Recently I released a post whereby I mention that arts and crafts are one of the things I love most, and how this site will be dedicated to this from now on. Therefore, I just want to share a bit about what arts and crafts are and why it is so near and dear to me.
Defining arts and crafts
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, arts and crafts refers to a movement in European and American design during the late 19th and early 20th centuries promoting hand craftsmanship over industrial mass production. Arts and crafts are objects that are meant to be both useful and beautiful, and it involves the activity of making such objects.
The mass production of things with technology and machinery often loses the touch of personalisation, beauty, and even love, which on the other hand is very prominent in a uniquely handcrafted item that is individually designed.
Arts and crafts are generally associated with making things with one’s own hands (although I would debate that, as I have seen people make beautiful and unique things with their feet and even mouths). The activity of creating these arts and crafts are usually considered a hobby, but in today’s day and age it can even be considered as multi-million dollar businesses.
Some crafts have existed for centuries, being passed on from generation to generation, while others are more recent inventions (for example diamond dot art).
Arts and crafts have no age or gender restrictions and can be enjoyed by both young and old, male and female of all ethnicities.
One can begin and practice the skills of arts and crafts in some schools (for example woodworking or sewing classes), attending workshops in your local communities, being self-taught, or even online following some step-by-step videos. The best thing about it, is that it is a learned skill (not necessarily a naturally born talent), and can be adopted by anyone.
So much more than just a hobby
Although it may be considered a hobby, arts and crafts can be so much more than simply something to occupy your time with. It’s a form of expression, a door to escape your worries, a stress release, or simply a way to show or create beauty.
Through arts and crafts you also develop skills and new talents. There are people that have dedicated their life’s worth on their craft and as a result have become successful business owners and have really made a difference in the world.
Just try to imagine a life where there is no art…think about the interior (or exterior) of your home without those special items that brighten a room, that add a sentimental and memorable setting…it would be pretty bland as you can imagine. Arts and crafts can take you on a journey of self-discovery, creativity and therapeutic bliss.
Types of arts and crafts
There are countless ways of expressing yourself through arts and crafts, with so many options of mediums or materials. You could specialize and be skilled in one or more of these types of crafts. One thing to remember is that practice makes perfect. The more time and love you give into your craft, the better you will get and the more beauty you can share with the world.
Here are some examples of different types of crafts, but the lists can go on and on:
Crafts involving textiles include cross-stitch, crocheting, embroidery, knitting, lace-making, quilting, sewing, shoe making, weaving and so forth.
Crafts involving wood, metal or clay include metal- or woodworking, jewelry, pottery, pewter embossing, wood burning etc.
Crafts involving paper or canvas include calligraphy, card making, decoupage, embossing, origami, paper-mâché, quilling, scrapbooking, sketching and the likes.
Crafts involving plants include basket weaving, pressed flower craft and so forth.
There are many other crafts that can also be included like, balloon animals, bead work, doll making, dollhouse construction and furnishing, glassblowing, mosaics, stained-glass, toy making, polymer clay and so much more.
Any medium, any design can take you to a magical place of craft euphoria.
What arts and crafts mean to me
I have said before that arts and crafts are a form of expression, and for me this also represents a form of communicating with yourself, how you feel or what’s on your mind in that point in time. Of course the piece that you work on can also communicate a certain message or symbolic meaning to others as well. I have this strong desire to share beauty with the world, and one of the best ways I am able to do this is through arts and crafts. I love making something unique and personalised for someone else and seeing their smile brighten up because of it (especially if it is a sentimental piece that can treasure a certain memory or create a new one).
What appeals to me most about arts and crafts is that it is an expressive outlet that allows me to escape my reality or elements of an unpleasant situation. Art allows me to live in a world that is completely my own and it allows me to explore social constructs and ideas in greater detail. It reduces my anxiety and sadness and acts as a very effective stress reliever. It can give me hours of relaxation and lets my creative juices flow. Honestly, if I did not have my arts and crafts, I would be a miserable wreck (which I have been when I allowed myself to let the world dictate what success is, and neglect my love and passion for art).
Of course, it is also important to incorporate functional crafts as opposed to simply a beautiful decoration. Whereas art does focus on aesthetics, that does not mean that it has to be useless. Think about all the unique handcrafted and precision of painted tea-sets as an example – both beautiful and functional.
To me it doesn’t matter how small or extravagant a craft or piece of artwork is – if there is love put into creating it, it can be the most beautiful thing in the world. Therefore, whenever I make something I always put my heart and love into every piece in order to share it with the world. Plus I just really love making things and working with my hands. I could spend hours in my creations, letting go of all anxiety, trouble and worry, and staying in my happy place.
Find your muse
If you are looking for an escape, a stress reliever, a hobby, discovering a new or hidden talent, then I encourage you to try doing some arts and crafts. You don’t need to be a creative or “artsy” person to reap the benefits of crafting. All you need is to let your heart and your hands (or feet) express the beauty you want to share.
It can be something as simple as doodling on a canvas, to creating the next Eiffel Tower. Whatever it may be, start finding your muse and share your inspiration with the world…the world needs to see what you have to offer!
As always, please leave any comments or questions below.