I’ve deleted this post a half dozen times, because I’m not sure there’s a good way to say this thing I’m fairly desperate to say.
Maybe this will do it.
For the last few months, I’ve felt like I’ve been unfaithful to you. I’ve been thinking of myself as a maker.
I know this comes as a bit of a shock – it’s a bit of a shock to me, too. I don’t even know how to solder.
It’s just, with Maker Faire Vancouver and everything, I’ve met lots of people and it seems these people are my people. Mostly because it doesn’t even matter that we don’t all make the same stuff. Mostly because we do like to think about the bigger picture of how making stuff fits into our lives, our communities, our society.
I still love you, crafts – I’ll always love you – I’m just not in love with you right now, you know what I’m saying?
It’s your focus on the way things look and your disinterest when I want to talk about how things work or what they mean. It’s how you like to stare into shop windows but you’re not excited about ideas.
No, you’re right. Many crafters are interested in the whys and the hows. It’s why I love spending time with other makers who are also crafters, even if they don’t think of themselves as capital-M Makers – I believe crafting is making. The crafters I love spending time with are also interested in craft as ethos, not just craft as activity.
I can see how you may find this confusing.
It’s possible you’ll never really understand, but I know you agree that I need to be happy. I need to have conversations about all sorts of meaty ideas related society, art, technology, education, history, materials, technique, science and aesthetics. I have those conversations with some crafters, absolutely. Crafters I love with all my heart. But as I said, they’re makers, too. Most of the activity surrounding crafts isn’t these kinds of conversations – it’s ogling over cute cats with a bird on top.
I know what you’re thinking – cute cats with a bird on top do, indeed, have a place in our lives and culture. But I’m not that interested in cats or putting a bird on things. Unless you feel like tossing around ideas about why cats and birds and owls and deer are such a huge part of projects and conversation amongst crafters… No? Right. See, that’s my point.
I’ll continue to learn a lot from you, craft. You’re an important part of my life and always will be. I just need to spend more time with makers, now. I’ll teach them how to crochet, don’t you worry. And I’ll learn a lot of things that will almost certainly affect the crafting I do.
I’ll shout from the rooftops about how important you are – to me and to everyone.
What do you think about maybe having an open relationship?