The Light Dawns……….
It’s Sunday morning, I am sitting on the floor, picking up my weaving where I left off at
3 a.m. last night. Working on a new design and the more I work the more excited I am watching it come together, there is no clock. It’s like reading a great book, you never want it to end but can’t stop turning the pages. This morning, feeling the hot coffee trickle down the back of my throat with a sharp; “Good Morning Sunshine”, I fumble for the remote and flip on the TV. Sitting cross-legged on the floor; surrounded by pots, waxed linen, beads, tools and a big sleepy dog laying in the one spot of sun on the floor; every channel is saying goodbye to Steve Jobs, guru of APPLE.
I must admit, I have never thought much about Steve Jobs, yes I have an Apple Computer, iPad, iPod touch and purchased iPods and laptops for kids and husband. I went to the big Apple Store and loved the product. It was easy to use, it made sense, no external giant drives and for the first time, computers made sense! OH and if I had a problem I just walked over to the Genuis Bar, they spoke English…… and I could not give them my money fast enough, I was hooked. But I never thought about Steve Jobs while I was buying any of the Apple products.
This morning on one of the shows, that all run together on Sunday morning, a reporter was saying his goodbye to Steve and just why Steve was so important to the planet and our new digital civilization. Oh pa-leeze, I skeptically thought and kept weaving while the dog rolled over and groaned. The reporter held up his iPad and pointed out the rounded corners and how they carried over to everything Apple produces, no sharp corners, even on the interfaces. Are you kidding? That tiny little detail, I never really thought about, suddenly became huge. Wow, he’s right, if everything had sharp corners it was be awful, wouldn’t it? Something I look at every single day and yes, now that it has been brought to my attention it is a lovely design feature. I stopped weaving tiny little stitches and listened. The reporter went on to point out Steve made the micro decisions on buttons, cases, headphones and everything else, including packaging.
When the reporter pointed out he was a believer in beauty, not price. He believed people would pay more for beautiful things. The market proved him correct when people lined up to buy the next new Apple product, sometimes at 3 or 4 times the price point of other PC’s. He believed beauty and design could change the world. I sat on the floor stunned, the light went off, the heavens opened and I realized I had just heard something that would change my thinking forever. But Steve, I live in the rustbelt!
I have blogged, rambled and struggled long and hard over justifying what I do. Was it really important to have beautiful things, I mean really? It never made sense to me; I make dust-ables. Raising one daughter who wants to teach and has a true gift working with kids. Another daughter who did a hitch in the Peace Corp and now working on her MBA in Global Sustainability.
A husband who keeps sewers and roads working for municipalities around Ohio, one backed up toilet and I know how important his job is. I make stuff! When the world’s needs are so great how could I possibly sit in my studio making dust-ables? And yet, I could not stop. I don’t live too far from a landfill and it’s shocking! Was I contributing to that landfill? What about my carbon footprint? It was a conundrum, no it was a mountain for me to get over. It's way I stopped making pots three times in my short life and I truly came off looking a bit wacky.
For years I gardened on estates around the Cleveland area, again pretty flowers and God Bless old Republican money. I quit, went back to the studio and planted vegetable gardens. But I love making pots, I love weaving and I love designing things that made my heart sing. When I stood back and looked at my booth at Craft Boston last March I got a bit choked up as finally I put a body of work together and displayed it exactly the way I thought it should be displayed. It was my vision and it felt so self indulgent to spend the large chunk of change to achieve what I had seen in my head for years.
From the very beginning when I bought my first sketchbook I knew I was going to be here. It took 30 years and for 30 years I have tried to justify what I spent most of my waking days doing. It’s like being on crack, you can’t stop but you don’t know why you do it. There are years when I lost money and yet my supportive family and friends still encouraged me to keep going. Along the way I had tried to teach my kids they had to do more than take up space and suck up resources. They had to always give back and always work to make things better. I could not see the forest for the trees in my own work, until this morning……. thank you Steve Jobs…….. it is ok to pay attention to EVERYTHING, think outside the box, ask questions, be paid and ………. make beautiful things.