Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Craft as meditation

I am reading The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock.  It is about a woman born in 1700 who started doing paper collages, with some other media included, the first mixed media artist.  I found a good quote in it
Craft is engaging.  It results in a product.  The mind works in a state of meditation in craft, almost the way we half-meditate in heavy physical exercise.  There is a marvelously obsessive nature to craft that allows a person to dive down through the ocean of everyday life to a seafloor of meditative making.  It is an antidote to what ails you. ... One can lose oneself, even in paint-by-numbers, and the loss of the self within safe confines nurtures the imagination.  To ornament one's existence, even with six paint-by-numbers paintings, is a key to understanding one's personal wealth - and acknowledging that wealth in others too. (p298)
I refer to this as I have been using my game to make some mandalas.  My game is a bit like painting by numbers as the colours and shapes cannot be changed but I can still design different mandalas (or images) within the paramaters allowed by my pieces. I have found that I want to build more and more onto my original designs, as well as change them by turning pieces over to see what will happen.  It is amazingly restful.

I notice that this book was published in Melbourne, by Scribe Publications Pty Ltd.  It is a very heavy book to hold, the paper is all shiny and must be of some very dense paper.


parlance said...

That's a beautiful quote, and there's truth in it. I remember I used to knit when I was walking around on yard duty as a primary teacher, and I found I could more calmly handle the fights and arguments in the playground if I knitted.

Mary said...

Parlance, I used to work with a teacher who could knit while doing yard duty - I could never even try! Nowadays I suppose it would be forbidden in case a child impaled himself on a knitting needle.