Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Art of Making Do

Image Raphael Tuck and Sons, circa 1905
Tucks "The Handy Craftsman" Child Postcard
Series "Little Men and Women"

Back in the good old days our parents, grandparents and generations long past,  made their own furniture, built their own house without power tools, grew their own vegetables and sewed their clothing. They were innovative, creative and they 'made do'. Many beautiful pieces of hand-crafted furniture, tools and artifacts have withstood the test of time and are now safely kept in the hands of folks who love and appreciate them. It is so easy nowadays to run to a hardware store to pick a tool or item that has been mass produced in a factory. These items have not been held and lovingly created by the craftsman. 

How can our generation pass on to our children, and generations yet to come, knowledge of how to make do? I imagine by setting an example ourselves and by writing these stories. My father and mother-in-law are the inspirators in our family and they have many beautiful examples of how past generations 'made do'. A few objects considered very simple at one time, are now lovingly kept treasures that will never been seen in a modern day store. What has replaced these old humble tools that withstood the test of time - electric gadgets that eventually break down and contribute to a 'throw-away' society. The present generation is becoming accustomed to a throw-away lifestyle and is losing a spirit that inspires creativity and innovation through 'making do'. Michelle

My father-in-law, Bev, would like to share a little story about 'making do' I hope he will contribute more of his creative ideas with us. Thank you Bev. Here is his story.
"About twenty years ago I needed a latch for a rather crude cabinet I had fashioned from scrap lumber. I was planning a trip to the hardware store when my wife, Joy, suggested I make one. I took her advice. Today, the latch still works well in spite of it having been used many hundreds of times. From this experience, and also being a tool collector, I developed a respect for those who attempted to make things themselves when they did not have access or money to acquire what they needed. In many cases, their hand-crafted items worked better than the factory produced item. This is a tribute to those craftsmen." Bev

Home made gate hinge

Home made latch

Home made butter mould. Simple and beautiful with screw adjustment
and dovetailed corners - late 1800's

Image by Raphael Tuck and Sons, circa 1910

Iron candle holder hand-crafted by Richard's Uncle, mid-1970's

Rustic piece of furniture made from driftwood
by Michelle's husband Richard

We needed a cabinet in our dining room, 
Richard created this from pine

Richard (Michelle's husband) needed some cedar for a building project at his cabin situated
on a remote island (no hardware store there !). Richard made do from the abundant supply
of cedar on the beach for all the building needs.

Richard made do with logs from the beach and built a three-storey log home.
No trees were cut down on the property.

Websites of Interest:

1 comment:

Le Loup said...

Excellent post. Out here in the woods we tend to make our own things. It is a long way to the nearest town or city. Likewise I use hand tools still.
Regards, Keith.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...