I had a friend knock on my door today, full of modern day fury at an annoyance that was the final straw to break the camel of the day’s back. It made me stop and think for a moment. My husband too has been suffering from some of this common malaise. Our world where we live is to the brim with stress. Everywhere I look I see people are struggling to manage a stress full existence. So where does my craft come in? Simple, it occurred to me that I choose to make things because it feels good. It makes sense to me in a world of complexity where alot of things make no sense whatsoever – how the local authorities spend our money, how the corporate institutions gamble , how corporate companies are allowed to default on tax bills, the list is endless. Making something slows down your world – you have to give your full attention to something you care about. It distances you from all the anxieties that threaten to overwhelm, there is a reason for occupational therapy in healing institutions. The brain is active on something that contains positivity. And it doesn’t end there – it connects me to other crafters – I only buy from small producers now , whenever possible. If I want an electric toothbrush I have to go to one of the retailers, but you know what I mean. It feels good to choose a gift for a loved one that is specific to them, and I can do that more easily with makers who are happy to tweak and change details to accomodate my wishes. Suddenly its a conversation, an exchange with real value.
And when I sell something I have made, invariably I get a wonderful feedback that puts a smile on my face for days. It’s a life-enhancing loop.
So what I want to say today is have a go – try making something, anything – motorcycle maintenance would work too, anything that grabs you, do it. I can bet your bottom dollar you won’t regret it, even if it looks more like something your Auntie threw away, it’s fun, and everyone has to start somewhere!
And I want to say thank you to all my customers, and to everyone who buys handmade. Thank you.
4 thoughts on “Crafty by the minute.”
This is a wonderful description of why we bother, in a world full to the brim of struggle and stress, to keep our arts going! I want to find a moment tonight to look again at your beautiful work and choose some of this art of yours for myself. I see various items that I would like to own — it’s just the choosing that is difficult. I was surprised at myself last week when I succeeded in creating a Post with exquisite art by Kollwitz and by Whitman, and where, on my Paqe at least, the two artists look wonderful together! It matters little to anyone but me, I’m afraid, and yet just studying again this art of theirs, and how it looks on WordPress, and my ability to share it (in a very limited way) made me happy . . . in spite of all that is wrong in my household, in the town of Cincinnati, and in all towns.
“Making something,” you say, “slows down your world — you have to give your full attention to something you care about.” That is exactly right.
Hello Martha – I wish you were closer geographically I feel sure we would enjoy some of the same things and wouldn’t it be lovely to share a meal or a coffee? If you are ever in uk be sure to tell me!
I can feel very bleak sometimes, and it is creating that prevents me from falling in to despondency. Being human never fails to stretch one does it!! I am making a wonderful book at the moment based on a curiosity I knew nothing of – the Voynich manuscript. It looks very similar to an Italian herbarium from the Middle Ages but it isn’t . NO one knows quite what it was created for. Don’t you love a mystery?
Best wishes from Nottingham
Hey, sure. Let’s see what happens. Interesting!
I have a maker friend out in Maine who sent me these lovely hand-crafted roses, just because.
he goes by the monikers of Mad Tinker and Wandering Atavist. He’s selling his hand forged roses for a hundred dollars or more, depending on the style. And he’s been commissioned to do more.
And yes, I heartily agree with you on the psychological benefits of creating.
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