Dec 14th, 2008
Ok, I’ll admit it. I have no idea what “craftism” is.
I do, however, know what “craftivism” is.
The word “craftivism” came into my life by way of a conversation about “craft” and “activism,” seeing the similarity and opposition in these words as culturally defined, I started using a “craft activism” hybrid. A friend of mine at a knitting circle actually combined the two words into one way back in 2002.
I’m not sure what happens when you start writing about a theory and then thanks to making up a weird looking word, it is commonly spelled missing a few letters instead of the word you started out with! However, if you have an idea of what “craftism” is, I’d be well chuffed to hear its definition. I would argue that the “-ivism” part of the equation is pretty imperative because it denotes craft’s connection to activism, instead of it glomming on a different “-ism” like Marxism or Taoism or veganism.
Bizarrely, Google seems to whip right on by the missing letters…which makes little sense to me as normally it’s hypersensitive?
I often get asked what was going on at the time that made me start connecting “craft” and “activism.” In the next few posts, I’m going to expand a bit of the various cultural trends that seem to have a whole heck of a lot to do with why this whole craft resurgence happened in the first place!
Thanks to the convergence of the quest for uniquity, annoyance at the banality of materialism and the mall/superstore presence, the internet erasing geographic boundaries and the reclamation of the domestic thoughts began to run to making and sewing and knitting and crafting crafting crafting! On a lesser scale, I would argue that a need for the tactile was craved, too. This marked a strange point in time where people were really excited to see what technology could do, but perhaps secretly hoping that teleporting would just be invented already so we could get a hug instead of :)
A lot of times when I bring up the reasons above, more explanation is requested, so here’s the first of 5 posts, with the others soon to follow.
The quest for uniquity
No one likes to show up at a party wearing the same dress as someone else in attendance. Well, up until the Industrial Revolution clothes were made by hand and as a result didn’t come off of the same rack as things were tweaked for specific body types or styles.
Then all of a sudden advances in the how textiles were manufactured came along and clothing was mass produced and you could eventually pop down to the shop on the corner and buy a shirt or stockings instead of crafting them on your own. I can’t even imagine how much of a relief this must have been! Of course, this is a whipquick run-through, as some individuals (the number varying on changes in economics, culture, politics) have continuously been handcrafting their clothes.
Eventually the hype of popping down the corner for that shirt wore off a bit and some people wanted more control of their clothes and wanted a say in color, design and weight of what they wore! In the first few years of this century, a push began starting a craft resurgence that was heavily boosted by people wanting to create what they wore instead of picking them off a on over-stuffed rack. Instead of being annoyed that their favorite store didn’t have the sweater they wanted in orange and only had it in red and green and blue, people were starting to create what wasn’t available to them instead of settling for a product they only halfway wanted anyway because their own vision wasn’t displayed before them in a shop window.
Also, how has the film short The Last Knit evaded me until now?!
*Amazingly, this version of the post is a micro-version of the original. Think of these posts more of elevator speech definitions, although I always love to talk about the nitty gritty details if you’re up for it.