Recently, I was interviewed for an online e-commerce site called e-junkies. They have lots of practical and interesting information about e-commerce, trendy products, small business and self publishing.

NameTag Yes, definitely read the interview and roam around the site.

When I posted a link to the interview on Facebook, Alison Antelman commented, "This is a quote that I really like (from the interview), 'There needs to be a vision beyond the moment.' Well said!"

Do you have a vision beyond the moment?

Are you thinking beyond the making?


We makers typically love "making" so much that it is easy to forget the most important tool is our brains.  This is why the current knitting mania is driving me nuts ..... especially when justified with little excuses....the "pleasure" derived from the absence of thought and quips such as, "I can knit without thinking." blah, blah, blah.

   Password Flower Brooch with glasses
   Post Consumer recycled tin cans
   Harriete Estel Berman  © 2011
   Diameter 3 1/8"
   Retail Price $425.

ELIZABETHhOWARDThis post was prompted by a recent quote in the ACC series, Why I Make(which explores the human impulse to create).

 Elizabeth Howard wrote, "When I switch on my knitting hands, I can take time off from the thoughts in my head.  Knitting - usually done haphazardly, without a clue what BOs and yos are - releases me from having to tune in (at that moment) to that always-chugging creative engine." 

My jaw dropped. This may appeal to a hobby audience, but I couldn't believe that this rationale appeared in an ACC publication. ACC is supposed to represent professionalism in craft media.

 THE 'gOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLEY I don't want to paint knitting as the "bad guy," but this overt joy of mental separation from the making that is sweeping the craft world is just one example.  Other parallels are everywhere...IN ALL MEDIA whether working at the potter's wheel, weaving a basket, sanding wood, mixing a glaze, making handmade chain.

  Page from Manufractured © 2009
  Recycled tin cans, steel dollhouses
  Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
   Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

It is fine if you just want to make, but many makers also want to see their work in exhibitions, shows and books.  And that is the key, this higher level of recognition requires constant, active, thoughtful
inspiration, not just aspiration

41+veDJYNuL._SL160_ If you enjoy siting there happy as a clam because you are making, that is OK.   But  without thought, the finished work will indeed have no vision....and I assure you....any editor, publisher, or exhibition jury will look at the work and see that it had no vision.


ASK Harriete offers 6 suggestions for a "thinking while making" ACT...


Check them out.

Do you have a thinking while making strategy ? Even the smallest ideas can help others. Would you share them with others in the comments?


My sincerest opinion,



M2L_YellowFlowerScroll72. askH M2L_YellowFlowerScroll_bkah

Yellow Flower Scroll Doorpost Mezuzah

Dimensions: 7.25” length
Retail Price $220.

Views: 16


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Comment by Alison B. Antelman on July 19, 2011 at 2:00am

I"m so glad that you've brought this up. I usually force myself to write some preliminary artist statement-nothing formal and usually a very rough draft...I never planned to do this by mandatory process. But when I look back, this is what i seem to do and it helps give me direction and structure--all of which can be changed as I move along...sort of like blue prints or an outline to a paper. I do happen to knit but as someone who is learning, I am not in the position to use the medium in any artistic way except to make a sweater in the yarn of my choice...for me it would take years of knitting a huge variety of items before it naturally morphed into my work. wether I do this or not is not even on the front burner right now. However, I have done some wood carving and my teacher had always encouraged me to combine it with metal which pushed me to think while learning, not simply combining wood with metal. I'm not there yet, wood carving is something I'd like to go back to for more exploration, but I did make one piece, an "anti war medal" that combined wood and metal--conscious of not using materials gratuitously, the wood played an important role in the piece, complimented by sterling silver and silk ribbon. 

Even if we're learning new techniques, I think, it's important to use them as needed and not just because we've learned something new...using new techniques for play and to learn allows them to morph into our own work naturally, rather than forced...thinking about what you are making and why, should not be based on the techniques you want to use--but what you want to say, create, put forth into the world, whether it be purely your vision of ornamental beauty or disgust with war, government, social structures...thinking about it leads on to the next big idea in your mind.


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