August 22nd, 2016 by Jan

Ken bought a tool at a yard sale last week.

It is a brilliant invention; a weed puller on a long handle. You stick it in the ground, on top of the weed, step on it, then pull the weed. It is making the job of getting the dandelions out of our yard a breeze. Who ever invented it, had a great idea and good follow through.

Then I realize, I don’t know the difference between an invention and a creation — an inventor, or an artist.

I know no matter what your intention, you first need a big idea.

I’ve had a lot of big fat ideas in my life time. Several have even come to fruition. Still, I am quite certain, that while I am a lot of things, an inventor is not one of them.

I’ve created things like, quilts, beads, baskets, stories, even an app, and, quite unintentionally, I’ve made up words; just ask my students, or the people I play Words With Friends with. (I’m quite the creative speller!)

What I want to know is, how is making stuff up, like words, or creating stuff, like a quilt, the same or different from inventing stuff, like the cotton gin or said weed puller?

I’ve had some big ideas that other people turned into inventions.

For example, the mini van. It was MY idea! I came up with the design for the mini van way back in the 70s. The problem was, I didn’t know how to make a mini van —someone else did several years later, because the mini van is a thing in the world now.

I still have a big idea for the perfect sit-com for TV. I know it would be a huge hit, and one day, because I don’t know how to write a pilot, or a script, my idea will be on TV, starring Craig T. Nelson, and I’ll say — That was my idea, but, not my invention.

I’m a crafty person, a maker of things. I don’t consider myself an artist and certainly not an inventor. Ken is a creator as well, a fine craftsman. I know a lot of artists, but actually, Ted is the only inventor I know but, now that I think of it, maybe so is Ed Cooper and his sons are as well, but his wife Marsha, is like me — a maker of things.

Language is weird.

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