“Making It” has officially been picked up for a second season, so we get to see more makers vie for the title of “Master Maker” and compete to win a ton of cash! I, for one, am happy to see sewing, quilting, woodworking and papercrafting making an appearance on prime time television. I wish I were one of the competitors! But, I digress…
This week, we’re talking to Robert Mahar. A Midwest native, Mahar’s creativity developed from a childhood filled with library books and public television. Mahar is now an artist and designer who teaches imaginative do-it-yourself projects and is at the helm of a craft-driven collection for Knock Knock. His style is informed by an education in studio arts and art history, and 20+ years of work in creative fields, including 13 years as an appraiser of modern and contemporary art.
What is your craft of choice?
Part of my work world involves developing craft project tutorials in a variety of different materials – allowing me to tackle everything from soap making to woodworking! This in many ways has made me a crafting generalist, but I do have a particular love for embroidery.
How do you think your craft specialty prepares you to win the competition?
Embroidery isn’t a fast craft – so I don’t that it would serve me well in a competition! However, having worked in so many craft genres I hope my wide range of experience will be to my benefit.
How has your craft helped in other areas of your life?
Embroidery in particular gives me a calming focus. If you’ve ever had to manage anxiety having a “slow craft” like hand stitching in your tool kit is a great way to level out.
What would you say to encourage someone who wants to learn your craft?
Patience and practice! In this age of beautifully styled, expertly completed craft projects shared on social media, we all expect to create at that perfectionist level. But messy first drafts are part of the process! Be kind to yourself, give yourself the room to make mistakes, and muster up the patience to try a new project more than once – you will improve.
Did you get to try a craft you wouldn’t normally have done for the competition? If so, what did you learn during the process?
I definitely had the opportunity to work with tools and materials I don’t use everyday – it was the crafting version of a “kid in a candy store!” And I was able to work on a MUCH larger scale for some of the projects. With a little friendly competition and the clock ticking away, I learned just how much I can accomplish in 12 hours!