Adventures in “Crafts”

We just got our first issue of this British magazine “Craft: The Magazine for Contemporary Craft”.  It’s really nifty, and it defines “craft” so much more widely than some of our other magazines do that I thought I’d wander through it with you and do some free associating on the way.


According to the editorial, the theme of the issue is “making’s relationship with technology” (Mar/Apr 2012 issue, p. 3)  This starts with the nifty graphic on the cover that links to an app in ITunes called “English Hedgerow”.  What strange new worlds…  Of course, it’s 2012 and we (almost) all have smart phones.  But still.  This is one of those places where the FIT Graphic Design students are way ahead of me, no doubt.






My next stop is this elegant ad by the Victoria & Albert Museum.  Hey, I want to publish something that the V&A will advertise in!  It really is arguably, from a maker’s point of view, one of the coolest museums in the world.  Why, you ask?  Why, I will tell you.  It was begun in the late-nineteenth after the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London….




What really excites me about this is that they have continued their mission of trying to make design (of everything, not just clothing, or interiors, or ceramics or or or) understandable and doable for everyone.  Look at the range of courses offered in this listing!

Next page hook:

“Graphic Made Novel”

A Illustration student I spoke to told me that she wanted to ink for Marvel.  Since my friends are of a geeky lot, I hang out with a lot of folks who read graphic novels.  Without actually reading many myself, mind you.  Which is probably a shortcoming, since I work in a library that has them and all.

Here are a few of the more well-known ones the FIT library has in our holdings:



Road to Perdition (by Max Allen) , found in PN 6727 .C5796 R63


Vientamerica: A Family’s Journey (by G. B. Tran), found in E 184 .V53 T73 2010

or even

The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri, adapted by Seymour Chwast.  This is in PN 6727 .C499 D36 2010

I think it’s interesting that Sarah Mann, the curator of a new graphic arts fair, “Pick Me Up” said, “Craft has become an integral part of the graphic arts scene.” (Mar/Apr 2012 issue, p. 23)


On p. 31, there’s an ad for several artists showing at the British Craft Trade Fair.  I think this glass bowl is spectacular!  (Not to mention it’s in my favorite colors, the green & purple ;) ) But this sends me off towards the work of a friend of mine who died recently.  Shaun Nelson was working on recreating medieval and renaissance glass forms.



His most current work involved trying to recreate glasses like the Aldrevandin glass, seen in p. 7 of that pdf.  His own recreation glass works are here…:

He’s been a really terrific friend and creative co-conspirator and I miss him.  There are things I’d still hoped to learn from him.

Finally, I think it’s pretty cool that the editors of this magazine have their eye on the gender ball.  Notably, the fact that most people perceived fiber- and needle-related crafts as feminine.  And that crafts that require saws and screwdrivers are perceived as masculine.  They address this divide in a couple of places:









For most of human history, working with thread and cloth, once it was invented, were associated with women.  Why do you think that is?  We have some great books here in the library about how needlework was considered a woman’s education:

Elizabeth Barber, “Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years, Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times”, kept at GN 799 .T43 B37 1995

“Twixt Art & Nature: English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art”, in NK 9243 .A1 W37 2008

But what about women who make furniture or men who knit?  What do you think of them?  Do you know how to make things that aren’t usually considered “ladylike” or “manly”?  Do those words mean anything anymore?  Should they?

Hope that gave you something to think about, and some stuff to come find in the library next trip!





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One Response to Adventures in “Crafts”

  1. Gifari says:

    Nice magazine this is really good and usefull for craft something that can improve creative ,there really good . Nice work

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