Craft to Table: Food craft as therapy - Part II
What is food craft therapy anyway?
“Food Craft Therapy” is a term that I created after speaking to a number of food crafters and cooks who told me about how they use craft and cooking as their stress release outlet. Their work life is hectic and stressful, but somehow when they go home, they would spend an enormous amount of time cooking or crafting something that requires intense attention and time. Here I thought, what they wanted is to relax and do nothing after a hectic stressful day. Why not just sit in front of the TV and do nothing?
Why could food craft be your therapy during difficult times?
Here is what you should know about how “Food Craft Therapy” could help you get through difficult times.
1. It takes time and requires intensive focus
The process of making takes time. Every step of the way is a step closer to the finished product. When you handcraft something, you usually have to focus on one single task before you can move to the next. The process is slow.
2. It keeps you calm and focused
The benefits of it is that it forces you to slow down, pace yourself and stay focused until the task is completed. During your crafting moment, your mind is free from distractions and troubling thoughts.
3. It’s rewarding!
The end result is rewarding, because you made it! Yes, there may be some flaws for the first time, but when you do it again. You will get better and you will even farther out to try different designs and add your personal touch to it. The best part? You can use what you made and share it with others.
Meet Angus, the designer and crafter
Angus is an interior designer and bamboo weaving crafter. By chance, he turned an unsatisfied client’s project into his discovery of joy and peace through bamboo crafting. For the client’s project, he was asked to design a set of bamboo furniture for them. The design was approved and both were happy with it, but he could not find a bamboo manufacturer who would be able to produce the furniture with the same level of details within the budget and time as a designer would hope for. As a designer who appreciates craftsmanship and detail, he delivered the bamboo furniture feeling unsatisfied. He thought to himself, “How hard could it be to weave bamboo?” So he decided to try it himself.
From I can do it, to how to do it, to can you teach me how to do it?
It all started with strips of paper. He first tried to weave with paper strips to learn how to make the basics of pattern making. He then tried to teach himself through books. Except, there weren’t many bamboo weaving books that discuss and illustrate in detail. Luckily, it’s now a lot easier to reach out to experts. He found a bamboo expert craftsman in Taiwan, and started asking him many questions about weaving tools, methods and types of bamboo. With the guidance of the craftsman, he was able to start with the right foot.
Craft to Table
During this process of going back and forth from asking the Taiwanese Bamboo Craftsman and finding better books in Japan, little did he realise, he was turning into a bamboo craftsman himself. He found joy and peace in making, designing and crafting his own coaster, basket, shoulder bag, chopsticks and even coffee filter for specialty hand drip coffee lovers!
For Agnus, it was this nudge of quality that bothered him so much that he had to figure it out himself. Through it, he found himself at ease, exploring and led him to connect bamboo weaving to the world of food. This is why, Food Craft Therapy is something he wants to share with others today. His brand, Yiwooo (二回) meaning “repeats”, hopes that more people can enjoy the process of making their own bamboo utensils and be able to appreciate their coffee or food using the utensil they made next time.