Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What non-crafters Don't realise

Have you ever been in the middle of a project that is delicate/personal/requires intense effort, and then someone-- who either does not understand what the project is, what amount of work it requires, and how much of you goes into it--just carelessly/callously handles it?

I find many non-crafters guilty of this. A side note: many writers also complain that they can't work when someone is peeping over their shoulder and reading every word that comes out on the screen.

Frankly, the best non-crafters are those that understand that some things are "see no touch" until they are at least, ready for a stranger's hands.

And at least, if they have to touch it, why can't their hands be clean? Not that I've not had this experience before... there are some people whom you don't mind putting their hands on your fabric/thread/special charms or charts because you know they(the stuff) will be handled with the respect they deserve. I have many friends like this, and for this, I am thankful.

I have to recount an incident over Chinese New Year... I was working on two projects, Vermillion Stitchery's International Bears and my HAED. HAED, as its fans would know, are best worked on high-count fabrics over one, thereby necessitating the a careful, gentle hand, a keen eye and a certain tension that won't pull the fabric fibres or 'jiggle' once the stitch is set.

And any Chinese knows that Chinese New Year means it's time to eat cookies, snacks, sweet drinks, what-have-you. Well, I was visiting my grandmother and quietly stitching in my room when a troop of noisy cousins plus aunt came. After laying waste to the home made cookies, (and some of them were made with butter!), they proceeded to invade my stitchy corner, open my floss box and ogle. That was fine, until they put their grubby, oily hands on my International Bear (a Spanish flamenco dancer darling called Maria), and my face started resembling a thundercloud that needs to go to the bathroom and 'rain' but can't.

When they picked up my HAED, which I Was painstakingly working on, it was about all I could do to restrain myself from turning these relatives into pin cushions. Luckily, my grandmother who was a great embroiderer herself a long time ago, understood a stitcher's "sensitivities' and ushered them away. Needless to say, I was a sook (sulk, in the language coined by a Tasmanian model stitcher monikered fudgeykat) the rest of the day.

I mean, can you imagine what would happen, if Michaelangelo was working on the Sistine Chapel, lying on his back near the high ceiling of the rotunda...

...and lovingly painting the Creation of Adam... God reaches out with his finger to touch Adam (I'm not a Christian, but classic art is still classic art)... then some smarmy assistant reaches out and smears the direction of the Great Master's brush... and the end result looks like God giving the Finger to Adam instead? If that had happened, I would've thrown that assistant off the scaffold.

Do people come to a sculpture and pat fresh plaster of Paris and ruin a WIP? Does anyone come up to ... okay, I'll stop now!

I do wonder if I get a little over-sensitive about it. Of course, fibre arts are some of the more 'sensual' crafts out there. You play with textures, colours, what is smooth, what is rough, different personalities of fabrics and threads and even needles. Some things, like crochet and knitting, produce things that are meant to be touched. You can play with my half-finished blankets and scarves, but don't put your hands on my hardanger until I'm done with it.

I think this is all just indicative of the fact that many people need to be educated about crafts, what they are, what the people making it can be like (i.e. difficult dragonb*tch like me). And the sad thing is, until they try it out for themselves, they will never know how long, or how winding the journey towards the end result can sometimes be.

But enough about this. I have selfish moods, I confess.

On teh music front, I'm listening to a remix album by Sarah McLachlan, borrowed from a friend. Apparently, he only found it in San Francisco. It's not bad.

Stay tuned... I'm expecting a Page 1 Happy Dance soon, and will post some craft pictures, at least.


~Harsha~ said...

can't wait to see your page 1 HD :)

fudgey said...

I have been known to rip things out of peoples hands...
and smack there hands... these days i actually say as their evil grubby little fingers inch towards my work ... DON"T TOUCH IT.....

i also have been known to remove my work from people if they dare to check the back FIRST like before they have swooned at my handi work... how rude...

Anonymous said...

I so totally understand this! I don't want anyone to touch my work unless they ask me (invading the stitchers box is the ultimate invasion of privacy, in my opinion!) and they they had better have clean hands! I get it, I get it!

Teresa (shadow5618)