Saturday, October 15, 2011

In Search of My Own Garden

October 14

This was originally supposed to be a broader philosophy statement, but rather than keep it on the blog as a treatise, I think I'll just post it and move on . . .

I've started this blog, in a very practical way, as a means of communicating with a group of other like-minded folks engaged in a craft swap. It provides a focused and controlled way for me to share my information in a way that is easier than Flickr.

In a much broader and more meaningful way, however, this blog invites me to share a part of myself with the world that I usually keep fairly quiet. And yet, that part is, in its essence, the most expressive part of myself. Expressing myself through the act of making things with my hands or voice.

Years ago, I read "In Search of Our Mother's Gardens" by Alice Walker, which powerfully related how generations of women before us were artists denied creative outlets. Without access to paint and canvas or clay or pen and paper, these women instead turned their creative spirits to the materials that were within their grasps. They sewed quilts of breathtaking beauty and complexity (many of which now hang in museums), the tended exquisite gardens, sang gorgeous songs. For many, these great works would be known only to themselves and their families, leaving no other trace of their creativity.

This essay has stayed with me all these years, reminding me how primal the creative drive is in all of us. It has brought me back to the few antiques in my life, a few old quilts, a few pieces of furniture, to consider the stories behind the individuals who made them. In a time of countless craft blogs, I am interested in not only considering some of the "how tos" of craftiness, but also the deeper wonderings about how society privileges who can express their creative spirits more easily by making things (while others may have less access).

So, these are some of the questions I am interested in exploring, in addition to the usual stuff o' life. I love doing lots and am skilled at nothing in particular, so my projects will likely range from knitted socks and scarves to quilts to sewn projects to cards to refinished furniture to baking. Nope, never gets boring around here!

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