head hands heart craft
Crafting meaning in life
A ceramist’s favourite place to be is in the studio. I know it’s mine, making pots with clay in my hands - bonus if Hestia the kiln is humming her calming song in the background.
As I’m falling asleep at night dreamy images of what I’m working on, what I want to make next, swirl through my mind. During the day as I try focus on work at the computer I can’t stop myself from contemplating and researching potential solutions to technical challenges in my craft. The spaces between are filled with sketches and notes. And every glorious weekend is dedicated to clay- wedging, building, drying, firing, foraging for combustibles, building fires and packing saggars.
Clay, and all the ways I can work with it, bring meaning to my life.
This meaning is something I’m sure most craftspeople, artists, makers, innately feel.
Craftsman, designer and artist Alan Moore writes that there are three abilities key to practicing craft:
First- the capacity to look beyond the surface of things and get deeper into the details
Second- the curiosity to always ask the question “why?”
Third- the openness to new perspectives of our world, and zooming out to capture the bigger picture
For Moore, these three abilities circle back around to how to be, and how to live, with meaning.
Craft feeds us.
Craftwork as a practice infuses our lives with passion, excitement, honesty, patience. Craftwork grows generosity and love.
“...the master craftsman is adept in using a philosophical framework, as well as tools and materials, to deliver useful things to the world. All Craftwork is in one way or another ‘being in service to others’, and that is what makes it different as a frame for life.” -Alan Moore
This is a rather exciting lens to view craftwork through. I know I’ve always felt it, but Moore so elegantly captures this feelings through his words.
The purpose, and the meaning behind making craft objects, and making them well, goes far deeper than monetary value and exchange. Our craftsmanship brings us a way to create greater meaning in life.
beauty + function + skilled making = craft