Can we talk for a minute about the pleasure of using our hands? Of plunging hungry fingers into damp soil, across bolts of fresh, clean cotton, over the cool and dangerous weight of a hammer’s forged metal helve?
Can we talk about how good it feels to move the body in practiced rhythm? Can we celebrate the dance of our arms as we count our rows, the rock of our hips as we lean our weight into humming machines?
And how about breath? How it slows even as sweat builds and beads down our tired flesh?
And what about the songs we sing, sometimes softly, sometimes crazily, off-key and at the top of our lungs, as we claim the sacred space of our work?
Can we talk about how good it feels to feel out our place in this world? To find the truth that we make (and are made of) each other?
Because at the end of our effort, it is not just a thing, a product, we have made, but also a better understanding of what it is to inhabit this body, to live this moment in time. This making is not just an act of commerce, it is how we (bodily) bring forth the knowledge of our grandmothers, it is how we use our hands to tell, again and again, the story of what it is to be human, woman, alive.
I had the recent opportunity to attend Craftcation 2018 in Ventura, California. Along with the practical and useful knowledge gleaned in business classes and craft workshops, I found the most useful experience was just to be surrounded by people like me, people who make things.
During the conference, I designed an amigurumi cactus. I am offering the pattern for her here: Sassy Soledad the Saguaro.