Over the past few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with making things.

Some people may not find this particularly strange. The internet has fueled a DIY culture on a scale never before imaginable. The genre has such a grip on our consciousness that there are whole articles dedicated to teaching you how to make Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion from the comfort of your own home. Seriously, you can Google that, although we aren’t liable for the resulting health issues. But DIY culture never had that much of an impact on me, even as an obvious child of the Internet. I was always quite content in my own small creative realm of writing and the occasional (and often disastrous) baking project. I just never had the compulsion to make physical things myself.

But recently, I’ve felt a compulsion to make crafts. I started searching for local ceramics classes, hoping to find something that would work with my schedule (thankfully it appears Massachusetts is flush with ceramics classes). I’ve looked into taking baking classes so I can finally have success in my cupcake adventures. I’ve even considered wood-carving, even though my hand-eye coordination makes such a venture rather risky for my hands and eyes. For the first time in my life, I feel like crafting something.

The reason is not difficult to pin down; it’s basically a matter of exposure. Thanks to my work here at Quinstance, I’m surrounded by crafts every day. I listen to artists and artisans sharing their passions about wood or clay or leather and finding happiness in their work. And that energy is joyfully infectious; I can feel their love in the texture of each item. That evidence of care makes these crafts more real than anything I usually have in my everyday life. Yes, even my cell phone. And being around that feeling of realness makes me want to be a part of it in my own small way.

I think that’s the effect of knowing the people behind the products: it awakens this long-dormant instinct from when making things was essential to survival. I think if nothing else it proves just how intrinsic the creative impulse is to humanity. Even after scouring the web looking for a non-couple cooking class (which is apparently is like searching for a unicorn), I have to say it’s a pretty good feeling.

Ooh, you know what? Stuffed animals! It would be awesome to make those! I should Google that.