18 August 2020
Over the past few weeks we've been inviting you to tell us #WhyIMake as part of our global Crafting Futures campaign. Here are some of our favourite submissions from the past few weeks, from the UK to Malaysia and back again.
Florence Lambert, Malaysia
It’s a Saturday afternoon. My kids and I, as the rest of the country and probably the world, are at home, avoiding the bug. We have online work and online class all week. Do we want to look at another screen? NO. Instead, we take our paints, brushes, wood sticks, papers, old spoons, anything recyclable and we craft away together around the kitchen table. Why do we do it? Look at the face of my daughter: it makes her happy. While she creates away, we talk. We talk about anything and everything. We get closer to one another and we bond. I let go of the stress and she dreams and invents, thinks and makes. She learns to be proud of what she makes. She gains confidence. As she creates, she is still learning and she doesn’t even realise it because she is having fun. Craft gives you all of all of that: that’s why I craft with my daughter.
Tania Mahmoud, UK
My homemade Jenga blocks are cut out from pieces of an old wooden pallet, with a quote from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens inscribed using a soldering iron. This was just a bit of fun but I enjoyed it a lot so am thinking about making some as gifts for friends and family, with quotes appropriate to each household. The pieces are deliberately misshapen as I thought the different sizes of the off cuts gave character and makes playing it more enjoyable. I’m now onto making a wooden box with an inscription of the edition of the book and page number for the quote.
Catherine Lamb, UK
Making macramé wall hangings and plant hangers is my new favourite craft. Macramé is basically glorified knotting of string! #WhyIMake macramé? At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, work was very busy and I needed an activity to help me de-stress and re-focus my energy. Normally, I would find a healthy work/life balance by seeing friends, exploring London exhibitions or going to a dance or class. Yet, during lockdown, these outlets were unavailable to me. I needed a hands-on activity and I thought it was an excellent opportunity to learn something new and create something intricate.
Macramé is fiddly. It needs a lot of concentration, precision and resilience. Like knitting, if you get just one knot wrong it can really mess up a whole piece. On average, a macramé hanging takes me five days, with two to three hours of peaceful and personal crafting each evening. It did wonders for my well-being! I have now made six wall and plant hangings, and more on the way – all of which I aim to gift to friends and family who I also know need a pick-me-up right now.
Shaimaa Al-Banna, Egypt
Working from home can be hard – you live where you work with two kids, in my case, continuing their schooling and needing lots of activities to fill their time and distract them from thinking about how long we've been at home.
I started to watch YouTube videos on baking and it became a hobby for my kids and I to share so we can enjoy quality time together. We have done a white loaf, brown loaf, oat loaf, Egyptian bread, Lebanese white bread, Indian fried bread, Chinese dumplings, orange cake, carrot cake, cheese cake, muffins, cinnamon rolls and brownies. The smell of baking brings lot of positive vibes and happiness to our house. Baking is fun but has led to another great family activity – walking at least 6,000 steps everyday in fresh air with the right social distancing and with masks. We need to control our weight after eating all this baking!
Bethan Moore, UK
I've knitted for a long time but decided to teach myself to crochet a few years ago. YouTube videos have made me a more adventurous crafter. These fingerless gloves are the last thing I made (They came out a little baggy!). I love to have or give something individual: no two pieces ever come out the same. I mostly make gloves and baby hats – they are faster and more satisfying. But more than anything, I love the process. Once I find a rhythm, it takes up just enough concentration to quieten my mind, but still have enough spare capacity to listen to music or a podcast. I've not had the energy even for this during lockdown and I lack inspiration in summer! I will get out my needles and hooks again soon.
If you would like to share your craft projects with us, submit via #WhyIMake and tag us @british_design on Twitter or Instagram.
For some inspiration you can watch our 'Why I Make' series here.