Thursday, November 06, 2008

Handmade Nation

On the way home last night after picking up the kids, we decided to hit chapters for a looksee. I wasn't really planning on buying anything, but Dan was looking for a particular book. Going to Chapters with my kids (other parents may be luckier with better behaved children) is always an experience. One parent stays in the children's area, trying to watch them as one stays put reading books, while the other (who has the attention span of a gnat) runs around causing havoc.

I decided that I should get to look first since we only get about a half hour before the smallest one has exhausted her store of good behaviour. And Dan knew exactly what he wanted anyway :-)

I came across a book that I vaguely recognized the title on. Handmade Nation. I remember reading quite some time ago about a documentary that was scheduled to come out sometime in 2009. This is the book that will go along with it.

This is all about the current culture of craft, and the DIY era. Craft is being redefined by a younger generation. Technology, politics, idealism, feminism, and an in your face punk rock attitute, are completely changing the way we view crafts. Handmade is no longer viewed as a poor cousin to high end commercialism.

Teenagers, through to 30 somethings are embracing this new attitude towards craft, and they're bridging the gaps between craft and art. One facet to this new group of crafters, that has not been seen before is the community. Online, and in person groups are being formed in record numbers. From Stitch n' bitches, general craft groups, societies, to online forums, they are sharing their craft. Successes, failures, how-to's, marketing lessons, and so on, is being freely shared through these groups.

This book tells the story of 24 crafters. Get a glimpse into their studios, and their businesses. It's a fascinating read for anyone interested in this sorta thing.

(no we don't carry this book...sorry!)

Here is a snippet of the upcoming documentary Handmade Nation by Faythe Levine.


dragonjools said...

Kewel! I'm glad, and gratified, that the up and coming generation is figuring this out earlier. My family skipped a generation - I was raised by much older parents than my peers, and we made stuff - that was just how it was. Learning to sew, paint, bake, decorate, etc, was just as important as learning math, spelling and geography.

Anonymous said...

Interesting! Thanks for posting that, I'm going to copy the link to a bunch of friends.
Here where I am, I find the "crafters" to be a much more traditional bunch than the indies interviewed here, whereas I see myself with the indie group. It's good to know I'm not alone.
Thank God for the online communities.