Tag: crafts

Member Post

 

Today I turned to the sunny side. Get a mask, or make one, we are told. So my mind went down two paths at once: looking up good DIY sewing tutorials on making your own mask (I can do basic machine sewing) and making lemon basil marmalade. Naturally. Quick research on DIY masks suggests that, […]

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Hot Arts

 

My father provides ideas for stories from time to time, or the core of the tale itself, upon occasion. Beyond the similarity of our speaking voices, our storytelling and argumentation resonate harmoniously, making for easy writing. The nub of this tale starts with an email from the senior Colonel, in which he offered two images of heat: a blacksmith and an angel standing on the sun. This prompted reflections on people working with heat to create things.

My father grew up in the countryside, outside of Philadelphia. Sure enough, in the 1940s there was still a blacksmith in the community. The blacksmith has lived on in my father’s childhood memories, like the inquisitive postmistress, and his favorite childhood toy. Blacksmiths create things both practical and aesthetically pleasing through the application of so much heat that iron or steel becomes malleable. For some great pictures and description of the process, you should read Scott Wilmot’s “Homesteading: 3 Days of Blacksmithing.” Blacksmiths work in close proximity to extreme heat and can only create with metal heated to such a temperature as could inflict devastating injuries in case of accidental contact. 

Other artisans work in softer metals, melting their work materials in a sort of pot, skimming off impurities and then pouring off some of the molten metal into a mold, from which the cooled solid forms may be further manipulated into a final design, for ornament or practical use. I have an early memory of my father practicing one such art.

Group Writing: Making Connections

 

“Beware the enlisted man. He is stupid, but crafty.” Those words were first spoken to me by Bernie, my teacher, mentor, and friend.

I met Bernie in 1972 when he was a teaching assistant, and I was a college freshman. My composition teacher had suffered a heart attack, was out for the rest of the semester, and Bernie was pressed into service as the instructor for our Honors English course. He was impressive to our eyes even then. Huge. Bearded. Wise. Always a bit disheveled. Always wearing the same suit, but always with a different tie. I’ve never known a man with so many ties. I’m not sure they ever repeated. And yet, when Bernie passed away in 2012, and Mr. She and I paid our respects at the funeral home, Mr. She and Bernie were wearing identical ties for the day (the “Chaucer” tie), and one of Mr. She’s proudest possessions today is one of Bernie’s ties. Bernie was a dear friend, and a kindred spirit. I miss him.

Bernie was, in every sense of the word, a Renaissance man. There was no area of life, no realm of knowledge, no part of existence in which he was not interested, and which he did not pursue. He was a voracious reader: Facts and information stuck to him like glue, and were likely to be dredged up, given the “Bernie” spin, and delivered at exactly the right moment to shed enlightenment on the topic at hand. There was nothing he did not know something about, there wasn’t anything about which he could not weigh in with authority and vigor and humanity. One ignored Bernie’s advice at one’s peril, whether it had to do with the best way to route a picture frame, the most efficient method of digging a hole, the quadratic formula explained, or how the postmodernists always get it wrong. He knew almost everything about almost everything. I miss him.

Member Post

 

In which we celebrate that most sociable and public of knitters, Mme. Thérèse DeFarge, who’s done more to promote and publicize the craft of knitting over the past couple hundred years, than . . . Oh, wait.  June 9, 2018 is Worldwide Knit in Public Day, the largest knitter-run event in the world, and the […]

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Member Post

 

We all know there’s no more talented bunch on the web than the Ricochetti! This thread is for those of us who enjoy a particular aspect of what’s traditionally known as Womens’ Work; in this case, those of us who knit, crochet, embroider, make lace, spin, weave, tat, felt, quilt, sew, cross-stitch, do needlepoint, or any […]

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