The Maker Muse

January 13, 2016

SRGers cannot resist the urge to create. At work that means designing beautiful, sustainable buildings for people. But the drive to make things doesn't vanish when we leave the office-it follows us home and takes hold in exciting ways! We asked a selection of makers to share their personal projects and tell us why they do what they do.

Ingrid Krueger

I love craft. Whether it's sewing, ceramics, woodworking, photography, cooking, or gardening, I love the process of creating. Growing up in a do-it-yourself-type family, I learned early to appreciate the reward and value of something I made myself, and the creative freedom that the process allows. I love to challenge myself, and making my wedding dress was perhaps the greatest way I could challenge myself through sewing. While other girls dream about shopping for their wedding dresses, what excited me most about this undertaking was the level of ambition and importance. (okay, and maybe just a bit about the kudos I'd get for taking it on myself).

Nicole Allen

I taught myself to knit in order to teach myself something more important: how to relax ... while still technically being productive. It turned out to be a win-win-win. The rhythm of knitting one stitch after another has proven to be a great stress reliever. I get to produce something wonderful and creative even though I'm "relaxing," and my friends and family reap the rewards of whimsical-yet-functional gifts! I get excited over the entire process of creating a new piece-geeking out over delicious skeins of high-quality, hand-dyed yarn, tailoring projects to bring joy to their future owners, settling into the reverie of slipping stitches from one needle to the next and back again as time loses relevance, melting away unnoticed. Then suddenly the bittersweet moment comes when the last knot has been tied and the last end woven in, and the stuffed creature pops to life or the accessory is ready to offer a layer of comfort for its wearer. ...After a moment of pause, I'm on to the next project!

Sunny Fisher

I make to satisfy, I seek to uncover the hidden story by revealing layers of meaning. This story is not completed beforehand but is only drafted and develops over time as object and intimacy evolve.

Arnulfo Ramirez

Design, build, test, repeat, redesign, rebuild, retest, repeat; the process of design is a vicious cycle that a designer can repeat for eternity with the goal of reaching perfection or until a deadline surpasses him or her. The first wallet I made took me about a day and a half to make, plus the two weeks it took to design it, and it looked like a blind man made it. It was fun, but my fingers were a bit blistered from pushing the needle back and forth through that leather for what seemed like eternity. I knew that if I was going to make this work I was going to have to take a different route. I bought some leather tools that made my life easier but were still not giving me the production level I sought. I was looking for a better way to cut leather, engrave it, and sew it. I wanted to take "hand-craft" and add digital to it. Digital-craft? Hand-digital? The name hasn't been resolved quite yet, please let me know if you've got something we can call this. This was me taking the same care that a leather worker puts into his or her leather and adding technology to making it a feasible business model.

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