As creative people, we all have a craft. Something that we are passionate about. Something that we do because we need to as much as we want to.
Your craft comes from somewhere.
We might all be born with an ability to craft, but what is it that encouraged us to find it? Was it family or friends. An attentive teacher or through sheer determination. Without that encouragement, would we have ever found it?
Mine comes from my family. It took me a long time to realize it though. I grew up in a house where things were always being made rather than bought. Inside our house clothes were sewn and toys were made.
I learned to use a sewing machine at seven. It was for entertainment and for necessity. New things are not always affordable on a humble budget.
In the shed tables were built, photo frames were constructed and bikes were re-assembled. There was very little that could not be made or fixed. The sound of the machinery is etched in my brain to this day.
Everyone was a maker in my family and I felt I was the weak link. It took me a long time to begin to create again as an adult; being the youngest, someone had always made that before and (often) done a better job. I assumed for the longest time that I was no good at craft. That wasn’t the truth, but just the way I saw it.
But now I can see it for what it was: a crafty upbringing. It gives me a perspective on the world that others take years to find. If I can’t find what I’m looking for I can create it. Be it shelves, or a bag, or piece of writing that expresses what needs to be said.
Craft is liberating. It puts you in charge of the outcome.
You get to decide how something looks. How it reads. How it will fit into your life. It’s not something that everyone gets to experience.
Through this column I’m going to explore where other people’s craftiness comes from; who influenced them and how craft has changed their lives. As well as digging deeper into the ideas of a crafty society and what it means for our future.
Will it reveal that my ideas on craftiness coming through the generations are true? I don’t know, but I’m excited to take this journey with you to find out. Where do you think your craftiness comes from?