Thursday, May 19, 2016

Low-Tech and By-Hand - behind the scenes


These are my most basic tools.
Hmmm...perhaps I should explain. Think Tasha Tudor.

Tasha Tudor (1915-2008) was a remarkable illustrator and writer of children's books. And she lived a simple life, raising children, gardening, drawing and painting, milking her goats, and living what we would now call an off-grid lifestyle. I think she simply might never have gone "on-grid". And yet she was published for 70 years of her life, sending hand drawn and painted images to the publisher. No digital files. No emails.

If you know anything of her talent, I won't insult you by claiming any such brilliance. But I do share her love of things that can be made by hands. Not thumbs. Not fingertips. The whole hand. Both hands. 

At some point, it was confirmed that I have something called dyscalculia, which explains why I can't add in my head, can do geometry but not algebra, decimals but not fractions. It has everything to do with why I don't try to learn software and website development. I have had hashtags explained to me ten times and I still don't get it.

So I hand draw my patterns and illustrated instructions. Sometimes my drawings are quite lovely and sometimes a bit on the funky side. My handwriting is absolutely atrocious. I try to go slow to make up for that. There are always little glitches in the work but they don't affect the patterns.

There is a unique odor to pencil lead. And you wouldn't believe how well a pumice soap removes ink from skin. Is hands-on also head-free? Is my mind freed to dream if it is not being fed images from a screen? 

Do forgive me for remaining low-tech and by-hand in a world of click-this and #selfie. But I suspect you rather enjoy a little Victorian dressing-up and dancing to the Ramones. Probably at the same time. 

The party is at my house. I've got the tea, the fabrics, and lots of pencils. Come on over!

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