Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Reading About Making

The challenge continues: finding time for making while preparing for a move. This week, I waited out showings of our home by knitting in a Mexican restaurant and in a city park. Unfortunately, that is about the extent of this week’s making — unless you count my creative vacuum patterns in the carpet. I was, however, able to read about making and that’s the next best thing.

The first book that I started is In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney. A routine set of interview questions resulted in 100 unique sets of responses. It is heartening to relate to the women’s outlooks and the challenges that they have overcome. At the same time, as a mother of three, it is daunting to realize how few of the women are mothers. It seems that even when work is passion rather than drudgery, the work/life balancing act continues. I expected enlightening light reading, and ended up with something that stirs much deeper thoughts. In addition, while the question-and-answer format of the book makes it easy to pick up and put down as needed, that same pattern makes it difficult to keep track of the individuals represented. At about a quarter of the way through the book, it was time to put it down for a bit.

I moved on to the Late Winter 2017 issue of VogueKnitting.” Years ago, I was given the magazine subscription as a Christmas gift. I am fortunate to say that each year since then, the gift subscription has been renewed. These days the issues sit for a little while, but I always find time to read them. I enjoy the magazine, even as it gently reminds me of how woefully behind the fashion curve I am. When I first read an issue, I usually only find one or two patterns that I want to make — but if I revisit an issue a few years later, after the cutting-edge of fashion has been softened by the mainstream, I typically only find one or two pieces that I don’t like. Ah, well, so much for being en vogue.

With my spirit renewed, I picked up All Art Is Propaganda,” a collection of critical essays by George Orwell. Drawn in by the title, I was unsure what to expect from my first time reading Orwell. I am really enjoying his writing and the way the essays are making me look at certain subjects from new angles. So far, the essays have all touched on the concept that a person cannot create without adding a message of some sort to the creation. Hence, the art becomes propaganda as that message or point of view is promoted. The essays are intelligently written, complex, and completely fascinating. Once again this week I find myself about a quarter of the way through a book, but I won’t be putting this one down any time soon.

I may even pass the time during our next showing by reading instead of knitting.

What making-related books have you read recently?

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