Recently, two of my staff commented separately that they were feeling more comfortable with all the different craft projects we offer each month. They need to know how to make everything we offer–it can feel daunting at first but like anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Now that my business is well established as a place to bring children to create, one of my goals this year is to invite more adults to take part too. Whether they make something along with their children/grandchildren, book a private skills class, or plan a private party with friends, making things with our hands can be trans-formative for us grown-ups too. If we can get out of our own way.
This week, a grandmother decided to make our Felted Chicks in a Nest project, while her granddaughter made the Bunnies & Hutch.The eight year old dived confidently into her project, choosing paint colors quickly to suit her vision.
For her grandmother, it was a much more difficult process. She found fault with her first chick (too big), sighing that she would have to make the remaining two the same (too large) size. She made the nest, then took the chicks home to add eyes and beaks. She bought additional wool, so she could make additional sets for her other grandchildren, saying that she likes to practice on her own to get things right. My hope is that she can find some pleasure in making these gifts for her grandchildren, rather than the judgement and perfectionism I witnessed, all too aware that her granddaughter heard it all.
This is by no means uncommon when adults work with their hands. What happened to us that we judge ourselves so harshly? Why must we worship at the altar of perfection? I have written about this before, so it’s not something new. And some children have these tendencies too, crying when something doesn’t turn out the way they wanted it to. But mostly, children enter into the making with confidence and joy. We can learn something from this, if we are relaxed and open enough to let it in.