Take a minute to close your eyes and walk through the best home you’ve ever had the pleasure of stepping foot in. What did it smell like? How did it make you feel? Why did you love it?
If you put any time into this at all congratulations! You’ve given yourself the warm and fuzzies! Most importantly though, you’ve realized that the place you love the most wasn’t an empty shell from a high end magazine article. Rather, it was a place with lots of character, depth, and soul. A place that had warmth because of it’s imperfections in all of it’s hand spun glory.
The more I get into design and use my eye to look at what draws me in, the more I see original creations. When I scour pinterest looking for style ideas, the images I adore are the ones that aren’t cookie cutter. They are the ones with significance and some type of craftsmanship. Whether it’s a custom tile shower, or an arched wooden entrance; a unique chandelier, or a hodge podge of artisan layered rugs. I notice that homemade touch.
The best places have a little something that makes things interesting. That tells some kind of story about the history and background.
As I’ve begun homeschooling my children I’ve been introduced to handcrafts. Handcrafts are a skill you develop yourself at using your hands to create something useful or of value. Handcrafts have many positive benefits outside of producing an end result, but the obvious is the art of making something and getting better at it as you practice. Handcrafts date back to a time when people developed themselves at a trade and made their living from what their said skill was. It is the art of artisanship.
Once I made this connection with handcraft, I fell in love with it! I use to think of crafting as busy and meaningless work, like knitting for example. Something that bored me and seemed to simply pass time with no real grand product. That was just my perspective though because I didn’t enjoy the craft of knitting and didn’t have much use for its end product. What I’ve learned is you have to find your own handcraft. You have to figure out what end product you appreciate! It could be woodworking, jewelry making, sign painting… the list goes on forever! What is enjoyeable specifically to you! What would make you feel alive and happy making? What could you be proud of and satisfied with? What is your special trade?
It may take some time to play around with ideas and figure out, but start with something your unsatisfied with in your own home. What is something you haven’t found the right fit for? It doesn’t even have to be a household object? Maybe it’s something you wear, or use? What could you try to make to suit a need that isn’t being met?
In our home, I started in the children’s rooms. Since my hope is to introduce them to the idea behind handcraft and get them strewing about what they might like to create and develop artistically, I wanted to make something meaningful and noticeable to them, something they’d appreciate to get them thinking on the kind of things that they appreciate!
Dakota’s room has been shifting from little girl to big girl, so we decided to take down her fancy princess canopy and make something unique to her that could hang above her bed. Since she loves nature we found some driftwood on our creek bank and we tried our hand at creating a homemade mobile that adds a more natural character to her room.
The boys were more focused on something they could use and keep in their room. They decided they wanted to own pocket knives and learn how to be handy with them. They have begun practicing the rules and care of knives along with some whittling basics.
Hopefully, you will put some thought into what you might create by hand for your home. Who knows, maybe you will even discover a gift or idea worth developing and selling!
What kind of artisan are you?