Why is Making by Hand Important to You? Join the Conversation

Why is Making by Hand Important to You? Join the Conversation

Shortly after I started working on Making a Life, I attended a maker weekend co-hosted by the Makerie  and Sweet Paul magazine. During spoon-carving class, I met Barbara, a Wall Street financier, who explained she had been attending this annual event for several years. The gathering and the friends she made there were, she said, her creative lifeline. A few weeks later, via email, I asked Barbara why making by hand is important to her. She responded quickly:

“I create with my hands because I’m afraid if I don’t, I’ll lose my true self. Creating helps me deal with the injustices of life, both the factual and the ones made by my own insecurities. I create with my hands because I need to see and smell (yes, smell!) loveliness, color, texture, aroma. I need to run  my hands in wool; smell colored pencils, oil paints and linseed; prick my fingers with pins; thread a needle time and time and time again; rip back; cast on; erase; trace; doodle; and sketch. My crafting teaches me patience, to see the beauty in everything, to look at people, to look at myself, enjoy every line and crevice. I believe patience is perseverance and there is something extraordinary in the ordinary.”

Struck by Barbara’s thoughtfulness, I immediately reached out to the online maker community and posed the same question. I received about a hundred responses in a few weeks, and that enthusiasm and interest gave me the boost I needed to move on with my project confidently. Please check out many of the responses below. And, if you like, add your own. This is such a fascinating conversation. Note: It’s also happening on Instagram with the hashtag #makingalife.

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