Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things (Hardcover)

Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things By Rosemary Davidson, Arzu Tahsin Cover Image

Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things (Hardcover)


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Integrating mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology, and creativity research, Craftfulness offers a thought-provoking and surprising reconsideration of craft, and how making things with your hands can connect us to our deepest selves and improve our well-being and overall happiness.

We should get this out of the way: Craftfulness is not a “crafting book.” Rather, it is an investigation of the wisdom generations of men and women know to be true: that making things is a vital means of self-expression, self-realization, and self-help that sparks the mind, touches the soul, and rejuvenates the spirit.

Integrating mindfulness, neuroscience, positive psychology, and creativity research, Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin explore how the simple act of making something from scratch impacts mental well-being, and offer a brilliantly reasoned argument in favor of craft.

Process, not product, is the soul of a craft practice. Whether you knit, crochet, sculpt, weave, quilt, tat, draw, or bind books—working toward small, attainable goals gives us a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and control that is proven to positively impact our mental health and happiness.

Davidson and Tahsin illuminate how craft practice re-introduces balance into our lives and our habits by cultivating creativity, carving space for ourselves, promoting focus, creating a safe space for failure, and ultimately, how to make peace with imperfection.

Like Matthew B. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soul Craft, Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds, or Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow, Craftfulness helps us to see our world in a new way, offering opportunities to disconnect from the world, and pay attention to ourselves.

Rosemary Davidson was brought up in County Down, Northern Ireland, along with her three sisters, many dogs, a pet sheep and several cows and horses. From her seamstress grandmother, she learnt to sew, and from her Great aunt Dolly, to knit and bake. From her father she discovered the recipe for itching powder and where to always find tadpoles in spring and wild strawberries in summer. And from her sisters, amongst many other skills, the fine art of leg-wrestling. She now lives in London with her two children and works at Random House, where she heads the Square Peg imprint.

Arzu Tahsin has worked in publishing for over twenty-five years, beginning her career as a temp at Virago and going on to edit and publish outstanding authors such as Khaled Hosseini and Malala Yousafzai. She cannot remember a time she was not working on one craft project or another. From mosaic tiling to Japanese woodblock printmaking to bookbinding, she has found it hard to focus on a single craft, and feels all the better for it.

“Merging spirituality and craft, this book will guide your creative spirit and show you how using your own two hands can manifest a magical mindset. With simple DIY projects and anecdotes, this book is equal parts companion and resource for all creatives who want to dig deeper in understanding themselves and why they feel so good when they’re making. A must have. A must read. A must re-read.” — Tiffany Pratt, HGTV host and author of This Can Be Beautiful