Ali Franklin's Profile

About

GET A HOBBY
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It seems to be the gut reaction, the automatic response to a friend in need of a comforting bowl of ice cream and a bit of advice. "Learn something new," they always seem to say. "Get a hobby." For those of us on the receiving end of the understanding smile, such helpful advice seems a little silly, a little flat. "I'm suffering a seismic internal shift here," I myself thought on the 5th or 6th such repetition. "Now is not the time for knitting!"

And, it turned out, it wasn't time for knitting. I honestly don't even know what end of those little sticks you're supposed to hold onto. It wasn't the time for baking, either. The made-from-scratch cupcakes were incredible, but so was the cleanup involved.

I'd accepted that a…

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  • Female
  • Born on April 14
  • Joined January 7, 2011

Favorite materials

aluminum, anodized aluminum, seed beads, toggles, faber castell PITT artist pens, tool magic

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About

GET A HOBBY
---------------------

It seems to be the gut reaction, the automatic response to a friend in need of a comforting bowl of ice cream and a bit of advice. "Learn something new," they always seem to say. "Get a hobby." For those of us on the receiving end of the understanding smile, such helpful advice seems a little silly, a little flat. "I'm suffering a seismic internal shift here," I myself thought on the 5th or 6th such repetition. "Now is not the time for knitting!"

And, it turned out, it wasn't time for knitting. I honestly don't even know what end of those little sticks you're supposed to hold onto. It wasn't the time for baking, either. The made-from-scratch cupcakes were incredible, but so was the cleanup involved.

I'd accepted that a phrase that came to everyone forced into the role of concerned companion must be some kind of universal truth, however, so I doggedly kept searching for a hobby to call my own.

Eventually I got around to Googling "chain mail how to," learned that the artists call it chainmaille (which sounds so very pretty), and got myself a couple of packs of jump rings and a set of pliers from Michael's. Haven't stopped since.

My new hobby was at first a new challenge for my endlessly, repetitively preoccupied mind. When dealing with the (sometimes impossibly frustrating) obstacles of teaching myself a new art, there was less brain space available for my persistently naggy personal crisis. I looked for new weaves, new techniques to keep the pointless ruminations and circular questions away. And then, quite unexpectedly, I was looking for new designs, new inspiration because I just couldn't get enough of the art for its own sake. L'art pour l'art, oui? The satisfaction of seeing something through a creative process, of starting out as so many curls of wire and coming out an object so obviously much more than the sum of those parts, was a joy I'd hardly ever had cause to experience before.

What seemed a trite little cliched sympathy card phrase ended up being so much more valuable, wise, and helpful than I would have ever supposed. I owe more to those compassionate, sympathetic advice-givers than I could ever say, and the fact that they will each categorically deny such a debt just serves to reinforce the fact. Thanks, friends. :-D

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