Friday, April 5, 2013

why I craft

because we are right at the very beginnings of this blog, I thought I would write some posts over the next few months that tell a little bit about who I am and why I am writing this blog anyways. (I share a little bit about this in my about page, so these posts will mostly be expansions of what I started sharing there)

to start off, since this is after all a craft blog, I thought I would write something in exploration of the question why I craft.  what is it that originally drew me to the handmade, and what keeps me coming back. 

ask any crafter this question and you are likely to get a myriad of responses, each unique to the individual being asked. I love this! I think it speaks directly to craft's accessibility. to the fact that anyone can pick up two sticks and some string, or a handful of beads and some wire, or a spool of thread, or brown paper and twine, or buttons, or clay, or ink and make something that is truly mesmerizing and miraculous! Of course, I am over-simplifying a little here. There are learning curves (sometimes steep!)that must be overcome. But the reality is that you can take those tools and turn them into something that is your's, just like I can take those same tools and make them mine. 

I also fully believe that craft is subversive. It allows me to opt-out of the system every day! In this world of instant gratification, I can take the time to concentrate, to put my love and efforts into creating something that serves a purpose. I can choose to make my own clothes or accessories instead of purchasing products with origins I cannot be confident or sure of. I can spend a little more money to purchase someone else's crafts, and then maybe buy a little less because of it. Buying, making and selling crafts puts intention back into purchasing for me. It slows down my consumerism. And that is subversive. 

Thirdly, craft tells a story. And I love that story. When I started taking classes in university, I was absolutely embarrassed when people in my sociology and women's studies classes talked about those people who knit in public. But as I expanded my horizons a little, read more books, met more people, I realized that there is a link between feminism and craft, between culture and craft, that I can take pride in. I am no scolar of the roots and variations of craft, but the different stories it has told across the globe and through time are fascinating. Women knitting several generations ago knit for very different reasons than I do. Maybe to keep their children warm through the winter, or to provide a needed household item that couldn't be purchased easily. (they sure weren't writing designs for their etsy stores!) And the fibers and techniques traditionally used varies depending on where in our world you look. The pieces made by different cultures and in different time periods serve different purposes, they tell different stories. And yet, there is something universal about the art of making. I love this! 

and so, here I am, adding my own part to this story. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ruth!
    Just to say hello and how glad I am to be spending a rare moment online this afternoon flicking back through the pages of your blog!

    Hope you are well! Fran x