Sunday, 7 April 2013

Inexpert Craftsmanship

I rescued this guy from the rubbish bin several years ago. He was made by my son the Anarchist. A great deal of inexpert passion went into his creation but clearly the outcome was not to his liking or didn’t meet the vision he had planned. It was going to be a marionette, hence the floppy arms. At some point in abandoning a task a new breath can be breathed into the creation. Dressing him up in old doll’s clothes that my mother made from left overs  more than 50 years ago did the magic for me. It is a happy marriage of 2 inexpert passions 50 years apart and now it is a treasure that I cannot throw away.
 I never know whether to put all my effort into an experiment in the hope that something lucky will come from it or to practise on something meaningless as an exercise to develop a skill. I like happy accidents and I like evidence of passionate work. Maria Montessori used to talk about allowing the child to play and work uninterrupted in order to acquire the passion and skills that gave them knowledge. When we treat our work as play, an inner dialogue occurs where we know when what we are doing is achieving a learning. The audience is forgotten and the muscles , visual cortex and sensory organs record success.
When we get stuck with creativity or mastery, play is often the best cure. The Anarchist is a delight because of his huge appreciation of the absurd and his ability to carry on play beyond its most absurd. He is however a harsh critic when he wakes up with a vision that he cannot yet fulfil and that is when I like to pick up the remains of his experiments .  I would love to collaborate with people  all passing  on half baked ideas and seeing  them grow into something entirely new.

1 comment:

Braden said...

Oh wow, I completely forgot about that guy. I had no idea you kept him.