My Handmade Life: about slow making

O livro que me tem inspirado mais nos últimos tempos. Lã Beiroa para um projecto (muito) lento para mim. E, claro, café. | The book that has inspired me the most lately. Beiroa yarn for a (very) slow project for myself. And, of course, coffee.

Um casaco que tricotei para o bebé F. Igual ao que fiz para a Nina quando ela nasceu. | A jacket I knitted for baby F., similar to the one I made for Nina when she was born.

Pantufas de Verão em crochet para a Nina, feitas nas manhãs lentas entre brincadeiras de mãe-filha. | Crocheted Summer slippers for Nina, made on slow mornings between mother-daughter plays.

Bordar enquanto vejo o workshop Slow stitch and essays on the importance of quiet creative making, da Petalplum. | Embroidering while watching Petalplum's workshop Slow stitch and essays on the importance of quiet creative making.

O progresso lento de uma peça bordada em momentos de pura paz interior. | The slow progress of a project embroidered during moments of pure inner peace.

Detalhes e avesso de algumas peças minhas. | Details and reverse of some of my works.

"Slow making using textiles has a special quality. It is a process that is generative and makes something, useful or maybe not, in a slow process of growth. I see stitching as a common language with the ability to relax, unite and inspire (...). Many artists and makers describe the sensation of being 'in the zone' when working - a happy place where the creative process is a smooth and reflexive experience. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi identifies this as 'flow', a state in which you are fully engaged with a task, challenged by your work, in a manner that is not stressful but satisfying. The process of being in a state of 'flow' can be very sustaining to an artist. The combination of engagement with materials, using one's hands and the level of absorption in an activity can be highly therapeutic. Processes that employ engagement between hands and brain have a way of progressing in a calm way. If I think about the repetitive rhythms of hand stitch, I feel an emphasis on the process, often not the end product - a strong connection to the feel of the fabric, the choice of thread, the way the cloth moves as I work my needle through it. The pace this can lead to a measured way of thinking and often not only about the work in hand. Meaning can emerge from the making process, the repetition and rhythm forming a restorative activity (...)
She (Judy Martin) says, 'Stitching gets me up in the morning. I look forward to spending that quiet time with myself... It's emotional therapy; as I stitch, other things fall into place; the time it takes helps me to be quiet; inner time goes backwards and forwards. Time is recycled."

(Claire Wellesley-Smith, in Slow Stitch, Mindful and contemplative textile art)

Acho que nunca antes tinha encontrado uma descrição tão perfeita daquilo que sinto quando trabalho com as mãos. É por isto que não consigo ser mais rápida a produzir. Porque assim perdia esta aura de paz que sinto quando trabalho, e que sei que passo para as minhas peças. É por isto que não é a mesma coisa comprar aquilo que é feito industrialmente, em massa. E é por isto que já não me imagino a trabalhar noutra coisa qualquer...


I don't think I've ever found such a perfect description of what I feel when I work with my hands. That is why I cannot be a faster maker. Because that way I'd lose this aura of peace I feel when I make, and that I know gets imprinted into my work. This is the reason that it's not the same thing to buy what is industrially mass made. And that's why I can't imagine myself anymore working on anything else...

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