A lot of makers talk about the need to make. The urge, the passion, the compulsion. It's all true for me.
I make for the joy of making, I make to enjoy the things that I make, I make for the pride of having made.
But I also make to diffuse difficult emotions, to meditate on problems, for respite from inescapable things.
Sometimes that's a conscious choice but quite often that need is well disguised.
I don't connect my sudden and compelling need for a new [insert hand made item here] with the fact that I am currently experiencing [insert life stress here]. I can totally fool myself into it. I go make to deal with whatever I can't deal with.
Those stresses aren't always bad things, sometimes they are big excitements, waiting for good things about to come, too much good stuff happening.
But I have come to understand that making is a way in which I moderate and regulate my experience of the world and my response to it.
I consider myself very lucky that my urge is to make rather than, say, drink or gamble to get me through but I am trying to get better at owning up to the legitimacy of making as an emotional practice. I've always defended making as less a hobby or pastime than an essential domestic skill. It's so darn practical to make your own clothes, right?
But this has never explained why I have gone on knitting something I know full well I will end up ripping out, why I regularly stay up way too late before going on a trip somehow convinced I absolutely need to sew myself a few items of new clothing before I can depart. I've been known to buy awful op shop yarn and a crochet hook just to crochet a string bag I will never use.
It makes sense to me now that I have learned that the making is an essential component of me not losing my shit. It's more important than sleep or a sensible conversation when my temperature is rising, more helpful than strategy, more fundamental than insight. It's the bit that comes before, during and after a crisis that makes sure I don't get lost, it's trails of breadcrumbs that mark my path.
These photos are the things I have made since my last post. There have been a couple of others I didn't photograph, things made hurriedly or in the dark of night, or too insignificant to record. But yeah, it's been a making kind of month. Not everything has been a grand success, but I'm strangely unconcerned by that. I'm just glad I've been making.