handmade things have special powers

by kath_red on 01/02/2006

in Community + Creativity

If I need a motivational pick me up, when my artistic self is flagging, I head over to read wish jar journal and am never dissapointed. She gets straight to the soul of the matter, intensely honest and heartfelt.

In a recent post she wrote about what handmade means to her. I quote “The quilt…it lays folded on the couch behind me, my most valued possession. It is sewn with squares that were once my Nana’s dresses. My favourite a blue grid pattern with small sailboats floating over top, it was the dress she wore around the house (sewn by her of course). Some of the squares are torn now from daily use. Everytime I fold it up I think of her, and I wonder if she could have known this as she was sewing it. It is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received, I feel like there are parts of her sewn into the fibres and they soothe me everytime I wrap it around my shoulders. There is a life to the objects made by hand, that a mand made object could not possibly reproduce.”

The hobby princess wrote a draft craft manifesto a while ago, her whole manifesto is worth reading but for today I am going to look at point no. 2 “The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can’t see.” This statement really resonates with me right now. Why do I spend money on fabric to make my husband a pair of groovy comfy pants, when I could get something from a cheap department store and spend the same money? of course you can get lots of different groovy fabric and adjust the pattern so you end up with exactly what you want, but what is the hidden meaning – where is the magic?

  • love goes into making the pants
  • it makes me really happy to see my loved ones wearing something I have made, I feel proud when we go out
  • I get great satisfaction out of making the items, seeing it come together, seeing my vision (or theirs) form itself into something physical
  • and when they love it and it looks good on them I am motivated
  • when they love to wear it, I feel loved.

keri smith - sweater

This illustration is from Keri’s sweater story.
“all of my clothes have magical qualities,
special powers sewn into the linings.
these clothes are even harder to come by.
Today is a two sweater day.
I pull on my
most powerful sweater of all, the off white one that was crocheted by my mom.”

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