Our latest rainy-Saturday activity is stringing god’s eyes. The technique is even easier than for pom-poms and the aesthetic is endlessly customizable. Your average seven-year-old will dive right in and innovate with “scary” ones and ones featuring “super-patterns.” Your average eleven-year-old may start a god’s eye and then abandon it when his classmate Skypes his iPod. But he will certainly have enjoyed wielding the secateurs to cut the sticks.
Curious about the superstitious-sounding name, I discovered that the 1970s craft I was taught as a precursor to macrame is actually a Mexican art/ritual symbolizing the holy and unknowable. Golly, but we handicraft enthusiasts are parasites, aren’t we?
Still, I can appreciate the vestiges of the sacred in this. Turning the four points, winding and wrapping the wool, watching the strands stack foursquare around themselves. Earth, air, water, fire: with such homely materials as twigs and string we create meaning.
Whatever that meaning may be.