Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Creative Human Power

Something amazing which I forgot to mention earlier, was that when we were in Lucca, Italy about 3 weeks ago (Wow, it seems like ages more!!) there was an old world crafts market celebrating human powered creativity. It was so cool to see.

Shoes whittled by hand

Baskets woven

Tools sharpened with leg power

Corn Brooms being tied and sewn

Textiles woven with foot power

There was also an artist using a hand cranked drill to create useful things out of copper, several more artisans weaving baskets, and two women exhibiting their talents in embroidery and other stitchery. Everything was purposeful and beautifully made. It just made me think about how much you can accomplish with the power of your own 2 hands (and feet!) and how our idea of "need" has been so altered by the consumerist world we live in - but that is a blog for another day...

So, speaking of human powered creativity, a treadle or foot powered sewing machine has been on my wish list for a long time. I used to see them all the time in thrift shops. When I do see one now, which is rare, they are quite costly. From what I have read though, if you are able to find a Singer treadle it is worth the buy as they are still regularly used in Amish communities, making parts and maintenance information still available. I am sure that special machine is looking for me too and it's going to be very soon, I can feel it. Here's hoping when I find it that it doesn't join our table soccer in being a drying rack for clothing!

On a final note, a couple of books I would love to mention that relate to old world crafts, and creating a handmade life for yourself are :
Made From Scratch: The Pleasures of a Handmade Life - by Jenna Woginrich
Lost Crafts - by Una McGovern
Country Living Handbook - by Carla Emery

Power To The People! xo

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing what can be done without all our technology of today.