You know by now that it’s hip to be crafty… but did you know it’s healthy, too?
All about our town, and in towns across the country, painting parlors, knitting circles and pottery-making parties are wildly popular, proving the art of crafting is here to stay.
And the habit is a happy one; recent reports and studies attest to the incredible power of crafting—from knitting and jewelry-making to visual arts such as painting, photography and sculpture—to act as a therapeutic, meditative tool that reduces stress and depression and gives people a sense of accomplishment and control.
In 2013, the British Journal of Occupational Therapy published a study examining more than 3,500 knitters. The study showed that 81 percent of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy”.
Another study, published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, involved subjects without any reported emotional or physical ailments and showed that levels of the stress hormone cortisol went down in participants after only 45 minutes of drawing with markers, making collages or playing with clay.
In this issue, writer Lauren Johnson provides an overview of the many benefits gained from using our hands to make various kinds of crafts. Complementing the article is a directory of local spaces that offer a diverse assortment of classes for adults interested in exploring their creative side.
We also take a look at a local, community tiny house project committed to reducing waste by using as few resources as possible and choosing locally sourced, non-toxic and reusable materials. The project demonstrates how we can literally and figuratively build sustainability into our everyday lives. It also offers an opportunity for people to come together to create and develop relationships, and it allows participants to put their hands, and hearts, to good use.
So, whether you are a “newbie” or a skilled crafter, you can find a way to unplug from the stresses of daily life and tune in to the freedom, focus and friendship found within BuxMont’s crafting community.
Together we are “Making the Awakening” in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Karen G. Meshkov, Publisher