That's Anna's experience, one of the handmakers of Florà Project. Let's join her path: challenges, suggestions, goals and some trick to become a professional handmaker.
For a handmaker, time is a crucial factor: it can be a friend and an ally in achieving one's goals or, if mismanaged, an impetuous and implacable flow against which to row. In recent years, time management has been a key element that I had -and have - to handle, trying to reconcile all the needs, tasks and activities of my working and personal life.
My office-job past was made of desk work and dictated deadlines; when I decided to change my life and be no longer just an architect, but also a seamstress and pattern maker, every minute of my day became very precious. Probably many imagine the craftswoman locked in her workshop lit by a large window with curtains, serene and placid and helped by friendly little animals. Here, none of this: my life has become more frenetic than ever.
I had to learn how to reconcile the work of an architect with the rhythm imposed by the artisan acrivity, which although similar are not identical and ironically, the most intense periods almost always coincide. Without forgetting that at home there are domestic activities necessary at least for the minimum that allows not to remain single after a week of work. And social life, this unknown, but so important! A good management of the time allows a very important thing: do not look back on your previous life with melancholy, thinking of the good old times when the job offered poor satisfaction, but at least outside the office you could forget about everything.
I came to the Florà project with a thousand questions and many gaps to fill, and now I can say that the comparison with the trainers and especially with the other handmakers has been crucial for me to understand new secrets and best management practices.
The keyword for many is "planning". My tendency to work as hard as I can at every phase of my job, proved to be partially incorrect when I understood how it is necessary to slow down the pace and try to be as lucid and detailed as possible in order to prepare a good planning and have a broader look at the various activities that we'll have to face during the months: understand the best period for the purchase of materials, the design of products, the making of them, the participation to markets, and so on.
I have always been a lover of the weekly planner, my fetish object, and now I love it more then ever, and I use it to write down the commitments related to the different activities that I have to manage, trying to set deadlines in advance. A trick that I've learned is to use a weekly agenda that splits each day in two sides, so you can jot down the different tasks in parallel and check their compatibility.
I've also learned to take advantage of every "dead" moment. Moving a lot during the day, train or bus become ideal places for various activities that are normally particularly time-consuming, such as sending emails, contacting suppliers or doing online research.
The risk of overloading is clearly around the corner, and a knack that may seem trivial - but it is never wrong to remember it - is that of taking a break. In many cases, the artisan activity coincides with working at home, so it's important to self-impose moments to recharge the energies and the enthusiasm, in order to avoid to remain entangled in a continuous workflow.
Obviously a rule that is good for everyone does not exist, and every good practice evolves and changes according to the situations and the growth phase of your business: I am waiting for the next mobility to implement this theme with new suggestions and testimonies.
I am an architect with a passion for craftsmanship and manual skill in all its forms. I am now a professional seamstress and pattern maker student at AFOL Moda Milano, and I make custom-made clothes and textile accessories. I am fascinated by the thousand forms of this art, from the embroidery and the characteristics of the fabrics, to the mingling between the artisan world and the design and architectural world. I have a particular sensitivity towards the ethics of the textile / fashion industry and its sustainability. It is in this direction that my research is going, which is divided and intertwined between design and dexterity.