So, what have I learned about the craft movement through the sociological lens?
1. When Richard Foley asked Richard Sennett what the guiding idea of his book, The Craftsman, was, Sennent answered, “Making is thinking.” In our post-modern society, we are increasingly separating the hand from the head and dummying down our systems. As people, we need to re-attach the hand to the head – the act of creation validates us as human.
2. The top occupations for women (mostly service based) do not allow for working with our hands. For that reason, the craft movement is bound to be more popular with women than with men, who may receive their fulfillment on the job.
3. Crafting has always been a way for women to form communities. These communities form faster and easier via the internet – ironically, in a time when the digital age has all but stopped face-to-face communications.
4. Crafting, working with the hands, is good therapy for men and women. Like I said in #1, the act of creation validates us and as I said in #3, it helps us to reach out to others. Both are important to our mental and emotional well being.
5. Pattern making is a pain in the butt, but I wanted to share something more than a few toys for the toy society. I feel pride and fulfillment every time some one makes up one of my patterns, and I also feel as if I have shared some of my knowledge to someone else.
6. Traditional women’s work can be used to subvert (and indeed, has been used in the past to subvert) traditional values.
7. Creative arts are used for expression of individuality (duh) and for taking back control of one’s public image.
8. Giving can sometimes make someone feel like a thief in the night.
9. Crafting can seem like a way out of the capitalist values this country holds dear, but capitalism has a way of subverting everything.