If in doubt, make something!


Quite a few interesting things have happened recently that make me think there is more to this than meets the eye. Hear me out. On one hand we are and have been excited by all things social media, online, new ways of interfacing with media (think Iphone and Ipad) and so on. It is exciting, yet at the same time we are also getting smarter about the limitations of digital, and appreciating afresh what it really means to make something with your own hands (think the rise of hacking (e.g changing something to do something different beyond its original purpose – physical or virtual, Maker faires and Instructables). Talking about what we have made online is also fun, because we can make the most out of the connectivity, while also making the most of the real world around us. Somehow too many solutions and activities have forced us to make a choice between these two worlds, and what is exciting to see is how these are being mashed up together. A few bits of inspiration

Soulcraftcandy.com After years of procrastination, my other half Jon, nicknamed Q (after Q in James Bond movies who can make anything, Jon can too, except exploding telephone boxes are not allowed in the house :)) finally took the plunge and has started sharing some of his sketches and amazing creations over on his blog. He is a guy that doesn’t just do stuff, he thinks a lot about the process of making things too, and now shares it with posterity. Some deep thinking and great cartoons to boot – and far more regular at posting than me so check it out.

Making is Connecting – my good friend David Gauntlett has pulled yet another rabbit out of the hat with his new book, which puts the topics I touched on above into a historical and cultural perspective, while providing an excellent analysis of what it really means to make something and share it with others, for our sense of self, purpose and the meaning we create in our lives. Hugely inspirational reading!

Handmade – this was one of those great surprises that arrived just before Christmas and the outcome of a happy coincidence that reminded me just how funny life can be. Some time ago David Gauntlett got in touch with me and told be about this Tessy Britton and her travelling pantry idea and that she was wondering whether I could help her out with some LEGO bricks, because they would just be the best thing to help people in communities articulate their ideas about how to do more together. I thought this sounded exciting so without further ado I pulled some of my own rabbits out of a hat and Tessy got some bricks. Then things were quiet for a long time and next thing I hear is from David that Tessy’s put together a book about all the things she discovered when doing the travelling pantry.

Out of the Ordinary – so this is when things get spooky and just shows how connected we really are without realising it. So lovely Sarah, other half of Mark Earls, another dear friend, chief brainbox, and father of  the herd thinking that has helped the rest of us put words around what really is happening when we find ourselves mimicking the behaviours of unknown strangers ( I digress), contacted Jon and said he definitely had to get in touch with these guys behind Out of the Ordinary. Low and behold, the paths lead back to David and Tessy.. it is a small world, but alas, a creative one!

So my conclusion, dear friends, is that if in doubt – make something, and better still: find a way to share it with others and the world may just be your oyster! At least you will not run out of interesting like minds to be excited and inspired by, and in those dark hours when you think no one cares, you might just be surprised. I certainly will never forget the instance when I, caught up in too much self-critique, decided to delete one of my posts. (story reposted here and perhaps a very early bit of thinking about how we need to match what we go through in our minds with something physical otherwise our progress just doesn’t feel as ‘real’ as it should).

And it really is the most surprising things that people will miss, so don’t be a bore – share it and you will see.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for the mention, Cecilia!

    Viewers may also like to note that Tessy Britton is releasing the chapters of Hand Made online, for free download, one a day from 16 February to 13 March (so she’s about a third of the way through at the moment. That’s happening at http://tiny.cc/kh78m. There are so many great chapters – it’s an amazing collection. Recommended!

  2. Sorry, I thought of two more things:

    (1): Needless to say, I agree with everything you say! Should have mentioned that. And Jon’s blog is great!

    and (2): If anyone wants to combine the interests that Cecilia lists above, you can come to the launch party for ‘Making is Connecting’ [as mentioned above] on April 9th, which is being held at Out of the Ordinary [as mentioned above], and is highly likely to also feature Tessy Britton [as mentioned above]! It’s just being sorted out at the moment but more info will appear at http://www.makingisconnecting.org (see the ‘events’ bit under ‘news’).

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