In the name of all things crafty and good, Faythe Levine and Micaela O’Herlihy crossed the continent numerous times documenting the new resurgence of craft. With a working title of “Indie Craft Documentary,” the film has now been officially christened “Handmade Nation.” Levine is the asker of questions, O’Herlihy is the one behind the camera and together they documented the works of makers and crafters just like you.
After interviewing 50 different artists and makers and traveling to over 15 different cities, they managed to capture this new wave of craft that has changed many of our lives for the better. I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of meeting them both last summer at a festival in Chicago, and in full disclosure, was interviewed for the film. While I am more than honored to be involved with this project, I’d still be in love with it even if I wasn’t…
Here is a sneak peak of the film, now in production, with an expected release date sometime in 2008. In the comments for the video online, one person remarked, “If this is craft then craft as I knew it is truly dead.” I think that what is sometimes overlooked in all of this is that we’re not trying to reinvent something new- we’re embracing something old and bringing it forward to the present.
For far too long craft, both high-brow and low, has been stuck in the shadows of art as something utile, less knowledgeable and easier to rebuff. With projects like “Handmade Nation” in gear, maybe more people will rethink their old definitions and retool their own stereotypes and fixed notions. That is my greatest hope of this current resurgence, that instead of bringing about alienation or creating a rapid trajectory with no firm ground, we come one step closer to cherishing our traditions and familial histories.
(Thanks to Linda Permann for the photo. And for the curious, the crafter being interviewed above is none other than Dennis Stevens of Redefining Craft! Apologies to any international crafters who may feel slighted… I’m sure there is a void for you to fill in this regard in your own countries, too!)