The Return of Craft
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Crafters today draw inspiration from counterculture. The magazine The Modern Seamster is decidedly punk. The zine theanticraft.com is unabashedly gothic. Crafting has also become refreshingly sex positive. What else would explain the proliferation of anatomically correct amigurumi and the return of handmade merkins? In many regards, crafting has actually become a counterculture of its own. Take Magda Sayeg, founder of Knitta Please. Sayeg has chosen to fight the dehumanization of urban landscapes by installing her brightly colored knitting onto columns, railings, parking meters, and street poles.
Rhode Island is a perfect example of the diversity of the modern crafting movement. The neighborhoodly feel and passion-per-square-inch for the arts make it an exciting place to watch the modern craft movement in action. Providence is an ideal place to simultaneously shop handmade and local, and Westminster Street is a hotbed of handmade art. A single block of this scenic downtown avenue is home to Oop, Queen of Hearts, and Craftland.
And don’t forget Etsy, the immensely popular online global shopping center for handmade accessories, clothing, and art. A search for Providence-based Etsy shops yields about 100 recently updated shops, and Arts in RI has emerged as a collaborative for Rhode Island–based artists who sell their work in Etsy’s marketplace.