Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Simple is beautiful

A perfectly-turned wood plate showing the grain of the wood by Arthur Dean
A simple hewn bowl by Arthur Dean
Two linen pieces and two cotton lawn pieces I bought at C&H fabrics yesterday
...and more baby yarn. This one is 100% cotton 'ecobaby' by Debbie Bliss.
I'm looking for wood pieces like these for Handmade Happiness to sell.
Many years ago I used to spend August selling my things in Arundel at the month long Arundel art and craft exhibition. That's where I bought this perfect plate made by Arthur Dean (please correct if I'm mis-remembering his name). He understood the simple beauty of wood and conveyed that in his pieces. He didn't mark or colour the wood or do fancy patterns or shapes, he just let the wood speak for itself.

Did you follow the tv series 'The Island'? Thirteen 'modern' men were deliberately marooned on a Pacific island for a month and left to fend for themselves. They all survived but some were more comfortable during the experience than others. Some bent and cut the trees around them to make beds for themselves, weaving palm tree leaves to make covers and shelters. As these men were off the ground they didn't suffer the many bites that the men who merely laid down to sleep on the sand suffered. By the end of the month every man had learned to work with nature to ensure his survival and the survival of the group. 

I think a lot of us yearn for a life where we can test our making skills. A knife and a piece of wood. It doesn't have to be complicated.

 So many visitors to Handmade Happiness wish they had more time to make something with their own hands. It's inspiring to see what other people create and makes us want to have a go to see what we can achieve. But please, keep it simple. Simple is beautiful. My mother used to say:'It's better to learn to do something simple perfectly than to try to do something complicated and fail.' (I don't actually agree with this because it's only by trying and failing that we learn different skills.) What do you think? 

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