Madigan made… a discussion about: crafting.
Do you call yourself a ‘crafter’ or label your blog a ‘craft blog’? Do you hesitate to do that for some reason?
I’ll admit that when I started blogging I did not initially want to be ‘just a craft blog’. The topics I write about range from recipes to home decorating to simple crafts. It is hard to come up with a single label for my blog’s category. I’m not really sure why I hesitated to call myself a crafter. But today, when I look at the focus of my blog’s content… I am a craft blogger (and I also talk about DIY décor and recipes occasionally, too). I think my hesitation to label myself could stem from what the word ‘craft’ means. The term is subjective, depending on who you ask.
Recently, The New Yorker targeted the television show Craft Wars and accused the show of turning the word ‘craft’ into ‘the act of making things cuter.’ They argued that ‘craft’ has lost its meaning lately and it no longer refers to the traditional craftsperson who trained for years at their skill. But, my argument back to The New Yorker is that maybe the definition of the word ‘craft’ has changed. Isn’t that possible? As a society, our language will evolve with our culture.
The word craft has broadened to mean much more than traditional handicrafts or The Arts and Crafts movement. Today, “crafting” often implies creating something decorative that is made with your hands. The category includes but is not necessarily limited to a trained craftsperson.
There are Fifty Shades of “Crafting” and counting.(Yes, I went there… and that’s as far as I’m going towards that overused 2012 pop culture reference.) For me, the spectrum of ‘crafting’ is wide and varied. It can range from the skilled artisan (quilter, knitter, potter, etc.) who has honed her craft for years to the busy mom who just wants to make simple DIY wall art with decoupage during naptime. The young and the old can craft. And all crafters are not equal. Some crafters are very talented at what they do, while others just enjoy stretching their creative muscles, regardless of the results. And it’s ALL good in my book. I love the fact that ‘crafting’ can be so inclusive.
The world would be a happier place if more people would ‘craft’.If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you probably can appreciate the merits of making stuff. It feels good to create something, doesn’t it?
I live in two very different worlds. Most of you know that my day job is very technical (I’m a pharmacist) . While I love working in healthcare, I still crave a creative outlet when I get home. As a result, I cook and I craft (and I blog!). The primary purpose of my DIY projects and crafts is to create something decorative and useful. I hope that by making it myself, it saves me money and helps make our home more personal. I make crafts to savor the memory of an important day… to store something in a beautiful way… or to repurpose a cast off item that might otherwise never be used.
Crafting is good for the soul. The creative process itself is exciting. You take a small gamble when you create something. Who knows if it will turn out the way you had hoped? Maybe it will be better than your vision or it could be a major craft fail. That risk and reward process is addicting... in an oh-so-good way!
If it feels that good, why don’t more people want to craft? Well, maybe they have misconceptions about the term… which brings me to my next point.
“Crafting” is not just for holly hobbies.In some ways, maybe The New Yorker is right. Perhaps the terms ‘crafting’ or ‘crafter’ have become synonymous with “making things cute and frilly”. That attitude is a stigma that I’ve seen on and offline for some time now (and it may be why I hesitated to use the word in the past).
For many folks, ‘crafting’ evokes images of stale grandmas who make pot holders, hair bows and tea cozies with lots of lace and ruffles. And some people don’t want to be associated with the term for that reason. (Not that there is anything wrong with ruffles or bows or tea cozies.)
But let’s remember that ‘craft’ can have many nuances. Crafts can be modern, practical and beautiful. Don’t believe me? Just check out sites like Craft, U-Create, How About Orange and Dollar Store Crafts. They feature contemporary creations of various skill levels on a daily basis. Blogs can shape that crafting image.
Let’s bring ‘crafty’ back.The bigger question is… why should we even care about the word ‘craft’ anyways?
Maybe you don’t care what the label is… you just like to make stuff. That’s fine. But if you blog about creating things or if sell your handmade goods online, it is important to understand that “craft” is slowly becoming a buzz word. Look, even The New Yorker is talking about it! From an SEO standpoint, according to Google AdWords, over 13 million people searched for the word “crafts” globally last month. (That’s more than the term “DIY”.) And those searches will bring people to a few craft blogs. As a community of craft bloggers, we can help define what the word ‘craft’ means. Remember, crafting is broad term… Let’s continue to show people that it can be so much more than tea cozies. (I’m sorry to keep picking on tea cozies… they are an easy ‘cute’ target!)
Maybe you don’t want to label yourself a crafter or call what you make crafts. That is your choice.
I just ask y’all to keep making things and inspiring people!
I make stuff. I craft and I love it. And I love being able to share it with you.
Do you craft and want to tell the world? Copy this picture and share. My blog friend, Jessica, has more badges like it on her site. She took a moment this week to discuss the definition of the word craft, too. Head over to her site and grab a badge! (And the discussion about this crafty debate continues on Craftzine.)
P.S. If you are a regular reader here, then you know I share a new kitchen chalkboard quote every month. I wanted to show that quote to you today since it relates to this topic, in a way. This was my first and feeble attempt at ‘fancy’ chalkboard art. How’d I do?