(This is not a scientific post but a short analysis on how Art help to develop Love.)
I have always been in touch with the art and craft ever since I saw my dad paint a scenic drawing on the egg shells. I have also been a collector who likes to collect any thing. I first liked to collect stationary and it is still a habit even after I grew up. I then learnt crochet, sewing and embroidery in school. I continued with crochet ever after. Then I was possessed by the beautiful art forms like Drawing and Mehndi and then I started collecting cute little things like stones, shells and crystals and once a friend asked me if I am going to be a Shaman as I had some interests in sorcery too. Honestly, I am not a sorcerer or a shaman but I’m an engineer who believes and preaches science.
Now when I turn back and look at the path that I traveled, I feel so proud and lucky to have had an opportunity to do all these. I was never taught any of these art forms and all the knowledge I have about these art forms are through analysis and experiments due to my interests in them.
Recently when I visited Spotlight (the famous craft and fabric store in Australia) I felt that the fabric prices have increased a lot and the yarn and craft supplies are also very expensive. It was not like this before, when I talk to other crafters, knitters and tailors they say that everything was affordable then 10-20 years back and people used to know these art forms and make things at home. When I shared my concerns about how these art forms are diminishing, my colleague said she is more worried about how the ‘Dine art’ is slowing fading away due to take away shops and fast food shops. It is true, like she said, how many of us make a recipe from the scratch. Even beef and chicken stock are available in stores and even sambhar powder is pre-made and packed. I remember mom saying that sambhar powder can never be stored for too long then the flavor and the smell would fade away but they pack and mark the expiry as 1 or 2 years valid.
Having said all these, are we not leaving behind all the great art forms and walking towards a mechanical world. I don’t insist that we don’t have to earn money and sit at home and do crafts and sewing but we should at least learn one art form. It is sad that many of us don’t even know how to sew a button and if we can’t find a tailor to stitch it we throw away those clothes and buy a new one in the next sale. I don’t know if we can find any good tailors in the next 20 years to stitch a salwar suit or a men’s suit.
Isn’t it true that we have forgotten handmade techniques and that is why the stores have started pricing the handmade products as very expensive products. Remember the Italian handmade shoes, Handmade handbags from Paris and handmade jewelry selling in the stores. I don’t blame any of those brands or individuals who sell stuff for such high price anymore because they are some of the last people who are practicing these art forms.
When I was recently driving in the Motorway my son asked me “Mom, what is everything made of?” I answered him that everything is made of ‘Atom’. It doesn’t hold good in all cases but I don’t want to confuse a 5 yr old child with the energy advertised as in ‘up and go’ and the atomic energy levels so just left it simple stating ‘Atom’ is what everything is made of.
After asking about all the non-living things, trees, animals etc, the funny part came next.
“What is water made of?”
“What is air made of?”
“What is mom, dad made of?”
“What is love made of?” – I was bemused by his question and realised that you can never feel like a genius in front of a child and maintained a 2 sec pause which is when my husband came to my help after gazing at me, he just said “It’s made of Atom too but it gets a bit complex here as you need to study more about Atom and energy to know what it does to create Love”. I don’t know what the little fella thought but his face was satisfied and he remained silent.
So why did I say all this, as I said it is not a scientific post but that 2 second pause made me think and examine “What is love made of?” I found an answer to it while sewing the first blanket for my son and my husband. They didn’t want it to be perfect but they liked the fact that I sew that blanket for them. That is ‘Love’. My son said, he would keep it forever and my husband just praised me for sewing it with my hand. I felt so satisfied as if I did a great thing for my family.
I saw the same feeling in a colleague’s face recently when she finished her queen sized blanket using knitted squares. She knitted those squares in the train on the way to office and now they are lovely beautiful queen sized blankets used by her family. Who said that full time working women can not do crafts. She is a busy IT developer and a mother of 3 kids and a proud knitter.
I would not like to advice but just want all of us to reconsider our thoughts about learning an art form and not let the sewing, knitting and crocheting art die so that the future generations would look at even a yarn ball or a sewing thread or a spice grinder as a relic.