The Forgotton Arts

The Forgotton Arts

Jessica Tata
Jun 3, 2009

Our friend discovered and bestowed upon us a set of books put out by Yankee Magazine in 1976 that highlight "Yesterday's techniques adapted to today's materials." With such topics as "making and firing weatherproof bricks, building a community skating rink, and coping with a whole pig," it is a very entertaining blast from the past. There seem to be, though, some pretty interesting tips, and it made us wonder what other forgotten arts we ought to try to remember...

While we probably won't utilize the how-to on making and firing weatherproof bricks, we found some interesting tips in the books. There is an entire section on painting Colonial patterned floors with a few 18th century patterns. Making plain and fancy soap sounds like a topic we could tackle. Digging and stoning a well, we'll probably not try out!

This all got us thinking about the various crafts and arts that we would perhaps just rely on someone else to do for us. We especially see how friends of ours have resurrected old skills once they purchase their own home. Partially a realization that they, and not a landlord, are responsible for every aspect of their home has led them to take on more DIY, and also a sense of pride that comes from self-sustenance has empowered them to learn how to hang drywall and install a toilet.

What are some "forgotten arts" that you have rediscovered? Whether you own your own home or are a resourceful renter, what are some of the ways that you have been self sufficient when you could have otherwise relied on someone else? We're betting it isn't by "working with a draft horse..."

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