Consider it a double blessing when you make a gift with your own hands. The act of making for a particular person is a gift to the maker as well as the recipient. The outcome or “product” is one of a kind, unique, thoughtful, and rare. The connection between you and the recipient makes meaning.
The maker gets to think about that very singular individual throughout the process.
When I make a quilt from someone’s t-shirts, I get to know their team(s), school(s), clubs, travels, music, and possibly their age and favorite color.
In education there is a significant trend toward Maker Centered Learning. The power of hands-on learning has been investigated by many including the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero which began researching this in 2015. Here is a quote from their White Paper of the study so far:
“In the past five years, hundreds of articles have appeared in magazines, journals and books extolling the virtues of the maker movement. Advocates praise the possibilities and potentials of making to ignite a new system of democratized manufacturing, to inspire a shift from a consumer to producer mentality, and to instill within the next generation of young people a renewed interest in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions. Communities are taking note: downtowns are developing makerspaces and fablabs; municipal libraries and churches are presenting opportunities to make, hack, tweak, iterate, and invent; and employers are wooing prospective employees by celebrating their company’s practices of innovation, invention, and collaboration—the hallmarks of maker culture. “
Link to the Harvard site.
Trinity University in San Antonio, TX has a makerspace.
Here are links to a video and news article showing student Aidan Windorf’s story about the space. He made a violin!
Although the focus often is on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum, this way of teaching and learning by making is applicable to most, if not all, topics. As a visual artist, I am grateful that this widening of ways to teach and learn is happening.
Check out these links about the arts in San Antonio:
Now, consider ways that you can make something for someone. You can invent something to help someone or society or you can write a poem to show love. You can tell your story in a book or painting so that others can be entertained or or made to feel included or simply made to smile.
Go on. Dive in. Begin. There is no failure, only learning.
Some quotes from Thomas Edison, who agrees with me:
“Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying.”
“Learn with both your head and hands.”
“Not everything of value in life comes from books- experience the world.”
“Never stop learning. Read the entire panorama of literature.”
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”
“There is no substitute for hard work.”
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Again and always …
Thank you for being.
Thank you for purchasing my art and/or giving me venues.
You are my POTA (Patrons Of The Arts).
Almost all of the work posted is for sale.
Please email me if interested in making a purchase.