The New Yorker’s article, “Don’t Put a Bird On It” has been making its rounds on the craft blogosphere, so I wanted to add my two cents in as well. Andrea Lange lambasts the new TLC show Craft Wars hosted by Toni “I was relevant once!” Spelling. And I see her point. I haven’t watched the show since I stream everything but from the short clips that I’ve seen contestants are given a base object that they have to cover with other hot glued objects.
Now, I have no problem hot gluing crap on more crap. That was basically how I made my Girls Gone Wild pinewood derby car. But I don’t think that it’s a good representation of what crafting and making in America is or looks like. It’s just a small part of it. There’s more to it then that.
For me, the verb “to craft” means to take raw materials and turn it into something else. It’s the same as making, in my book, though I see the “maker” title used by people who like to work with electronics (think circuit bending). I consider myself to be a crafter, primarily. I’m not an artisen (that just makes me think of cheese) and I’m not an artist. Those terms are way too loaded for me.
I do what I do because I enjoy it. I like seeing what my hands are capable of doing. And it makes me feel especially good when the idea in my head comes out exactly how I thought about it.
Perhaps we need a new term? I like the idea of being called a doer. Not only does it remind me of the Doozers from Fraggle Rock it implies that I’m active in my, well, doing! It also connotes that I’m busy and what I’m making takes time. I think most Muggles don’t realize just how much blood, sweat and tears goes into our craft. But doing, well now you’re up to something! And that something must be Important. Even the Doozers took up knitting at one point:
Are you an artist? A crafter? A doer? Mad in Crafts has a thoughtful rebuttal calling for more Makers in the world.