When I was a child sewing buttons was okay, not cool, but okay. Acceptable. Crocheting and knitting on the other hand were considered uncool in so many ways. Both were the activities that old ladies did. It’s funny, how less than 5 years ago this trend started turning. Now all three are normal, even cool, trendy, and respected.
I think this has a lot to do with our crazy technological world. People crave the natural way of living, but are being pushed forward by the society. Don’t get me wrong. I love computers, I love how they changed the world, but at the same time I feel that using computer we work more with our head than our feelings, and body. Getting all three, mind, body, and feelings in balance should be our goal. When we reach that, we live a rich life filled with experiences.
I didn’t know how much that part was missing from my life until I enrolled in a seminar for Waldorf teachers, where handwork is extremely respected. I remember when our teacher Mr. Thiesen gave us a homework. He asked us to write about our will. It took me a while to write about it, only to realize I have no idea what that is. He didn’t go into it at that time. Through the course of next 10 months I started to understand what will is, but only when I was in the class, doing handwork with our pupils I understood it completely. Doing handwork is hard. Imagine 6 year old doing finger crochet. Sure some might get it in the first few tries, but some needed a few months to really do it. And, oh my did those children challenge their will. I’ve seen tears, I’ve seen the sadness, and frustration, I saw decisions to stop and fail, but in the end I saw changed children, who were proud of themselves to succeed. Amazing.
Will is strongly connected to our thinking. Doing handwork we have to be present in this world, we have to be grounded, know exactly where we are in the creative process, and use our creativity to create something new.
Handwork uses both sides of our brain, supports development of fine motor skills, and works on hand-eye coordination. It is an activity that helps a growing child and gives us support and balance in our adult years.
I came to love handwork, inside and out. Even thought this is not something I can do on a daily basis I still enjoy taking the time here and there to work on Waldorf dolls, gnomes, and fairies made of wool.
For the sake of our children, and humanity, I really hope the handwork is here to stay.
Until next time, have fun and do some creative work,