camp.”
The number she is referring to is her inmate number, probably used to identify what pieces in the kiln belonged to who.
Stewart captioned the video, “You’ll never guess where I made this nativity scene…😇 Get ready for a storytime.”
The 80-year-old spent five months between 2004 and 2005 at a minimum-security federal prison in West Virginia after she was convicted on multiple felony charges, including conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
In the years since the incident, Stewart has opened up about her experience in interviews, once calling it a “horrifying experience” during a 2017 episode of Katie Couric’s podcast.
“It was horrifying, and no one — no one — should have to go through that kind of indignity, really, except for murderers, and there are a few other categories,” she said. “But no one should have to go through that. It’s a very, very awful thing.”
Recently in her memoir, Couric made a now-viral comment that “it took a few years and some prison time for Martha to develop a sense of humor.”
Stewart later responded to this, saying in part, “I’ve always had a sense of humor and I will continue to have a sense of humor.”
Earlier this year, Stewart opened up to Harper’s Bazaar about missing out on the opportunity to host “Saturday Night Live” while she was on probation, as well as her prison experience. She said that at the time of going to prison, she was mentally strong, and came out of it even stronger.
“It was a very serious happening in my life. I take it very seriously,” she said. “I’m not bitter about it, but …. My daughter knows all the problems that resulted because of that. There’s a lot.”
Though Stewart hasn’t always looked back on her prison experience with much fondness, in addition to her pottery class, she did pick up on another crafty skill while she was “away at camp,” as she put it in her TikTok video.
Last year during an interview with People, she talked about how she got through her time at the West Virginia prison, the skills she picked up along the way, and the famous poncho she's held onto for over a decade.
“Even when I went away (to Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia) for five months, I got through it,” she said. “I learned how to crochet. I still have the gorgeous crocheted poncho (that I wore leaving prison). It’s in the attic.”
Stewart previously shared that the poncho was made by another inmate, keeping it as a memento all these years.
“This was made by a friend of mine, a wonderful lady,” she said as she held up the poncho at a company meeting on her first day back to work after her release, according to a 2005 New York Times report. “The yarn came from the commissary. The night before I left, she handed me this — not wrapped, because there is no wrapping paper — and she said, ‘Wear it in good health.’”
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