Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design

This Friday the 6th, the Handmade Militia of Fort Collins will host their [small scale] Craft Fair at The Matter Bookstore and Bean Cycle Coffee Shop, at which local crafters will be able to showcase and sell their products. Oh and they'll have a few batches of free, handmade cookies too. All around, it is sure to be a great time, but the reason I mention the fair now is because events like it and groups like the Handmade Militia are the very subject of Faythe Levine and Cortney Keimerl's Handmade Nation. Levine and Keimerl's book is, like its accompanying documentary film*, a celebration of the burgeoning indie craft community in the United States, complete with individual artist interviews, articles and "The New Wave of Craft" timeline. Being somewhat of a crafter myself, I enjoyed the book greatly. Reading about fellow tattooed and bespectacled artists was both entertaining and inspiring, especially in the case of Knitta. The concept of "tagging" trees, street signs and who knows what else with knitted pieces of art makes me chuckle all while making me want to so something just as fantastic (since they are knitted they can be easily removed and are basically harmless, unlike spray paint). In the end, Handmade Nation is a quick, but satisfying read and if you have ever thought about taking up sewing or have even progressed to the point of starting your own craft business on, you should definitely pick up a copy today.
*I am currently gathering information about scheduling a screening of the film once we get all moved in downtown. Stay tuned for more information!

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