Handwork

Smithsonian Institution

April 23, 2017
(was 12.06.2015)

More than 38 million Americans knit or crochet. Not because they crave mittens and afghans, but because they like the way knitting feels. Handwork turns out be a powerful antidote for digital overload. This hour explores the therapeutic value of drawing, knitting and other handcrafts. And, this year's most coveted gift for writers, English majors and luddites? The manual typewriter.

  1. Can Knitting Improve Your Health?

    Betsan Corkhill founded Britain's therapeutic knitting movement -- the clinical application of knitting to treat a variety of mental and physical ailments.  She teaches knitting to patients through the National Health Service and coordinates medical research on its benefits.  

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  2. How Hands Have Shaped Humanity

    Humans are the only creatures on the planet with hands that can knit, draw, throw pots and build houses.  Philosophy Colin McGinn thinks hands made us human -- and deserve more respect.

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  3. Lynda Barry's Radio Drawing Lessons

    The celebrated cartoonist Lynda Barry has a deep theory of creativity that she's explored through books and popular workshops.  Now she's working with scientists and students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to investigate the  relationship of the hand to mental health and creativity. Grab paper and pens before you listen.

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  4. The Magical Mechanical Typewriter

    First it was vinyl; now, the typewriter is back. Vintage Smith-Coronas and Olivettis are hot items on Ebay.  Cities around country are hosting "type ins".   Hipster fad or analog rebellion?  Philosopher Richard Polt assesses the typewriter revolution.

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  5. The Typewriter Poet

    A few years ago, Tyler Knott Gregson challenged himself to compose a daily poem on a vintage typewriter.  Now he's a best-selling poet with a vast social media following.  And he still writes on a typewriter.

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