So, I made a ham – a tailors ham, that is! I’ve seen some tutorials around, but the gist of them all was more or less to cut out two layers of a ham-like shape, sew them together almost all the way around, fill with sawdust or hamster-bedding, and sew shut.
I’m reasonably satisfied. I love projects where I can use scraps, so the felted wool underside makes me very happy. However, see the wrinkles? I’m not totally happy with the shape, which I can fix for a potential next ham. It was actually really difficult (and time-consuming!) to fill this thing with wood shavings, so it’s not nearly as dense as I would like it to be.
Allow me to muse for a little bit. I don’t typically point out all the things I’m dissatisfied with in my crafting project, but this is going somewhere. I’m guilty, as I think a lot of crafters are, of looking at something handcrafted for sale and saying “I can make that myself!”. There has been some interesting discussion about just this in relation to pinterest, and the pinning of things for sale at say, etsy, with just that tagline – I can make that.
While we have the ability to craft things, and often get a lot of joy from making, aren’t we crafters just a little quick to exclaim that we can make something ourselves – instead of supporting fellow crafters and buying something they have perfected? Goodness knows that my ham is far from perfect, and the time I would spend on perfecting my pattern and technique is certainly worth something, isn’t it?
A story about Pablo Picasso and a napkin-drawing has been in my mind for a while. The story goes that a man asks Picasso to draw him something on a napkin, which Picasso does, and hands it over with a request for 6000 dollars. The man is aghast, and says “That only took you five seconds!”, to which Picasso replies “No, that took me 40 years.”
It is so easy to forget the work, preparations, and materials that goes into creating things. Even though I have the ability to make something, maybe I should support and honor the work and knowledge of crafters who have been making that something for much longer than my singular attempt. And with that, I am going to buy a beautiful, handmade tailor’s ham from this talented person, to a beautiful, handmaking, talented friend.