11 December 2011

Where's the Power in Making?

I spent an interesting, albeit at times, frustrating, day at The Power of Making Symposium at the V&A on Friday. There's little point giving a journalistic account of the day, but suffice it to say the connection to the Power of Making was not initially obvious.  Only one of the twelve or so speakers was a maker.  How disappointing.  Had the day been sold as a symposium into the Power of Design or the Power of Manufacturing, then I am sure my expectations would have been better met.

I was lucky enough to attend another event at the V&A recently, also connected to the Power of Making exhibition. This was a discussion between Sir Christopher Frayling, Glenn Adamson and Grayson Perry, and the contrast couldn't be greater.  Not only was Grayson wearing a fetching hand-knitted cardigan as his 'homage to craft', but all the speakers demonstrated a passion and an appreciation for the making of craft.  There was very little passion at the symposium, and as the day progressed, I felt increasingly cross and frustrated.

However, reflection and hindsight are powerful tools. Although nothing can provide recompense for what I felt was absent from the symposium, I now realise that the day has helped me to identify what it is about making that is important to me.

I love the materiality of stuff.  Feeling the texture and smell of leather, noticing the transparency or opacity of glass, complementing the shiny or rusty surface of metal.  This is what I like.  I like to hold materials, manipulate them between my fingers, draw round them, draw on them, join them, take them apart.  I like finding the beauty in the stuff we use to make our world, and in particular, I like to highlight the beauty in the stuff that we lose along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Very articulate. Sometimes we need learning experiences that don't fit our needs to be aware of the events that are actually spot on, and enable us to clearly differentiate between what really interests and what is peripheral. Does this fit with the thesis and anti-thesis concept, and the space between will take you further on your journey?