I come from a long line of makers of things and I am very thankful for that- probably many of you do if you looked back at your ancestors. It was once done out of necessity , now, thankfully in many places, it is done out of the love of making- whether it be fiber arts, wood, iron and metals, food or whatever the object, it is made from the soul of a person. I love to see this resurgence happening all around me.
I am a keeper of things too- more on that another day… but because of that I have kept some things that are very special to me. This is a part of a runner that my grandmother made in the 30’s or so. I love how vibrant the colors still are to this day. I have a room size rug that matches this runner as well. It is more worn since it lived in our formal living room when I was growing up. This was my early inspiration to become a rug hooker.
My grandfather was a master plumber by trade but loved to build furniture as a hobby. He lived with us, or we with him I suppose since it was his home, and I remember his workshop and the smell of sawdust- a wonderful memory. This is a miniature chest that he built- I use it for jewelry, he made 2 more of them that my cousins have. He also built desks, cupboards, detailed shelves, my full sized playhouse that I had moved to my property when we sold my family home- complete with furniture, and many other things. He made sheet metal patterns for his furniture as well. I have no idea what happened to those, they were long gone when the difficult task of cleaning out 90 plus years of peoples lives took over one summer. I have 2 copper watering cans that are still in use, made by him. I wish I had the large copper pots that he made, but they went to a cousin. He was a utilitarian maker of things.
My mother was a fabulous knitter. This is a fishermans sweater that she made for my father- It is very heavy and warm, beautifully made and something I treasure. She made clothes, did needlework, but mostly worked with yarn. I never did learn to knit from her, I was too busy outside riding my bike for hours. She did instill in me the value of handmade which I will always carry with me. Even though there were no formal lessons from her , just being near her growing up I took away valuable lessons of working with my hands.
I have always been a maker too, but found my passion in hooking. This is one of the first tea cozies that I made for my daughter a few years ago now. She uses it daily in Scotland. She has become a maker of food- always trying out new recipes and making up her own. Her photography is stunning and she may someday put together a book. This daughter did learn to knit from my mother as a young child. She will pick up some needles again and remember what it was like to spend that time with her grandmother learning a craft.
The tradition continues with my oldest daughter- she made this for me several years ago- it too is a possession that I will treasure forever. The three represent my three children. She now makes sweet things for her 2.5 yr old son and 3 month old daughter. She will always be a maker of things.
My son makes pottery when he can, my son in law works with wood as a hobby and my other son in law likes to create wonderful things with a 3D printer! Although, together over the holidays, the 2 made a beautiful detailed wooden spoon.
What precious gifts we all have as makers of things- let these gifts continue with future generations- from traditional, to utilitarin to things we haven’t dreamed of yet.
I intend to spend a part of my day hooking rugs- enjoy!