Friday, January 11, 2008

Craft Research: Craft 2.0

I ran across a couple of great articles today on crafts and the "rebirth" of the Arts and Crafts Movement. craft research: Craft 2.0 is a great article that discusses how the handmade movement ("Craft 2.0") is sweeping the net with the help of organizations like Etsy (which is generating huge revenue--$4.3 million in November alone). I also ran across a neat post on Slow Cloth/Slow Craft by Debra Roby on Blogher. Both these articles were great, and I think they speak to the growing popularity of the handcraft movement.

As I noted in a comment on the Craft 2.o article, this likely means that the new craft movement will have a great deal more success than the original Arts and Crafts Movement. The reasons are fairly simple. While the leaders of the Arts and Crafts Movement hoped to convince the people of the beauty and quality of handmade objects, they faced a tremendous obstacle: that of price. Handcrafted objects made by Morris and Company were incredibly expensive to make and eventually became "status symbols" among the wealthy. Thus, a movement that began out of a desire to restore dignity to craftsmen and craftswomen by asserting their right to enjoy the crafting process was eventually reduced to a niche market populated by wealthy art patrons.

I am cautiously optimistic that the Craft 2.0 movement could change all this. The internet is far more accessible to people than William Morris "Morris and Company" shop ever was. And many of the goods available on sites like Etsy are incredibly affordable (check out Pink Purl, for example--Tracy offers tons of beautiful handcrafted art objects at very reasonable prices). I am so excited to see creative people finding avenues in which to sell their art without needing much of a "middle man"--I think it really speaks to the viability of this new movement. I believe people are naturally attracted to beautiful handmade objects. I think many will choose to "buy handmade" if quality handmade objects are available at affordable prices. Unfortunatley, that was never really possible during William Morris' time. Perhaps the time for handcrafts has come!

3 comments:

Charm & Grace said...

Dear Meggie,

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. I am enjoying reading yours now. What beautiful photos and thoughtful insight on handcrafted arts!

Blessings,

Christi
Charm & Grace Blog

Bebe said...

Hand-crafted items are definitely making a comeback and I think that is a "good thing" (Thanks Martha Stewart). I so admire people who can create beauty from their two hands ~ whether stitchery, pottery, or furniture, etc. The internet has brought me into contact with wonderful craftsmen that I normally would not have known existed. So, I agree with you completely about today's handicrafts having a much wider audience than in previous times.

Great post!!

Bebe :)

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