Site icon Joanna Campbell Slan

Desperately Seeking OOAK

So I’m cruising Pinterest and Etsy looking at dollhouse miniatures, and I keep seeing OOAK by the listings. Wow. I was so impressed by the detailed workmanship. And so many different types of items!

I was thinking to myself, “This OOAK really knows her stuff. She must be crafting from sun up to sun down.”

Then I got to thinking, “I bet OOAK is the name of a company. Yeah, that’s got to be it. I wonder if they offer tutorials.”

In the miniature world, almost all the best artists (and manufacturers) share wonderful tutorials (or “tutes”) on their websites. As one of them explained in an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) post, the tutorials are a way of giving back. Another admitted that once someone sees all that’s involved in crafting an object, well, the viewer gets to thinking, “I could never do that. I’ll cave in and make a purchase.”

My dollhouse is definitely OOAK. Whoever made it did not adhere to 1:12. Actually he/she ignored any coherent sense of scale. And guess what? That’s been a blessing because it’s forced me to make stuff myself. For example, I decided to make these sliding screen doors for the bathroom. This attempt will be scraped for a variety of reasons, but I learned a lot while crafting these doors. I don’t mind that they are OOAK, but I do mind that they make the rest of a pretty room look squatty.

Many of the tutorials are in languages other than English. Thanks to modern technology, you can often hit a button and a tutorial will be instantly translated. Even if the translation isn’t very good, when added to good pictures, the information is still useful.

So I searched through foreign sites and what do you know? My old friend OOAK kept popping up! Over and over.

Then one night as I was indulging in my new favorite pre-sleep ritual of cruising tutorials, I spied a phrase “one-of-a-kind.”

You’ve probably already sussed out that OOAK is an acronym for “one of a kind.”

That got me thinking. We’re all OOAK. Everything handmade is OOAK. OOAK has wonderful, intrinsic value, because it’s so uniquely human. Even when our work is slightly wonky or imperfect or just plain weird, it’s utterly delightful and perfectly imperfect. It’s OOAK, a quality worth searching for.

Have you ever misinterpreted an acronym? Or am I the only idiot out there?

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