Here at Marko John’s we (as you’re probably aware by now!) take socks seriously. We are proud of what we do and for me personally there is a particular joy in the fact that our socks are made by hand by actual, real-live people.
Today, most of the things we use in our daily lives are not made by hand, or even probably in the same country you’re reading this in. This is of course not all bad. But something in me still wants to celebrate the handmade things. Not only because the quality far exceeds what is possible in mass-production, but because of something inherent and essential in the process of making.
Lately I’ve been reading Tolkein on Fairly Tales (available from Amazon here). His apologetic is interesting and he has useful things to say about various art forms and their respective achievements.
What really struck a cord, however, were his thoughts on the making of art and things generally. Why we do it. Why all societies, all peoples, always have been fascinated by, indeed preoccupied with, making things, even those that do not have a daily ‘use value’, but are there just because.
There is something in us as humans that drives us to make, to create. Tolkein calls such activity ‘sub-creation’ and I like that phrase. His term reflects the fact we are made to be makers by our maker, in His image and likeness. Our desire to make is part of our deepest identity and purpose.
This all seems a bit grand to then speak of socks! But at the smallest, lowest level, even the craft of making socks is, according to J.R.R., a minor act of sub-creation. Made by makers made by a maker.