Saturday, January 10, 2009

Indie Crafters: Reliving History

One hundred years ago, Europe and North America were suffering from growing pains. Companies grew too fast causing major labor problems, pollution, monopolies, and an even bigger difference between the haves and have nots. Mass production swept the world resulting in cheap and unexciting products. What emerged from this turmoil was a revolution that became history.

The Arts and Crafts Movement began primarily as a search for authentic and meaningful styles and as a reaction to the "soulless" machine-made production (source: Wikipedia). Sound familiar? It's so interesting that we are going through the same thing right now.

Exactly 100 years after the Arts and Crafts Movement began, Indie Craft has emerged as a reaction to the corporate, mass-produced world we live in. Thanks to the internet, people from all over the world are discovering their own creativity and have a place to display and sell their items. "Craft Mafias" are forming in many cities across the US and Europe, craft bizarres are getting easier to find, and online marketplaces like Etsy are becoming online communities for artists and crafters.

Fortunately, it's not just the crafters that find handmade items so appealing. Many of us are able to leave the corporate world and make a living with our new businesses. TV shows and even movies are embracing this new culture, too.

It's good to know that the human spirit's need for creativity cannot be muffled for long. Just like the pioneers of the Arts and Craft Movement, Indie Crafters are making a big impact on the world, and I know we'll all be in the history books for the artists of the next movement to read about, too!