by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In a world that has become increasingly dependent on technology, too much one might say, artisans and everyday crafters are finding a renewed satisfaction in making something with their own hands.

Leagues of people are also finding physical and mental health benefits in handwork, and are beginning to frame it as a spiritual practice.

Some people believe, and I think that this can be true also, that you can literally "craft the crazy away" through beading and crocheting, candle-making, and other crafts.

I find working with wood, especially spoon carving, extremely relaxing and there are times where I definitely need the fix of carving yet another spoon. I also make walking sticks from coppided wood and other things.

Another craft that I like to engage in, and it always brings out good ideas, is repurposing and upcycling items of waste into something useful.

While writing, of which I do a great deal, as a writer, obviously, is also seen by many as a craft and as a way of relaxing, I need to get away from that at times and, being a forester by original trade, working with wood, especially does that for me, but also making anything else, including, as said, upcycling.

And, while I may be a crafts-person on more than one level I would not call myself and artist and that what art. In fact, I prefer to make useful things, whether in working with wood or in upcycling, rather than something that one put on a shelf or hangs on a wall to collect dust. That does not mean, however, that I do not like objects to also be beautiful, especially when it comes to the wooden articles. The upcycled ones I do like to leave “plain” so that it can be see what they are made from, though I have, at times, “dress up” some tin cans that I have made into pencil bins, but that is a rare occasion.

We all can be creative and make things with our own hands and with the right mindset this will also be beneficial for the Planet and our wallet. And it is also most beneficial for our mind as it will detach us, if even for a while, from the hustle and bustle of life in general.

Go and get crafting...

© 2013