But you know what? You and I are going to be just fine. How do I know that? Because we can make things. Things like food. And clothing. And maybe even shelter. We can cook and garden and knit and sew. We can read recipes and patterns and plans.
We can turn nothing into something and that is always going to be madly valuable. You and I will be heavily scouted and vied for when people are putting together their post-apocolyptic teams. We will be picked first. But more importantly, whatever happens, we will be warm and well fed.
There is also a subtle, some times even inadvertent, form of protest involved in making things. Filmmaker and artist Faith Gillespie said:
There is clearly another imperative at work now in our exercise of the old crafts. It has to do with reclamation, with reparation. The world seems not to need us any more to make ‘the things of life.’ Machines make more and cheap. The system needs us to do the maintenance jobs and to run the machines that produce the so-called ‘goods,’ to be machines in the consumer societies which consume and consume and are empty. Our turning to craftwork is a refusal. We may not all see ourselves this way, but we are working from a position of dissent. And that is a political position.
Isn’t that amazing? The first time I read it, it gave me goose bumps!
So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard about Craft Activism, the new book by Joan Tapper and Gail Zucker. [Full disclosure: Gail Zucker is a personal friend and has taught a photography class here at the farm. She’s also a kick-ass photographer.]
Here’s the blurb from the back:
Craft Activism is an inspiring celebration of this growing movement. Inside, dozens of superstars of this grassroots phenomenon share their experiences, tips, and advice on living, teaching, and promoting a more meaningful DIY lifestyle. Learn to craft for your cause, connect with other crafters, think green, organize a fair, host an online exchange, create yarn graffiti, and more. The book also includes 17 creative projects from designers who challenge you to reimagine how your craft skills can be used to make a difference. Whether you knit, sew, crochet, or collage—and even if you’re not sure where to begin—this book is your guide to the incredible power of handmade.