Is craft too cute? Discuss.

I came across this piece in the New Yorker, which was published last August, last week. If you (like me) think rather a lot of stuff people make is too kitsch/cute/whatevs, it;s well worth a read.

I’m fascinated by this sentence: “Craft used to mean something, and it would never have been made with Mod Podge.”



Filed under Craft in the New Yorker, Craft on the interweb, Crafty musings

6 responses to “Is craft too cute? Discuss.

  1. Oh yes. Craft can be too cute – but it can also be just plain UGLY! Craft no longer means ‘crafted’, ie put together with care and consideration. It now seems to mean ‘thrown together for a quick fix’.

    I don’t ‘do’ craft


  2. I read this a while ago and it did get me thinking, about the ‘cute’ issue but also about the shoddiness of some modern craft (as opposed to it being the art of hand-crafting something solidly well-made) and the use of expensive base materials to create something no better than the sum of it’s parts. Perhaps we need a return to the idea of craft as turning unwanted or wasted materials into items of value and usefulness (although I think some people are already doing this:

    The gendered-ness of craft does sometimes bother me. Yarn and textiles-based crafts to tend to be overwhelming female-dominated and see some of the lowest returns. I’d like to see more done to encourage girls and women into more male-dominated (as well as largely more respected and more profitable) crafts like woodworking. Perhaps schools have changed now, but as recently as 10-15 years ago at the ‘technology college’ (secondary school) I attended, students overwhelming opted to take traditionally male/female pathways at GCSE (e.g. textiles/food tech/graphic design for the girls, electronics/wood work for boys). I *wish* now I’d chosen something more interesting than food tech!

  3. Interesting piece but it’s basically lambasting one TV show that’s not about crafting at all – it’s about one of my personal hates, “upcycling”. Upcycling is not craft. You can make things with upcycled components, but the act of taking junk and sticking it on other junk is not now and has never been craft. It doesn’t take much to extrapolate that to the sort of “craft” which have overrun the UK’s markets – glueing card toppers on a card, stringing together some plastic beads, or putting some stickers on a box, all of which is not craft. I could go on for hours but I’ll stop before I hyperventilate!

  4. Perri

    You’re all so wise!!

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