Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Providence screening of Handmade Nationat Craftland. In case you didn't know, Handmade Nation is a documentary about the rise of the D.I.Y. art, craft & design movement... & it is brilliant!
The movie was directed by the phenomenally multi talentedFaythe Levine. Levine traveled more than 19,000 miles around the country to interview some of the most fascinating people who make up this creative community. And that's what I enjoyed most about this film... It gave me a real sense of community... of being a part of something that actually means something... and how big that something really is.
Right now, at this very moment, people all across the country are redefining craft-making for the 21st century. Quilts are cutting-edge outlets for self-expression & samplers carry messages of anti-consumerism, environmentalism & feminism. Their work is not just beautiful: it's hip, it's political and it's a little punk rock.
We all know we are living in tough economic times right now. Jobs are scarce & virtually everything we touch is made in some sweatshop in China. We are also well aware of the fact that this here planet which we all call home is changing rapidly due to global warming... A situation we created & only we can change.
Buying local not only helps boost your local economy, it also reduces your carbon footprint. I know it's not always easy to do... your buck does stretch further at those big conglomerate super stores, but really in the long run you're not saving all that much. Just think, every time you buy something handmade (be it a one of a kind gift for someone's birthday on Etsy, or fresh picked veggies for supper at the farmer's market down the street) you're helping save EVERYONE (locally & globally) & THAT is awesome! Like little David did, together we can take down the corporate Goliaths who got us all into this mess in the first place.
I have to say that I am really proud to consider myself a craftavist & I would like to salute Handmade Nation for giving me the encouragement to keep on keepin on. Watching this movie has really inspired me... just knowing that there are others out there who share the same dream as me & have actually been successful at running their own indie craft businesses... For showing me that it is all possible. It is so easy to lose sight of that dream & get caught up by the day to day. It would be so easy to just go down to Walmart & get a J.O.B. with a reliable weekly paycheck. Handmade Nation helped me to refocus... Because doing this, is not some stay at home, get rich quick scheme...
It's a way of life.
If you're also interested in the new wave of art & craft & would like to see this film, stop by the Handmade Nation Blog for listings of show-times in your area. If you'd like to own a copy of Handmade Nation on DVD or the companion book by the same name, you can do so by visitingBuy Olympia.