I have, one might say, an ambivalent relationship with crafts. As an art teacher this sometimes becomes a difficulty. I’m ambivalent because I have learned how to do a lot of crafts, and am good at a lot of different kinds of crafts, but don’t especially like having nick-nacks in my possession, and cannot judge very well whether anyone else would like them either — so if you give me something to make, chances are I can make it, but my sense of whether something would be worth making or not, along with my ability to complete it without external pressure, is very inaccurate and undependable.

Why is this? Well, in my own case it has something to do with the brain-scrambling affects of being an art education major, and something (perhaps more) to do with having a good deal more than I want or need. The reasoning (though a bit fuzzy, since it’s reasoned in feeling) goes something like this: I neither want nor need anything that I know of, and would appreciate not being told of things to want which I had never yet thought to imagine. It is therefore difficult for me to imagine other people wanting something, and especially wanting a silly crafted something. I therefore let some of my own feelings drift into what I imagine others to be feeling: this is a fun project, and I’m glad you gave it to me because I like you, and it’s nice that you were thinking of me enough to give me something — but I really don’t know what I’m going to do with it.

My feelings, for instance, about this year’s crafts might be something like this:

1) Cross: Lanyard crosses are attractive, tightly woven, and small. Perhaps I could attach it to a notebook or something.

2) Kite: We could go fly the kite. That could be fun

3) Windsock: Bit of a stretch. Why are we making this again?

4) Bracelet: Well… yeah… but not my thing, really

2 thoughts on “Crafts

  1. When I do crafts, I’m a perfectionist. I often get stuck thinking too hard about how to do something. I’ve learned from our friend A__ that not caring how something turns out actually makes it easier to get a craft completed, and it usually turns out good enough.

    Oh and I like the windsock, because you can use it to measure wind speed.

  2. “[I] would appreciate not being told of things to want which I had never yet thought to imagine.”
    Wow, that is very nearly my own sentiment about many things, crafts included. Examples: nice cars, nifty gadgets (like ipads and smartphones), interior decorating, and the lists go on. You have done me a service, since I had not been able to articulated this myself. I don’t have anything against the many interests of others (often with fascinatingly detailed enthusiasm). I just can’t find anything in myself capable of similar interest, and therefore find it difficult to connect.

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