"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Saturday, February 04, 2006

An interesting perspective on hand made gifts.

Barb over at Woof Nanny posted a story about a quilt she started a few years ago, for a most undeserving boyfriend (who didn't end up with it anyway), and she included some links in her post to other craft blogs. I had to do a bit of blog-hopping to find everything worth reading, but some of it is worth reproducing here.
From Wish Jar Journal:
I’ve been trying to pin down what is driving the increasing popularity of crafting for a while now. This is what I’ve got so far:
1. People get satisfaction for being able to create/craft things because they can see themselves in the objects they make. This is not possible in purchased products.
2. The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can’t see.
3. The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.
4. People seek recognition for the things they have made. Primarily it comes from their friends and family. This manifests as an economy of gifts.
5. People who believe they are producing genuinely cool things seek broader exposure for their products. This creates opportunities for alternative publishing channels.
6. Work inspires work. Seeing what other people have made generates new ideas and designs.
7. Essential for crafting are tools, which are accessible, portable, and easy to learn.
8. Materials become important. Knowledge of what they are made of and where to get them becomes essential.
9. Recipes become important. The ability to create and distribute interesting recipes becomes valuable.
10. Learning techniques brings people together. This creates online and offline communities of practice.
11. Craft-oriented people seek opportunities to discover interesting things and meet their makers. This creates marketplaces.
12. At the bottom, crafting is a form of play.
Makes you think again about your own handiwork, doesn't it? And another quote, courtesy of Barb:
By Scott Cunningham: "All hand made objects contain a bit of energy. The process that creates these objects is more than a simple repetition of techniques. During the creation process the craftsperson, through concentration and the physical activity involved, moves energy from within the body, through the hands, and into the material being worked". Do you ever wonder if your creations are truly appreciated by those who you give to? I feel quite warm and fuzzy now since reading the above words.


Barb said...

Oh wow, I'm feeling all sensitive and lonely tonight, and then I come here to find my name! That was a gift, Gina, thank you. I am careful about who I sew or mosaic for now. But when you find those who are sincerely thrilled--that's wonderful. What I need to do is give to MYSELF more often too. I tend to sew for others far more than anything else. So I'm making myself a purse now.

Dawn said...

I believe the energy you feel from hand made gifts is love; not magic.

ms*robyn said...

I worry alot about my items being 'aprreciated' by those I give them to. Not really being appreciated for the work that I put into them but I worry about them being loved. does that make sense? I have given things away to people only to see them discarded somewhere, unwanted.

Gina E. said...

Good for you Barb! You have given plenty to others, now it's your turn for yourself.
Dawn - you are absolutely right. But isn't love a kind of magic? (purrrr...sigh...)
Robyn, I think those of us who care enough to give part of ourselves, do tend to worry about our gifts being loved, not just appreciated, as you say. That's why I am compelled to rescue all the beautiful old linen I find - some old lady up in Heaven will be smiling down on me because I love her stitching!

Maggie Ann said...

Haven't we all given a handcrafted gift that took us simply weeks to make and realized the recipient didn't understand that labor of love. I tend to buy gifts for others now, well, except for friends and family who I know will appreciate the time and work that goes into something.