It was bound to happen eventually. We knew it was going on, but not how serious it had become. Over the years, our friends have tried to support themselves by silk-screening T-shirts or embroidering pillows with sassy witticisms. Most of these friends eventually found day jobs as freelance web designers and kindergarten teachers.
It seems, though, that they were onto something — the craft movement has finally gone from from flea market to art market. New York Magazine reports that the Armory Show had a definite D.I.Y. feel, with artists favoring grade school classics like yarn and thick, goopy paint. Sure, the installation that used all the yarn also contained $500 necklaces that viewers were supposed to fish out of the sculpture, but the (ahem) feel of the piece was still kitschy.
In her new documentary Handmade Nation about the American craft movement, filmmaker Faythe Levine tries to explain how hipsters all over the country started crocheting. Apparently, crafters (as they prefer to be called) have formed a national community of glassblowers, greeting card makers, and jewerly designers in opposition to mass consumerism and loss of individuality. Lest you think that the craft movement is just a marginal crew of resentful socialists, check out this vaguely offensive print that sells on Etsy for only $50 dollars. After the jump, we’ll show you some of our other favorite finds.
Be forewarned: when shopping on Etsy, you have sift through a lot of junk. But, amid all the papier mache parrot sculptures and cat paintings, there are some real gems. Persevere.
We’re just getting cozy with this underground craft community, so we’d love to hear your favorite sources. Or, for some real DIY cred, leave some tips on how we can do this stuff at home.