This post is all about a wonderful book that I borrowed from the library called, Making a Life, Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You are Meant to Live. Mekanie Falick, author and maker interviews and visits the homes of many weavers, painters, quilters, potters, printmakers, woodworkers, silversmiths, and more, to uncover the transformative and inspiring journey of using your hands to make things.
As I browsed, read and hungered for more in this book, I examined the nature of many creatives who love to do handwork. All the chapters have fascinating titles that grab your attention. Early on I read, The Spiral of our Galaxy about Renate who uses all her senses to experience weaving. She believes in the Waldorf style education from Germany that connected her to parent group for her children when they were growing up.
With her designs, she says,” when we are following someone else’s patterns, we are mostly stuck in our heads: thinking, counting, reading. When we are figuring out a design for ourselves, we are feeling, asking questions, observing and making decisions, connecting to the process and the metamorphosis of the work on a deeper level.”
Other interesting chapters include, An Artful Life, Curiosity as Wayfinder, Integrity, Simplicity and Grace, Textiles in the Landscape, Dyeing for a Better World and so on.
Kindred spirits find one another all over the world. Coming together to stitch, throw a pot, cut paper or print.
Day by day, Nikki cuts paper intricately to create beautiful designs for her cards, children’s books or commissions.
“I don’t think we’re going to be happy as a species just interacting with computers and having robots do our work for us. I don’t think that’s a future that will be satisfying.”
For Elsa who has come from a very poor background in Cuba where her family struggled to survive daily, to Los Angeles where she lives comfortably with Bill and their two children in a 1917 farmhouse, life has changed dramatically. Her mantra is below. Something to think about. Remember. Cherish.
One of eight children of divorced parents, Elsa’s story of creativity is remarkable. She felt like an outsider. And at twelve, she was admitted to a local vocational art school that saved her life.
Today she is hatching new beginnings with creativity, community and collaborative energy.
I enjoyed reading about anything to do with textiles and hand dyeing. The author takes us into these homes.
Creating a book like this one has allowed the author to indulge her passions and invest time in others, thanks to her wonderful editor, friends, family and husband.
I believe there is potential in all of us to use our hands to make a life richer, better and in service to others.
Turning a bowl, making a teaspoon, tying knots, sharpening stones, threading beads, spinning wool.
Keep well my friends. Enjoy some lock down reading and creating. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.“ Annie Dillard