Why We Make

We make to pass old ways onto new hands.

It amazes Karen that something so straight forward, like the simple process of making with natural materials can be so profoundly transformative. She finds that her head, heart and hands are brought into a particular relationship with one another when she makes.

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First there is the gathering. We have a duty of care to the plants and animals that we make with. Gathering too much of anything disrupts and damages the ecosystem from which we’re harvesting (and that we love!). Being out and about, connecting with the place where those particular plants, trees and animals live inspires our creativity and the need to create.

You can’t rush making.

Karen has to become at one with the material she’s working with. It’s a gentle step by step process that helps her drop into a deeper, slower way of being. Only when she slows down can she begin to listen to what is moving within her and how she’s connected to all the life around. She becomes grounded and present. Karen finds the surface, heady busyness of life rests and a clearer perspective arises. While her hands are busy, her mind slows and her heart opens and she finds it easier to talk openly (both to herself and to others). Making helps her tend to herself, which is therefore a way of valuing herself, especially when something beautiful has been created.

Peace and tranquility come into play and before we know it hours have gone by. By the time Karen comes to the finishing stage of making something, she finds that any anxieties and troubles that she had at the beginning, have softened and often melted away altogether.

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Making allows us to express what’s inside and Karen often finds that the final product will have a fair bit to do with how she was feeling and what was moving in her at the time of making.

She feels a deep satisfaction in making something beautiful and strong with her own hands, that she, or someone else will use every day. When we make we feel alive, resilient and empowered.

‘I believe that the good medicine of making is the birth right of us all. And as my hands get older, I get great joy from passing these ways onto new hands.’