Episode 25: Working By Hand, With Melanie Falick
Image credit: Michael Isabell
Melanie Falick is a writer and editor of books about ceramics, woodworking, knitting, metalsmithing and other kinds of “handwork.” In this episode she talks about the importance of making things by hand in a post-industrial society and especially during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Melanie is the author, most recently, of “Making a Life,” a collection of in-depth profiles of people immersed in hand-crafting traditions. Her earlier books include “Knitting in America” (1996), of which she says, “There was such a stereotype that was insulting on so many levels – it was sexist, it was ageist.”
Her overarching goal has been to repopularize crafting traditions that have fallen by the wayside.
“When I am knitting and using my hands I am able to achieve a kind of clarity and wellness that is much more challenging to achieve when I’m busy consuming information and being frenetic and doing what our culture tells us to do,” she says.
“People are becoming more and more interested. Slow fashion, slow food. That’s all part of it, as well as homesteading, gardening and other trends. It’s people… keeping themselves alive, keeping themselves content.”
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