When you hear the phrase ‘handcrafted artwork,’ what comes to mind? In the past, handcrafted artwork was a field restricted to professional artists with the skills to create beautiful and long lasting artwork. However, today, anyone can visit a workshop to try their hand at handcrafts. Moreover, the experience doesn’t require months or years of time and effort. People can create something in as little as under an hour. One of The Sookmyung Times reporter tried her hand at creating a handcrafted piece of art.
Girl with No Artistic Talent Takes Up the Challenge
The reporter was hesitant of partaking in any handcrafted work since her middle and high school days confirmed that she did not have any artistic talent. She knew she had no talent for hand crafting something, but more importantly since her grade school days, she felt she couldn’t create anything. Near Sookmyung, there are a number of handcrafting workshops, so despite not being confident in her artistic ability, she decided to take up the challenge and enroll in a class. Because of the multitude of workshops and classes, at first, she was confused about where to go and which class to register for. In the end, she enrolled in the workshop RE ;CODE located in Myeong-dong Cathedral’s 1898 Square. The workshop specializes in making upcycling* products, and is the first ever of its kind in Korea. In addition, participation in a class at the workshop requires consent for your newly created product to be donated directly to the center for single moms. In fact, it was interesting and heartwarming objective that motivated the reporter to register for the workshop’s Sunday One Day Only program.
Hands Familiar with the Pen Meet the Needle
The Sunday’s One Day Only class was actually a 2-class option course in which the participant either chose to make a doll out of socks or a bracelet out of sneaker laces and leather. After deep consideration, the reporter opted for making a doll. Immediately after the class had started, the instructor’s showcase of sock doll examples confused the reporter. She wondered if she’d made the right choice. After deciding which doll pattern she’d like to do, the reporter followed the instructor and turned the sock inside out. Next, she followed instructions to stitch through the stamped pattern lines. At first she found sewing difficult because she hadn’t sewn something since middle school, but what’s more, she knew she wasn’t good at it. However, she did her best, recalling her days in middle school when she learnt to sew.
After having sewn the sock according to instructions, she cut off the part of the sock that would not be used for the doll's body and turned it right side out. She then proceeded to pack the sock with cotton. At first, she was not sure how much cotton to put since her ingredient was a small size. Worrying about the huge amount of cotton she had to place inside the sock, she keep stuffing in until it was so packed that it almost looked like it would explode. Eventually, the sock started to stand on its own. Once all the cotton was inside the sock, she stitched up the opening of the sock tightly to ensure the cotton wouldn’t come out. This time the stitching was easier but she had a hard time tying off the knot at the end. In the end, she asked for help from the instructor, and thankfully, he showed her how to do it. Next, she dressed the doll in clothes. Since the sock she chase was in one single color, the doll seemed uninspring. She had to redress the doll to give it variety and make it more colourful so that it would be more attractive to a child. It took a while, but eventually, the doll started to look much better.
The final step was to make eyes, a nose, and a tail for the doll. She opted for black beads for the eyes but had a hard time fitting them on the face. It was at this point, she started to feel exhausted so she asked the person next to her for help. With that person’s and theteacher’s help, she was able to successfully attach the eyes and nose. Since the class was scheduled to finish at 5 p.m, she didn’t have any more time to decorate the doll. In the end, she just added a tail and the finished doll, a cat, came to life.
Finding Another Side to Myself and a Promise for Future
After she finished making the doll, her hands felt nothing. It was the first time for her to hold something else instead of a pencil or a pen for a long time. She had many troubles of making one but after finishing the workshop, she felt that she met another part of herself. She was happy that she made a cute doll by herself and proud of herself. She paid 10,000 won to participate the class but the cost was less than what she earned. By ending the workshop program, she hoped to participate in another handcraft workshop program. It may cost more but the class is so joyful and she learned so many others that can’t be learned in university or anywhere else. Also she wants her friends to participate the handcraft workshop project. The reporter made doll with diverse people; a daughter and mother, one young couple. By looking at them she was regretting for not taking her friends with her. If she brought her friends, she would have made the work more cheerfully and both of them would share same memory. So she promises to herself that next time she goes to a handcraft workshop, she would take her friend with her and make it together.
* Combination of ‘Upgrade’ and ‘Recycling.’ Using defected items to make a new product.