Monday, November 28, 2011

Craft Activism - LibraryElfReads

Title: Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects From the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In
By: Joan Tapper
Photography by: Gale Zucker
Publisher: Potter Craft
Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307586629
Source: Library

Craft Activism is not exactly what I thought it would be. What I thought it would be includes: projects, some inspirational stories, and ways to use your craft to promote your personal causes, possibly politically. That's not exactly what it was.

Craft Activism is a collection of crafter profiles from around the country (USA) who have, in some way or another, challenged the craft scene and changed it. The five areas the book focuses on are: statement (more arty, 5 profiles), the past (3 profiles), a cause (1 profile), to recycle (3 profiles), and community (1 profile, and you'll never guess who).  Based on those profiles of those people, is a collection of projects that you, yes, you, could do. Not every profile has a project, but sprinkled throughout the profiles are snippets of other people out there related to the causes.

Now, the last "crafter profile" book I checked out bored me. I had to return it to the library because, while I loved the first crafter who was profiled, it just wasn't an appealing book. This one was. I actually finished it. Everyone in this book is spunky, arty, and has something to inspire me some how. For example, the woman who knitted tons of sweaters with statements? Awesome. The project for her has a sweater/cardigan that features bikes. Very cool. Another I enjoyed reading about was the artist who made plastic mandalas with scotch tape! The skirt project doesn't seem feasible (I skipped reading the directions...that might explain it), but I'm very interested in that. Basically, it was stories like these that kept me interested and going, "Oh! What's next?"

Now my qualms. First, I hadn't realized how unbalanced the sections were until I wrote this up. I thought the community section could have benefited with another awesome crafter community aside from Ravelry. I know Ravelry's story. I lived it. I'd like to read about the awesome craft groups that I know are out there, or something else. Second, there's a good amount of projects in here, but if I had to say at a glance what craft the editor/compiler was partial to? Knitting. Too many knitting projects. One crochet project. One quilting project. Maybe I'm missing something though, but I think by now, knitting isn't the only thing on the scene. Also, I don't knit so the majority of the projects, while pretty, I can't exactly do (unless I convert it or finally break down and learn to knit). I crochet, I sew, and I experiment.

If you're looking for how to use your craft in your activism, you might be disappointed. If you're looking for how others did it or for some inspiration, this will probably fit the bill.

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