Breaking Blocks

I'm back, bebe. To be honest, since last week's post I still haven't really made anything, but I'm getting back to feeling motivated and kicking some ideas around for what to make next.

I'm still sad about potentially having to move in the near future, but I really am excited about the possibilities of Workshop 2.0. It's always been my plan to move in the next couple of years to somewhere with a workspace that's more durable (something like a garage or cellar) where I can grind metal, spraypaint, use fire and generally bash around without being afraid of losing my security deposit.

Plus, with more space I can start to look at some of the bulkier tools that will let me move on to the next level of projects, like a proper lathe (they often come up surprisingly cheap secondhand if you can arrange transport), a drill press and eventually a small mill.

In the meantime, let's talk about breaking blocks in your crafting projects.

Almost everything I make tends to follow a common pattern. First the idea surfaces, usually in some random moment when two ideas bash together unexpectedly, or when I try to find something I really want and realise it doesn't exist.

Then it's a matter of figuring out the steps to get from where I am to where the thing I'm making is (acceptably) complete. Or to put it another way, a series of problems to solve.

For example, once I'd decided to make a black leather santa hat to go with my jacket, the problems were:

Almost all of these problems or challenges are one of the following:

  1. I don't know how to do this.
  2. I'm missing some thing but I don't know what it is.

A good chunk of the time, the answer to either is pretty obvious, or easily acquired. If you don't know how to do something, somebody out there has probably solved a similar problem in the past - time to start Googling, watching Youtube videos or asking more experienced crafters. Similarly, if you're making something reasonably common or of a common category of things (like clothing), there is probably a tool or material out there already which does the job you need it to do, and the same sources should tell you what it is.

But a significant portion of crafting problems are chunky, awkward, obscure or just far enough outside your experience that you may not even know the questions to ask. These are the things I do that I have found most effective when I run into those type of problems. (To an extent, many of them can be used to solve all kinds of life challenges)

When you do solve a problem, document it. Snap a few photos, create a text file, write it down (maybe you could use one of these snazzy Creative Ideas Notebooks, available to order with affordable shipping right now!) Next time you have a similar problem, you be able to remind yourself what you did and build on your experience.

See you soon!

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