There’s a lot to be said about the various mediums through which handmade art is created, mainly that they bring enjoyment and appreciation to the masses that view them. As cathartic and exciting that art is to the audience, it tends to be even more so for the creators. It’s humbling to realise that when you purchase a handmade piece of art or craft, you are in possession of the physical manifestation of another person’s emotions, internal struggles, and private joy. Sometimes the passion that drives artists is forgotten or overshadowed, which does them a great disservice. It’s imperative to remember where all the beautiful, wondrous, fascinating handmade objects we appreciate come from!
Untapped Potential and Desire
Sometimes, creators don’t realise they have the urge and skill to create handmade arts and crafts until well into adulthood. They might stumble upon their calling by accident by attending a weaving class with a friend, or taking an art elective in college. It’s not always an instant connection between artist and medium – sometimes it takes a few tries before everything starts to flow in a way that brings great satisfaction to the creator. Oftimes there’s some indefinable quality to the process of creating that fascinates the artist, which local ceramic artist Emily Simmons explains in detail:
“I began making ceramics back in 2006… I can’t say why exactly, except that I was drawn to the wheel. Something about “throwing” a mug or a bowl using your hands, clay, water and some centrifugal force just seems magical. I would go home at 9 pm and lie awake thinking about how I could decorate or glaze my little square dish that I'd been working on. I completely loved it!”
Stress Relief, Zen Moment
When we find something we truly love to do, it injects a modicum of peace into our lives. While stress is also a definite part of the creative process in any type of handmade art or craft working, typically the main payoff for the artist is a sense of deep satisfaction and fulfilment. In situations where an individual works a highly stressful job or is frequently in high energy, high risk situations, a suggested form of therapy is to try and find some kind of hobby that they find soothing. More often than not, that hobby tends to involve working with their hands to make something, allowing them to exorcise their negative feelings through the act of creation.
Leaving a Legacy of Thoughts and Feelings Behind
Making something with your hands is perhaps one of the best ways to leave a lasting legacy behind, as evidenced by the many famous sculptures and paintings that have endured the centuries. Whether a maker loves to express themselves through colourful, eclectic wall-hangings or by channelling their emotions through watercolours, they are etching out a legacy with every movement of their hands.
“Pottery is a slow process but it’s extremely gratifying when something comes out of the kiln that makes your heart sing,” says Emily Simmons. “It’s an object that could theoretically survive for centuries if you don’t drop it on a concrete floor. That’s pretty cool!”
Not every handmade artistic creation is going to last for hundreds of years, but the legacy isn’t limited to the physical form. Every time a painting or wall hanging or bowl is viewed, it evokes some manner of reaction in the audience, and that reaction is a legacy in itself.