In my pieces I want to make every component myself, as much as (currently) possible. I don't mine metals or formulate my glass from scratch, but I do forge metals by hand and I flamework the glass. I hand- mix and pull certain colors of glass rods. I intend to raise and dye more fibers for textile work, but I like what I can do with found and re-purposed materials. Sometimes creating every little thing myself doesn't make a significant difference in the final work, and I'm learning to discern how to better manage my time and energy.
In the Fab Lab I often feel conflicted about using computers and machines to make things when I could do the same work by hand in less time. I do our assigned projects using the available machinery to know that I can; that I understand how to. Hindrances and unexpected problems are potentially the most useful for learning experiences, but if a little problem wastes twelve hours of work, it can be easy to lose patience with machines.
To be sure, I'm ecstatic to use these new tools! It is a privilege to have access to resources of digital fabrication, and I love employing them and experimenting. It amazes me to see the new possibilities every time I go to the lab. I find the most interesting results come from combining new techniques with my traditional craft practices and it's only been about four months since I began in the Fab Academy.