Last fall, a tool maker from Australia whom I follow on Instagram, mentioned Handworks and suggested my husband and I consider attending. If he was coming all the way from Australia, we had little excuse not to drive 8 hours and check out what all the fuss was about. As the months leading up to Handworks passed by, I found myself increasingly excited to meet up with other makers of handcrafts. I wanted to know about their personal experiences, how their businesses got started, what tools they most enjoyed using, and what inspires them.
Many of us in this group of makers have admitted that we are a bit introverted, some are downright shy. We share our work daily or weekly on social media but we spend most of our time drawing ideas, planning projects, building things in our workshops, often alone in our thoughts. I wondered if it would be awkward to be the new kid with some of the people who already had forged "real" relationships. I wondered if we'd have much to talk about.
Upon arriving at the Handworks grounds on Friday morning, my husband and I headed to a little brick building to start making our way through the venues. When we opened the doors, there stood Instagram's @anneofalltrades and @toddnebel. Without really thinking it through, I threw up my arms and said, "Hey!! It's my friends!" They turned around and laughed and we all shared a group hug.
As we visited and toured the rest of the grounds together, meeting up with other friends along the way, we laughed, ate beef jerky and swapped stories. By the time evening rolled around, we met for dinner and the volume in the pizza parlor was uproarious. I joked, "Who knew that introverts could make so much noise?" The truth was, we all shared a common ground. Even though many of us were meeting for the first time, we were invested in each other's journey. In some cases, we had already spent years encouraging each other, offering motivation to one another, even collaborating on projects across state lines and across oceans.
Community, as defined by Google is, "a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals." I returned home grateful for the time spent with these friends, recharged and ready to make new things, happy to have forged lasting friendships in a community of makers.
**Shown below are some of my favorite photos from the weekend. Click on them to read a bit about each maker**
Anne of All Trades - www.anneofalltrades.com/
Todd Nebel - www.instagram.com/toddnebel/
Matt Eich - muleresophonic.com/
Konrad Sauer - sauerandsteiner.blogspot.ca/
Kieran Binnie - overthewireless.com/
Chris Vesper - www.vespertools.com.au/
Jason & Sarah Thigpen - www.txheritage.net/
Handworks - handworks.co/