Man Craft

Although I’m aware that most of my readers are female, I’ve always been careful to write my blog posts as though addressing both sexes. No use of ‘Ladies!’ or ‘Girls’ when talking to the reader. Though now I’ve said that, you’re probably going to point out all the times I’ve broken my own rules. Still, I’m keen never to draw a line in the sand that says ‘This way no man comes.’ I mean, why not?

I loved So Zo’s recent post where she protested at the man in her life taking over the crochet in their home. And Sewaholic’s recent blog request for stories about partners threw up several interesting reports of men settling down in front of domestic sewing machines. More power to their elbows, say I!

So I thought I’d throw my towel into the ring and share a couple of examples of Man Craft in our home. The above is an Advent Calendar of sorts that my boyfriend made in woodwork class in school, back when he was a kid. During the countdown to Christmas, you rub out the number and rewrite it each morning with marker pen. Wood is involved, as is a saw (I guess) and are those signs of a soldering implement? Anyway, it’s crafting and I can just imagine how proud Ian would have been, bringing this home to his mum.

On to more recent makes…

Once upon a time this was food on a plate. A Yorkshire pudding, to be exact. Ian decided to carve a face and the Yorkshire Pudding Monster was born, rescued from dinner scraps going into the bin. It now lives in various locations in our front room, intermittently changing position so that Ian can always keep it in his line of vision and smile fondly. (Does he love the Yorkshire Pudding Monster more than he loves me? Don’t answer that question.)

I’ve campaigned for expulsion of this monster. I mean, it’s a food stuff – or once was! Won’t it attract mice? Except now it more closely resembles cardboard and I don’t think even a hungry mouse would be interested in it. I suspect the Yorkshire Pudding Monster will still be going strong in 20 years time.

It’s crafting – I think. It’s something Ian made. I know I should cherish it, but it’s the face only a father could love. It’s Man Craft.

Do any of you have partners, friends, siblings who turn their hands to, erm, unusual creative tasks?

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20 Responses to Man Craft

  1. Dibs says:

    My father in law is really into woodwork. I must remember to take some pictures when we go up for christmas. That yorkshire pudding looks mean ..lol

  2. lladybird says:

    my boyfriend claims that he can build things, but i mostly just catch him peeling the paint off the light switch covers when he thinks i’m not looking. speaking of which – why do people paint over those things?? ew.

    the yorkshire pudding monster kind of reminds me of our own local celebrity, the nun bun!

  3. Rehanon says:

    hehe I just checked out the nun bun. That is epic!

  4. My husband puts his creative energy into guitars, music and occasionally film. That does occasionally involve soldering when fixing guitars, but he would not think of it as crafty. He does, however, have awesome ms paint skills (where by awesome I mean humourous). I will perhaps have to make a similar post of his creative works.

    That is, ah, quite the Yorkshire pudding monster. Reminds me a little of Electro from Spider Man comics. http://spiderman.wikia.com/wiki/Electro

  5. CGCouture says:

    Sadly, my husband doesn’t do crafty stuff–except for help me with the woodworking stuff. He does however, have an aptitude for growing things (guess that’s why he wants to grow up to be a farmer).

    I must say that I’m a wee bit creeped out by the food monster thing. I mean really, it was food…..but, if it makes him happy, what else can you do?

  6. hmmm you might want to re-visit the ‘made it at school’ angle with Ian. I suspect he made this a year ago. I was in the same year and have NO recollection of ever making one and Amy never remembers seeing it in the house…..

  7. What an excellent sculpture! Very impressive. Worthy of a display. As a result of this entertaining post I’ve asked gary about a work of art that sits at the side of the fire: a clay head that looks upwards and rests on the back of its head. It’s pink clay and was modelled by touch on his own head. I love it. It’s now got glitter false eyelashes, but originally was created with its eye sockets and mouth hole to stick 3 candles in. Its not life size, but on occasion gary hides his real head within his jacket and puts this mini clay head on his shoulders and dances to kraftwerk. Man craft. Got to encourage it!

