Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Nook - Craft Activism

Craft Activism:  People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In, written by Joan Tapper:

I found this book recently because I came across an article about Ruth Marshall and her knitted pelts of endangered big cats (see the article I read in Twist Collective, here).  I've been working on a little idea for knitting for the greater good myself, so I was especially interested in checking it out.

There are lots of articles in the book about different crafters and how they are crafting for a bigger cause.  Ruth Marshall wants to help draw attention to the plight of endangered cats.  Lisa Anne Auerbach knits sweaters with political messages on them to get people talking.  Virginia Fleck creates art with plastic bags to push back on "consumer culture."  And there are many more amazing crafters profiled.  Following each article is a craft project created by that person that exemplifies their craft and their cause.  Some examples are a bench warmer, from Yellow Springs, Ohio (not far from here at all) yarn bombers, The Jafagirls.  There is a peace quilt project, created by Carolyn Mazloomi, a quilter with a message.  There is an easy red scarf pattern, perfect for knitting for the Red Scarf Project, a group that gives red scarves to young adults who have aged out of the foster care system.  Can you tell I was especially drawn to the knitting projects?

On a personal note, I especially like this book because my picture was almost in it!  In the Crafting a Community section, there is an article about Ravelry and its founders, Jessica and Casey Forbes, along with various pictures of them at Ravelry events.  Well, I was at one of the events pictured in the book:

See the guy in the green shirt?  That's Casey, and I was standing on the other side of him when this photo from the book was taken.  Maybe if you squint really hard, you can see through Casey, and see me, wondering why Ravelry brought a photographer along with them.  The squinting didn't work?  I guess I'll have to catch my 15 minutes of fame another time!  By the way, here is the link to my post about the party, way back in June 2010.  Check out the middle picture - it's like the picture in the book, just in reverse!

Anyway, this is a great book that I highly recommend to anyone who loves crafting and would like to craft for a cause.  There are so many inspirational artists featured, and great craft ideas that just might serve as a springboard for your own crafting-for-a-cause.


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