The Power of Touch
For as long as I can remember, my family crafted. In the seventies, my mother whipped up vibrant Marimekko hostess gowns while I strung matching love bead necklaces. We needlepointed belts and bags. To this day, my sister knits non-stop, making mindbendingly beautiful creations for family and friends. We are never not crafting. And recently, we seem to have stepped up the pace.
Jennifer Way, an art historian and professor at the University of North Texas, has studied crafting during times of crisis. She discovered that the crafts themselves — the sweaters, guilts, hats and scarves seem to be less important than the soothing process of making them. Crafting has a “haptic quality,” whereby working with the materials, helps with mindfulness and wellness.
“Craft, with its repetitive gestures and sometimes repeated projects, offers the opportunity to remake a mind-body connection,” according to Professor Way As we who craft know, “The craft practice itself offers an opportunity to connect mind and body to address stress.” As anyone who has received and used a handcrafted piece know, this soothing message is transported from the maker to the user, and that may be it's ultimate beauty.