Tuesday, 1 January 2019

The New Year and Welldoing

The New Year is a time for reflection.

In these turbulent times, it is important that we find a calm space.

Last September there was a lovely article in the Guardian newspaper in the UK

Craft has the power to save us all - a wooden spoon at a time.

Here is an extract from the article by Rhik Sammader

It doesn’t even matter if you’re good or not. There is something about making things that many of us are missing out on. An inherent mindfulness, a state of flow. It needn’t be solitary – the emphasis at Make More is on group workshops and skill sharing. It’s an essential way to un-knit our current crisis of mental health. There’s a word doing the rounds, “welldoing”, which points to why craft is great. Creative expression provides a tangible reminder that we are more than our use to advertisers, more than data to be sold. Making connects us to our species’ essence: we are Team Thumb.

What’s more exciting is that the philosophy behind all this could have a deeper impact than simply therapeutic benefit. “Engaging with our products, repairing and maintaining them, rather than expecting to get things cheaper, from further away … at a systems level, that’s a different economic paradigm,” explains Tom Mansfield, who runs the talks here, and is involved with a number of social enterprises, including the League of Pragmatic Optimists, which bills itself as “a club of doers, committed to making the world a better place”. He cites community-owned energy projects: selling renewable energy to the grid, using the profits to fund community gardens, apprenticeships, and more energy projects.

I love the term:   Welldoing

  • Don't use all your precious free time just for passive entertainment. 

             Do and create something using your own hands, heart and head. It  is so satisfying. 

  • Don't just click and buy. 

                                  Do and make something yourselves. Express your own creativity however humble the result might be. This creative expression 'provides a tangible reminder that we are more than our use to advertisers, more than data to be sold.'

  • Don't just throw away.

                                   Do and repair and maintain.

Some inspirational quotes for the New Year.

Theo Moorman's book 'Weaving as an Art Form' was written in the 1970s.  She had noted how young people were turning to crafts.

'As Noah, hearing and seeing the waters rising, must have recognised the power put into his hands in the form of the simplest possible tools and materials, the hammers, nails and planks of wood which were to save the living world, so perhaps spinners and weaver today treasure and revere their spinning wheels, loom, and fleeces when they hear the daily news that pours from radio and television.'

'What dark, or melancholy passions can overshadow his heart, whose senses are always full of so many various productions, of which the least progress, and success will affect him with an innocent joy?'   a quote from 1669

Last year I read a fascinating book  called Finding Flow: the psychology of engagement with everyday life.  by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  (published in 1997). Although I thought that there was not enough about craft work in the book,  this quote was particularly penetrating.

He reminds us that:

'All folk art - the songs, the fabrics, the pottery and carvings that give each culture its particular identity and renown - is the result of common people striving to express their best skill in the time left free from work.'                  

I have taken this to heart and wondered what am I going to create this year? Where will my interest in weaving take me?

I  want to share my love of weaving in my blog so do follow my creative journey and find your own space for the creative activities that you love.

Happy New Year to everyone. 

Here is a link to a fascinating article in the Observer magazine  20th January 2019.


As one of the weavers says, '

'Each stool takes two to three hours to weave. “It’s pretty laborious sometimes,” she admits, “but as long as there aren’t any tangles, you get into it. That’s what I’m aiming for – that elusive flow,” she continues. “I guess that’s why anyone does anything labour intensive and complicated, because that’s the reward: that state of mind.”'

Here is a link to my previous January 1st blogs.