New York Times Article: Don’t Put a Bird On It: Saving “Craft” From Cuteness

gone_crafting_1Though this article went live awhile ago on the New York Times, I just recently came across it.  It’s an article that is part review of the disappointing “Craft Wars” TV reality show with Tori Spelling; part indictment of the crafting movement in modern times.

Read Don’t Put a Bird On It: Saving “Craft” From Cuteness

Is the term “crafting” now synonymous with hobbyists making piles of junk, as the author of this article maintains?  Does DIY only have value as an antidote to mass-manufacturing?  Is Etsy a “False Feminist Fantasy,” as another author accuses in an article [from 2009] quoted in the above? And just how awful was Craft Wars?

What do you guys think? 

Stay crafty!


5 Comments on New York Times Article: Don’t Put a Bird On It: Saving “Craft” From Cuteness

  1. Bromeliad
    12.14.2012 at 10:54 am (3 years ago)

    There are a lot of crappy crafts, and I’ve probably made a few myself, but you can’t judge the whole concept based on one show.
    Bromeliad recently posted..A landmark changes hands

  2. Sara
    12.14.2012 at 8:50 pm (3 years ago)

    I watched Craft Wars a couple times, and what really struck me was how wasteful the challenges were. They take perfectly good new items and refashion them into less useful and often less attractive projects. I love DIY but I’m not about to spend more money “crafting” something than it would cost to buy new.
    Sara recently posted..Casual Friday with Layers

  3. Kathryn
    12.16.2012 at 1:45 am (3 years ago)

    I don’t agree with either of the articles mentioned. The boogie board lounge chair on Craft Wars, albeit creative and original was not practical, cost effective and looked downright uncomfortable.

    I do agree that Craft Wars was very disappointing. It is like they tried to model their competition after those on the Cooking and Food Channels and cram it into one day and it just didn’t work.

    From a business standpoint, it was shocking that the sponsor, Michael’s crafts didn’t feature their products front and center in the competitions (afterall, they don’t sell boogie boards) and see what the creative minds would come up with to encourage viewers to want to go out and create their own version.

  4. Rachel
    4.05.2013 at 3:15 pm (2 years ago)

    I disagree with the articles. I see DIY as a response to the economic downturn and the realization that things you make yourself can be just as useful and, for lack of better word, pretty. The problem with crafting is that it has the image of the old grandma crocheting and knitting ugly afgans that smell like Pledge and cigarette smoke. In reality there are people like me, you, and all your readers who use it as a cost-effective way to stay on trend.

    Craft Wars failed because everybody has a diffrent taste in creating. I remember watching and seeing a woman get kicked-off for lack of creativity, but in fact her item was the best-looking and functioning one! It was the opposite of what crafting should be. It was wasteful when part of the point is to recycle, the materials were unrealistic when the best crafts use household items in new ways, and it was judgemental; one of the big reasons for making your own is to personalize it TO YOUR OWN LIKING! Who cares what a panel of three judges with all different styles think?

    I think people need to open their minds as they’d be surprised how many things around them are homemade. Maybe try being creative themselves and see how awesome it really is to say, “Oh, I made it….”

    • carlyjcais
      4.06.2013 at 9:13 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Rachel, for your really well-thought-out reply. I too think that the word “crafting” has taken on somewhat of a negative, fusty old connotation in the last decade or so, and now it seems that the word “DIY” is thrown around a lot more to mean basically the same thing, just more trendy and practiced by the younger generation. “Handmade” now tends to be used for the crafting that was once associated with our grandmothers and the previous generation…it’s an interesting social shift.

      You’re so right that everyone has such different tastes in creating! A show that works to encourage creating and making things should, I think, celebrate that and enable it, instead of trying to cut people down because their work isn’t the same aesthetic. Though functionality and look is definitely important, I think innovation is also something to be highly praised – there isn’t enough of it in this world! :-)


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