So, I've a new addiction craft over the last few weeks. It's Temari and I love it. I like the idea that I am doing something that women began to do over 600 years ago. I like the way it feels to make something from nothing. I like the process of picking a design and colors and then working through blending the two. I like the feeling of the needle in my hand and the way the stitches lay next to eachother slowly building the design. I like the way the temari looks when I've completed it. I like seeing them all together and how beautiful they look as a group as well as individually. I like making something beautiful for the sake of beauty itself. I like looking at the finished project and saying "wow, I made that". I like the way DS looks at them and tells me "Mom, that's really cool!" I like the relaxation that comes with the rhythmic stitching and stillness of the needlework. I like TEMARI!
So, WHY do I feel like I must justify myself in this new craft?
Let me explain:
I've been a jack of all crafts my entire life. You name it, I've done it (at least once). Crochet? Check. Macrame? Check. Latch hook? Check. Cross Stitch? Check. Knitting? Check. Card making and stamping? Check. You get the idea. However, I have NEVER had to explain why I do something until I started to make Temari.
I mean, I have had the usual "why would you knit socks when you can buy them?" question but I've never had to answer "what's the purpose of (insert knitted item)?" before. Even when I was making Macrame'd wall hangings (hey it WAS the 70's y'know!) I never had anyone question the point of the completed project. (Even the Sun/Moon macrame wallhanging in the HORRID shades of gold that my Mother insisted on hanging in the living room - God help me).
But make Temari balls and this is the conversation that follows 99.9% of the time after showing the completed ball to someone else:
Me: "Here's my newest Temari."
Them: "Wow, isn't that pretty. What's a temari?"
Me: "It's an ancient japanese craft where you make and stitch these beautiful balls"
Them: "So. . . . . . .what do you do with it?"
Whenever I've shown someone any of my crafts, I've never ran into the "What do you do with it?" or "What's it for?" question before Temari.
My reply is usually "You look at it and say 'Isn't that pretty'!" which inevitably is followed by "Well yes but what is it FOR?"
How do you explain beauty for the sake of beauty? Creation for the accomplishment of creating. But still, there's a nagging feeling of having to justify my crafting with Temari that I've never felt before. Show someone a cross stitched picture of a bunny in a field with trees and no one blinks an eye. Show someone a piece of pulled thread work in an octagonal shape and not a peep. Show someone an abstract painting ala Jackson Pollock - nada. Sand art in an elongated soda bottle? Zip (yep, I did that too!)
Now, I am not saying that any of this is going to slow me down or have me stop stitching Temari but, I find it interesting that the vast majority of responses to these gorgeous pieces of art is "I don't get it".
What's WITH that?
BTW, here's a beauty for you to ponder and admire (b/c you can).