The other day someone asked me, “Why do you bother knitting?”
The question took me by surprise.
Sure, knitting is pretty unconventional. It seems out of place in our industrialised world, but when you get right down to it, knitting, like all arts and crafts, is about creating.
With some string, a pair of primitive sticks and your own two hands you can bring something beautiful and useful into the world. From the chaos of loose string comes order, neatness and utility in the form of a hat or a pair of mittens or any garment you can dream of. How cool is that?
That’s the magic of knitting. And of creation, really. With your mysterious mind and some raw materials, you can bring beauty into the world!
That, in a nutshell, is why I bother knitting.
But it’s not just me. Since the beginning of time, our ancestors have been making things. Sure, some were for necessity and survival, but flip through any art history book and you’ll see that many others were borne out of sheer joy and expression.
Check out this incredibly elegant Roman water jug from the 1st century AD. Can you believe it’s made of glass? Scholars debate whether it was cast and carved or simply a marvel of ancient glass blowing.
Transferring water from a cistern to a cup doesn’t require this level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. I mean, any receptacle will do. And yet – look at this work of art! Beautiful and useful.
Sidenote: something about this jug feels very modern, like it wouldn’t be out of place in a surrealist still life against a cloud backdrop. Just me?
No discussion about creativity is complete without the fun, weird and surprisingly moving short film, “Why Man Creates” by graphic designer and master of the modern logo, Saul Bass. Enjoy!
“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.” – Saul Bass [Tweet this]