The Therapeutic Nature of Crafting


It is starting to feel like winter will never, ever end. I am so sick of snow, and cold, and dark miserable days. So I’ve still been up in the craft room, playing with clay.  It’s been a refuge for me to escape to as I question and doubt … well, pretty much everything but my ability to sculpt a little tiny piece of clay and make it into something.

Which I suppose makes it a form of crafting therapy.

Crochet is a good brooding and putting thoughts in order activity. Something about those loops and loops and the yarn sliding through my fingers, but it’s mindless enough that you can brood think about what’s really on your mind.

Mini cupcakes

Mini cupcakes

Miniature and general gluing stuff together (yes, sometimes you just need to glue bits and bobs

together and see what the heck you get) is escapist, probably a bit like watching a great movie. You’ve created something, sort of, but you haven’t necessarily done much to get it to that point. Just added glue and some swearing (or maybe that’s just me.)

Sewing, for me, is not therapeutic. I get too aggravated with the machine, with the kidlet running off with pieces of fabric, playing under the scissors, sewing things wrong side up, etc. Much swearing ensues.

Spinning is extremely relaxing, the the rhythmic thump of the machine, and the wool slipping between your fingers. Problem is, I don’t enjoy the part where I have to card the wool (and I’m usually too cheap to buy roving, ie: pre-carded wool. Guess that’s why I haven’t been spinning much.

Sculpting and playing with clays is, to me, my peace time. Oh sure, I get frustrated when I can’t smooth out the tool marks enough, or what is plainly “easy” as described in a book is going to crap when I try it. And no, my animals and my faces never turn out how I want them. (Um … I was trying to explain how this was relaxing, wasn’t I?)

Perhaps relaxing isn’t the right word. But therapeutic is. I find I have to compare it to writing. Writing is likewise an act of creation, but it’s much more nebulous and ephemeral. I have created something, when I complete a chapter or even a complete book. But until it’s printed or ever published, it’s just a collection of bits and bites on my computer hard-drive, hardly more substantial than it was stuck in my head.

When I make something out of clay, I can easily see the whole. It has substance. I can poke it and prod it in the direction it needs to go. I can go down tangents (like all those mini cakes that I keep making, which will soon need a mini-bakery to hold them all.) I can just play.

Anyway, I’m going down tangents at this point. Maybe I need to go hide back up in the craft room, where pleasure and creation don’t require words. Up there, I am aligned and satisfied with the universe, even if it’s an itty-bitty clay one. 😉

What about you? Days have you longing for a bit of craft therapy? What helps you the most?

Thanks for reading, and yay for crafting and craft room sanctuaries. 🙂



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