Well, that’s hardly an easy question to answer, isn’t it? I’m well aware of that. But times like these have certainly got me thinking about it.
One of the first things I’ve tried my hand at making while at home was a denim rug that I wove out of my old, worn-out jeans. I’d initially started the rug as a crochet project, but it wasn’t really working out as I hoped, so I unraveled everything and started again.
My youngest sister recently replaced her bed, and the frame of the old one (and I mean old, since the bed had been my uncle’s when he was a kid) was languishing on the side of the garage. So I dragged it up onto my deck, hammered in some nails, and built myself a loom.
After a few weeks of work and a lot of podcast episodes (Desperate Acts of Capitalism and Rude Tales of Magic are favourites of mine), I made a rug! It now keeps my feet warm while I work.
So, I ask myself now, as I feel the soft denim beneath my feet, why did I make this rug? Why did I recently pick up my saxophone after 3 years? Why am I sketching and drawing more than I have in a very long time?
I think it’s a lot of things. To pass the time, sure – but I’ve also got the internet for that. To prevent myself the guilt of throwing away all these jeans just because they’ve worn through? Definitely – there’s six whole pairs of jeans in this bad boy. But the closest I can get to a solid answer to why I’m making and why I celebrate making is this: because it’s what we do.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that making is what makes humans human. We are storytellers at our core, and every act of creation is an act of storytelling. My rug isn’t just a rug – it’s the story of the yarn I found at the thrift store, the places around the world that I visited in these jeans, and all the kids who slept in this hand-me-down wooden bed. And in times like these, when it becomes all too easy to feel disconnected, the act of making is an act of connection. Even when it’s been a while, even if it’s something you’ve never tried before, the chance is there to create and to share your story.
I can’t wait to discover more acts of creation across the country, as well as more creations of my own.
Stay safe, be well, and be kind,