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Review: Craft Activism


First, the facts:

Title: Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In

Author: Joan Tapper, Photography by Gale Zucker

Published by: Potter Craft, 2011

Pages: 159


1. Crafting a Statement
2. Recrafting the Past
3. Crafting for a Cause
4. Crafting to Recycle, Renew, and Reuse
5. Crafting a Community

Craft Activism

Pattern Size Range: Text

The In-Depth Look:

Gather round, children, because I have a different kind of book to tell you about.

It’s a cynical age we live in. Trying times, hard times as we deal with a faltering global economy, weather systems run amock, natural disasters by the score. Selfish, entitled people who can’t be bothered to look for oncoming traffic when they cross a street. Children who expect to be simply given everything they want in life …

Or, is it? Maybe things aren’t really all that bad.

Knitters (and other crafts-people) have known for centuries that there’s nothing more comforting than something warm and woolly, or a gift made just for you with love. Things to catch your eye and make you think.

Crafts aren’t just about dressing babies and making things cute, after all. With the right mind at work, they can become powerful tools for making the world a better place. It’s not just about knitting, not just about quilting or recycling.

It’s about making a difference.

The author begins by saying, “When I am asked to define craft, I don’t and I won’t. I like to think of it as undefinable–with no rules–and that is why I was drawn to it in the first place. Craft is a way to connect with people, a way to create a community that you are inspired by. I have come to realize that once one’s hands are in motion, ‘making’ is difficult to stop. … We make to provide. We make to give. We make to share. We make because we love. Making is marketable, it’s ‘green,’ it’s local. And when the fad passes, we will still be making. Because making things by hand has never stopped, and it will never disappear.”

One woman says, “Craft is a social form, and quilting has been a way for women to get together to discuss events, disseminate information, and commune with each other. When you get a gathering of women, it’s like a homecoming, a reunion. It’s powerful.”

Powerful, indeed. Crafters are channeling their talents to draw attention to multitudes of issues–whether giving former foster kids beautiful scarves, drawing attention to endangered species, or just doing what they can to help save the planet–people who work with their hands are creative. And they bring their passion and creativity to everything they do.

This book is filled with amazing people who are doing remarkable things by using their Craft–by which I mean not only the skill in their hands by their native wit and craftiness. Along with the interviews and the stories, there are patterns–knitting patterns, quilting patterns, embroidery and sewing patterns. Even instructions for making flowers out of recycled tin cans. I rather love several of the knitting patterns, but that’s almost beside the point.

The point to this book is to take a look at the things you can already do, and the things you already know about what’s right and what’s wrong in the world, and then using your own native creativity to put them together to make something remarkable.

Really, you must take a look.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Potter Craft. Thank you!

My Gush: Crafting a Better World

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