Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why do I make things?

Before I start this post, I have to admit I'm way behind on my podcast listening. I only just got around to listening to CraftyPod #94, "Why Do You Make Things?"

At the very beginning, Sister Diane asks, "Why do you make things?"



What do you mean, why do I make things? Of course I make things! Is making things optional? I mean, maybe there really isn't a law of the universe that says I MUST MAKE THINGS. But it feels like it!

I literally cannot imagine what it would be like not making things. I keep trying, but then my mind does this disconnect and runs away from the thought. It is simply too foreign.

But why make things?

Well, for one thing, I love it. I love the feeling of satisfaction I get from a well-conceived, well-executed project. I love the process of making stuff…well, most of the time! I love the shiny or pointy or sparkly or pretty things I use to do it.

I love looking at a stash of supplies and seeing what it could be, how it could be transformed. I can take the most mundane items and make something awesome. A stick, sandpaper, and some beeswax turn into an awesome magic wand for the Half Blood Prince midnight release. My basket of fluffy fiber becomes a beautiful scarf to keep my mom warm as she sits on her back deck, surrounded by her cats and dogs. Some simple cotton yarn becomes a hat to keep a newborn in Haiti warm and improve her chance of survival.

There's also the small detail that my tastes far outstrip my bank account. I can't afford to buy all the beautiful scarves I see in stores and catalogs, but with some good yarn and an investment of time, I can make enough to keep me warm all winter. I can take cheap, beat-up furniture from Goodwill and turn it into something that's presentable enough to use in our home until we have saved up a bit of money. I can create a beautiful home for far less than they charge in stores.

A lot of what I do I have learned from an array of wonderful women, starting with my mom and grandmothers and continuing through Sunday school, Girl Scouts, and school. Some of it I have learned from men, such as my favorite instructor from Georgia State, Kyle Dillehay, who helped me figure out chip carving when I wanted to use it for a self-portrait project. I'm thankful for all these people, and like to feel my devotion to "making things" makes their investment of time and talent worth something.

There has never been a time in my life that I haven't "made things." I hope that never changes!

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