Handmade | Granta

  • Published: 02/03/2023
  • ISBN: 9781783788231
  • Granta Books
  • 208 pages


Siri Helle

Translated by Lucy Moffatt, Kari Dickson

Humans have always used their hands to create the world around them. But now most of us have gone from being practitioners to theorists, from being producers to consumers. What happens to our society when we are so divorced from the act of making? What happens to us as individuals when we limit the uses to which we put our hands?

These are questions that preoccupy Siri Helle when she inherits a cabin of 25 square metres, without electricity, inlet water, or a loo, and decides to build an outhouse herself. Without any previous experience of building anything, she has to learn on the job and what she learns is not just about how to lay a floor and construct walls, but about what she is capable of and about craft and about the satisfactions to be found in making things by hand. Written with humour and insight, Handmade is the inspiring story of someone who tried to do it herself – and did.

This is a delightful and timely book about resilience and environmental care... This story of ingenuity and determination is an inspirational read for anyone keen to explore how they can live a more self-sufficient life

Clare Hunter, author of Threads of Life

A paean to the power and purpose of practical skill, celebrating hands-on engagement with the natural world... Handmade champions female strength and skill in the great outdoors and Helle's message, powerfully wrought and lyrically expressed, is that the promise of a different way of living is in our hands

Esther Rutter

What a delight! Handmade is a highly original invitation to find creativity, intelligence, authenticity and health, all in the palms of our hands

Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Rooted

The Author

Born in 1982, Siri Helle is an agronomist in organic farming. She occasionally works as a writer and journalist, carpentry assistant and goat herder.

More about the author →