I have been reading Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World by Mark Frauenfelder, who is the editor of Make and a co-founder of Boing Boing, and I have really been enjoying it. I am only on the third chapter, but it has been quite inspiring already. The second chapter was about fear and making things, and it reminded me a little of Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking which is a book that has helped me in my art career. But Made by Hand is centered less on the realm of traditional art and more on DIY and hacking and making. In my mind I know they are all a part of the same thing, but I realized when I was reading about Frauenfelder killing his lawn to start a garden that I relate differently to many DIY projects when they get to a certain scale. For example, I am rather terrified of putting up this fence that I have been planning for many months, as well as many other large home improvement projects that I would like to do. I get easily overwhelmed and anxious about projects like this.
Maybe the fear is about scale, or labor, or use of new big tools. With my artwork, the scale is very small, and the smaller...the better. While my work is labor intensive, it is not physically intensive...it involves fine skills and repetition. And I am familiar with small scale tools and am comfortable in picking up and trying new small tools, too. I am relatively comfortable in trying out other forms of artwork in this small personal scale and I feel nervously excited to try new things. But with crafts like yardwork and home improvement, all these things are bigger and unfamiliar and a bit scary. They seem more "important" because it is about my living space and not just a small trinket or decorative ornament.
Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.