  8. Roisin says:

    That Yorkshire pudding thing.. there are no words.

    Nic isn’t so much one for crafting, but he does draw a lot, and makes the most hilarious cards. For my last birthday it was a straightforward one – a card with Neil Hannon on it. The year before that he drew the cast of New Tricks wishing me a happy birthday, and the year before that it was a comic telling the story of when Jon Pertwee turned up in Manhattan’s 15th precinct, entitled NYPD Who. It wouldn’t make anyone laugh but me, I think!

  9. Amelia says:

    I love it! “…it’s the face only a father could love. It’s Man Craft.” That’s too funny. I find it really endearing when men “craft”, which is a different sort of thing than if they draw, sketch or paint something.

  10. TanitIsis says:

    Mmm! I do love Yorkshire pudding! Perhaps you could shellac it to make it mouse-proof?

    My Dad is an archaeologist by profession, which informs the crafts he dabbles in: flint knapping (the glass from the bottom of a beer bottle works really well if flint is scarce), moccasin-making (when I was very small I always had moccasins made by my father), pottery (from clay dug from our yard) and twining, which is a method of textile production. My mom carried a twined purse he made her for several years.

  11. Alex says:

    Beer making, bee keeping and tree planting occupy the husband so far. Having spent his childhood in handknits (fearsomely complicated Fair Isle sweaters), he’s very tolerant of knitting.

  12. Sewer Not Seamstress says:

    On the subject of sexism in language, and I’m sure that as a children’s book editor you’re sensitive to that, you might want to try a fun Google Chrome extension, “Jailbreak the Patriarchy.” It reverses the gender of the references in web articles. It’s really odd to read about “Masculinsm” or “journeywomen.” It has a toggle key so you can revert to the original text.

    http://www.daniellesucher.com/2011/11/jailbreak-the-patriarchy-my-first-chrome-extension/

  13. LinB says:

    Hahahaha! Love the Yorkshire Pudding Monster. I agree with Tanit-Isis — it’s probably dry enough now to spray or paint with shellac, to preserve it for the ages, a la the dried bread rolls so beloved by 1980s decorators. My father, a barber by profession, taught himself to crochet and made some lovely afghans in the 1970s, when few men were still getting haircuts. And my brother enjoys making Christmas tree ornaments, some of which are quite lovely.

  14. Alison says:

    The other day I came home to find my husband sat in front of my sewing machine. Not only was he sat in front of it, he was actually using it…

    My first thought was ‘You better not have broken it’, closely followed by ‘What on earth are you doing?!’. Turns out he was trying to help me with the crazy sewing challenge I’ve set myself, which has been stressing me out a bit recently. He thought he would try and get a bit done before I got home as surprise. He needed straight stitch though, and I’d left it set on zig-zag, so everything he’d done has a very man-craft feel about it!

    Oh, and I don’t know if DIY counts as man-craft, but when we first moved in to our house we could only turn lights on and off at the fuse box after he had put his man-skills in to action…

  15. Felicity from Down Under says:

    If you define man craft on a large scale, here’s my version of it. My husband and I built a house after I complained bitterly about having lived in a caravan for a couple of years. The house was a kit but we had free rein with what went into it. We – he more than I, though I did provide some useful suggestions – made bookshelves and cupboards. His carpentry was wonderfully creative. Work being what it is, we eventually moved away and sold the house. I still mourn the loss of the broom cupboard he made which was one of the best I have encountered anywhere, with offset shelves and all sorts of gadgetry to make it extremely useful. It’s one of the few times in my life I;ve not had to battle with getting my vacuum cleaner in and out of its hidey-hole.

    More seasonally appropriate, and in use as we speak, is the Advent calendar he made for us a few years ago. It’s wooden and sturdy and we love it. Man craft? There should be more of it. (Perhaps I should admit that he’s a composer by trade, so he’s obvioiusly creative!)

  16. Pingback: Sewing a hooded scarfScruffy Badger Time

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