Sunday, July 26, 2009

Making Things

Whenever I make something, I always have a few minutes where I just stare at the thing made and feel this complete sense of joy and elation wash over me. It's probably a pretty common feeling, or else why would people still make things by hand in an age of mechanical production?

Case in point, I've been taking a Book Arts Class this summer at the Fleisher Art Memorial. It's been a lot of fun. We've made books every week of the class, in ever increasing degrees of complexity. This past week we made a case bound book, which is what you'd think of when you think of book binding (even though, as the instructor pointed out, the book is not actually bound to its cover. It's glued). Even though I've made books all summer, I carried this book home with a sense of amazement and disbelief that I'd actually been able to build it. After letting it be crushed with a two foot pile of books overnight, I clutched it in my hands and waved it up and down, grinning like I was five.

There's always a sense of shock on my part when things I make actually turn out. It makes me want to run up and down the street, waving the thing in air and screaming "I made this!" Luckily, I'm not actually five, and I don't actually do this (I may be happy about it, but it would make me look insane).

Does anyone else get this feeling when they make something? Where they just want to hold it, show it to everyone, be really excited about it for a few days?

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