I love making things. There’s so much joy in the simple process of creating something beautiful. The time that goes into selecting the materials, design and tools is an investment – but only the start. The effort that then goes into crafting the finished item shows real commitment.
I’m lucky enough to have mastered a few of the basics as a child. Mum taught me to knit and sew and bought me a sewing machine when I was in my teens that I still use today, although there were many years in between when in rested in the attic.
From pottery to macrame, knitting, sketching, sewing, embroidery and silver work – I’ve had a go a most things, been okay at some of them and enjoyed them all.
I desire beautiful paper, pens, cashmere and woollen yarns, wooden knitting needles gorgeous fabrics and trims. I also love the fact that you can start a project on a cold winter’s evening in front of fire – then pick it up again the next winter, and finally finish it off the following one – loving the finished article every bit as much as you’d hoped you would when you started.
Maybe I’ve got this all wrong, but it seems that the things I learned to do as a child are dying out. Kids don’t seem to know how sew or knit any more and in our digital, ‘throwaway’ age, nobody has the time, need or desire to learn.
In our quest for digital downtime, mindfulness and sustainability, surely crafting has a role to play? In a world where everyone has everything they want and nobody needs anything, what better gift to give than one you have created yourself?
Then TV programmes come along like The Great British Sewing Bee, Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas and the pottery thrown down one, and I feel perhaps I’m not alone!
Last winter a friend put out a call for a few of us interested in craft to meet up, bringing our projects with us and spend a few hours together, just chatting, drinking tea and working away. We did it a few times and it was lovely, very sociable and a welcome change of pace. I took knitting, another friend made Christmas decorations, one sketched and another did felting.
So I wondered whether something similar could work at Riverbank? I’ve been wondering this for ages in fact, so perhaps it’s time to find out… I talked it through with Phil and he came up with ‘Crafternoons at Riverbank’ and this is my first, tentative step forward in exploring the idea.
If we opened the space on a Wednesday afternoon when we’re usually closed – but in the kitchen baking and prepping. If we lit the fire and put the coffee machine on and provided cake, would anyone be interested in bringing their project along for a couple of hours? If you are even remotely interested I’d love to hear from you.