Science says making art is good for you
I love science. It's the BFF of arts and crafts. Science gives us loads of proven reasons why we should be making more - knitting, ceramics, basketry, quilting, woodwork, embroidery...
The mental and physical health benefits of participating in arts and crafts are profound. The act of making is rooted in the "mindfulness" movement, while such things as playing with colour and texture of materials, repetitive actions and the social element of making together all contribute immensely to our sense of wellbeing.
Professor Susan Luckman from the University of South Australia wrote this fabulous article recently for Science Alert Magazine, that rounds up some of the best research into why arts and crafts could be the antidote to the stress of modern life.
One of the best things she points out is that craft skills can be simple, easy to learn, with a lot of scope for improvement by adding new, more complicated techniques.
Most crafts are inexpensive to sample - and there are loads of excellent short courses and workshops around Australia to give you a taste of a new art of craft.
As children we are always seeking out opportunities to make things, and participate in crafts. My own nieces and nephews love to raid my studio for supplies every time they visit, so I keep a good stash of interesting materials for them.
But as adults, we put less value on creative time, and lose sight of the pure enjoyment we experienced when young.
It's never too late to learn a new skill, particularly one that has the potential to bring so many benefits.