As a Tutor Coordinator, part of my job is to check in with the tutors at the start and end of their courses, ensure things are running smoothly are going well. Being naturally nosy and a lover of crafts, it’s exciting to see what was created on our courses.
The mood can be a little nervy at first, with students not knowing each other, inwardly sizing each other up. When I return at the end of the course to take some pictures for prosperity, the atmosphere is a whole lot warmer, camaraderie amongst with a common goal, to enjoy the course.
Cheering each other on as they show their final work and outcomes are discussed. Everyone wants each other to have had a successful experience.
"I have always found craft courses soothe my soul.
Craft demands attention
You have to be in the moment, dedicating your focus to the tasks in order to complete the course. Whether it is due to the equipment used or, the materials used, being present is a matter of safety too. If I had a pound for every time, I pricked a finger with a needle!
Having that focus can actually bring about a sense of peace and calm to ones work. I know I have this when I am hand sewing, the material is light in my hands, I‘ll have some of my favourite music on with a pot of tea or coffee on the go. In class, having the background of friendly chat adds to the ambience.
I have always found craft courses soothe my soul. It is how I discovered my love of millinery. Sitting down doing nothing, the traditional way of meditation if you like, has been impossible for me to do. My mind starts to travel at an alarming pace, taking me away from the moment almost instantly as I have been conditioned to be always ‘doing something’
What is that saying? The devil makes work for idle hands.
Crafts are demanding and, require you to be present in mind and body, dedicating yourself to the task in hand if you are going to make your piece. It can be hard to do this solo.
Benefits of learning a craft
Apart from learning the craft itself, there are many more benefits to your mental and physical well-being when you join a course.
Some of the many benefits that come with learning a craft are:
- the facilitation of memory formation as you put your new knowledge into practice,
- the mental challenge of learning a new skill,
- paying attention to instruction and to the use of tools to ensure safety,
- absorbing new knowledge,
- learning to be patient,
- social interaction within the crafts community.
Crafting can help relieve some of the stresses of everyday life. It is why Olympic medallist Tom Daley knits in between his dives to keep that unnecessary overthinking away as the competition runs its course.
You will also learn patience. In a digital world that wants instant results, perfecting your craft requires pace and perseverance. Trust yourself that you can create the thing!
Then there’s the social connection if you can find a crafting community like on a City Lit course. You’re united by the craft and understanding each other’s determination to learn and create. Rooting for each to have an enjoyable experience of pride in your achievements. More often than not, the interaction with others can be as impactful as learning the craft itself.