Baking as Making


A few weeks ago, as we welcomed our new MakerCorps members to our team, we were asked a question, “What is your first memory of yourself as a maker?” I instantly remembered myself discovering cooking. The dish: “Hot Dogs ala Katie”. It was fancy (plated on lettuce, of course) but unfortunately far before Instagram existed, so I didn’t know I should be photographing my food. Therefore, no photographic evidence exists of this amazing meal, which I prepared for my parents’ breakfast, but it was the beginning of something for me.

photo (2)

Making through cooking. Or making through baking.

2013-03-17 20.12.03

I’ve since been giving lots of thought to what “making” actually means. For me, personally, I feel like making is creating and learning. This leaves lots of wiggle room in the definition. I personally feel that intention is also important to the making process.

2014-02-21 15.06.20

I enjoy baking and cooking for lots of reasons. The first is that I can share the things I make with the people I love. Putting time, energy and meaning into things that I am going to share fuels my processes. I’ve learned many things in my life by people who are close to me sharing their knowledge. Some of my first memories are of my mom and aunt teaching me creative processes by sitting next to me showing me how to do something and how things work.

2013-08-10 09.09.32

I enjoy the science of how and why things work. What happens if I add more baking soda to my cookies? What happens if I let my meringues dehydrate for 12 hours? Why do they get slimy when the weather is humid, then dry out like it was no big deal later on? What happens if I sprinkle salt on meat and why does it tenderize that way? Learning! I LOVE learning new things.

2013-02-16 18.07.44

There’s nothing like making a cake for the second time and realizing I’m getting better at it. I don’t fancy myself an egotistical person, but I give myself a secret pat on my back when I find myself advancing and getting more successful after practicing skills.

2013-06-11 11.02.47

And the feeling of making… it’s my favorite.

Going from this…


to this…


makes my heart sort of want to explode. It’s a basic, exciting urge I have to make and create.

Is learning to bake different than learning to program? For sure. But to me, they are both MAKING processes. Creating and learning though making.

2013-05-15 09.16.25

— Katie

I create things with my hands- from hand-sewn projects and embroideries to re-purposing vintage buttons into jewelry. I love figuring out how things work, how to make things, and sharing that knowledge. When I'm not in MAKESHOP, you can find me exploring parks in Pittsburgh, making jewelry or creating ridiculous cakes.

Leave a Reply


captcha *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.