February 20, 2024 2 min read 2 Comments

My mornings are quiet. Knitting with my coffee– Bengal Spice tea, now that I’ve given up caffeine.  It’s a lovely quiet ritual time.  Lately, instead of knitting, I’ve been reading Melanie Falick’s new book, Making a Life.  It’s not knitting time, but somehow it feeds my soul in much the same way.  

Melanie has gathered the stories of different makers who have found a way to earn a living while making things with their hands.  It’s a beautiful collection of stories as different as their craft, but through each, she has managed to give voice to something that I have struggled to articulate.  There is a profound hunger within us all to create beautiful, tangible things.  

Not just tangible, but useful.  There is power in the ability to create the everyday objects that serve our basic needs–furniture, clothing, baskets, and bowls. The desire for creative mastery connects us to our ancient ancestors who created the tools they needed to survive.  Making these things ourselves grounds us and gives us a sense of competence– a feeling that we can take care of ourselves in the world. 

Reading Melanie’s descriptions and excerpts from conversations, I had to grab a pen to capture their words which so perfectly express all the feelings about why what we do matters and how to reframe the way in which we think about it.  One quote I particularly loved was 

 Designing and creating beautiful useful things is just as much an exploration of what is important in life and what it is to be a human being–and how we should live, as any other art form including fine art.  

Some of these makers have achieved great commercial success, others, just enough to continue to live the life they love. None of them came to their work because they needed external validation. They do what they do because it is their passion and brings them personal fulfillment.  And that is enough.  

Making a Life is a beautiful book, and I am looking forward to chatting with Melanie this week on YouTube about her book, the people in it, and her thoughts on creativity, craft, and more.  Join me.

2 Responses


February 25, 2024

Bengal Spice is my favorite!!

Tyral  Spence
Tyral Spence

February 20, 2024

Look forward to your interview

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