I have been thinking for a couple days on something I read in my May 2012 issue of Atlanta Magazine, in their feature on the craft scene in the city.
The ladies who started Indie Craft Experience (ICE) Atlanta are featured--the very fun and quirky biannual expo in an old warehouse downtown, with food trucks outside and tons of talented craftsmen and women inside. Ben and I went to our first ICE Atlanta last summer and came away with a few really cool pieces, including organic baby clothes for a friend, a funky bottle opener, and a wool-and-cotton stuffed elephant that graces my office space.
The feature includes a few local artists and shops, but one little bit got me thinking, about modern aesthetic, modern craft, and the influence technology on the projects we imagine, plan, and execute today.
ICE features work from the new crafting or "indie" scene. There, you are as likely to find a cross-stitching of Bea Arthur as you are handmade earrings. Urban motifs like skulls and studs have replaced country kitsch. Peterson credits this evolution to the Internet. "Crafting isn't as isolated as it used to be," she says. "You can get online and share ideas." This Venn diagram of technology and handwork is what gives modern crafting its quirky aesthetic, which resonates deeply with a new generation.
While I do not think crafting has ever been an isolating pastime--it has traditionally been based in a community, shared camaraderie--I certainly find that there is a much wider community with which to commune, a huge pool of creative people with inspiring ideas and endless projects for me to admire and bookmark.
The Internet has definitely changed how we craft.
It has changed what kinds of materials and fabrics are available to use, it has given us the blogging community to share in-progress and finished projects and bounce ideas, and then there are all the other kinds of social media to provide continuous graphic inspiration.