Friday, February 8, 2008

The Recycled Craft Ethic (A Manifesto)

I've thought a lot about this: why I create, and what I create with. I create to be powerful, to make for myself in my own way what companies would want me to purchase. I create to have beauty in my life, to make my environment and that of my partner and our daughters beautiful. I create to show love, to share my creativity and give my time to friends and family. I create to calm myself, to be with myself or with my daughters in relaxation and enjoyment. I create to challenge my intellect, to work out problems very different from my academic and home lives. Or really, I just create because I like to.

What I create with, however, is also very important. I'm unwilling to buy new materials with which to work, because my family doesn't have the money to spend for them and because we have a practice in which we do not buy new goods unless necessary. I'm also concerned about consumerism, commercialism, wastefulness, and the environment, and I want to teach my daughters to also be careful and wise here.

And so I create with things that others before me have used. I create with ephemera, such as board game pieces, or trash, such as plastic grocery bags, or damaged goods, such as holey T-shirts and felted wool sweaters. I find it rewarding to create and to live up to an ethic that is useful and good.

So serious! This doesn't reveal at all that what I really do is make dinosaur T-shirt quilts for my daughters, and Ozzy Osbourne T-shirt panties for myself, and necklaces out of Scrabble tiles; that I flit from project to project, the infinite variety of second-hand goods enabling my attention deficit; that my house is utterly filthy because I'd rather string beads with the girls than pick up the stepped-on jelly sandwich, that when my eldest daughter, Willow, asked why we were going to Joann's and I replied, "To buy a zipper," she chided, "No, Momma. We need to make that."

How would one go about making a zipper by hand?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you will see my comment but I just want you to know that I browsed your entire blog and I love it!

It so makes me want to keep old clothes, fabrics, towels... It so makes me want to recycle more!

And for your question I answer with another : How would one go about making velcro by hand?



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