In her new book Kroski, bestselling enthusiast of makerspaces, cosplay, and geek culture in libraries, has gathered creative and crafty librarians to share their most popular Kawaii programs. Running the gamut in terms of cost and difficulty, this book’s 53 programs are sure to include many that will fit your budget, space, and skills. Just scan the estimated budget, age range, materials, equipment needs, and learning outcomes in each listing. Projects include
keychains with felt or 3D printing;
3D printed animal earrings;
hosting a stuffed animal fashion show;
monster emoji paper bookmarks;
origami fortune cookies;
buttons with anime or comic book art;
crocheted coffee cozy or puppy nose warmer;
tiny top hats with laser-cut felt cameos; and
how to Kawaii-ify a planner.
What’s more, the plentiful suggestions for “next projects” scattered throughout the book will help you keep the super-cute fun going!
Archaeologists study a wide array of material remains to propose conclusions about non-material aspects of culture. The intricacies of these findings have increased over recent decades, but only limited attention has been paid to what the archaeological record can tell us about the transfer of cultural knowledge through apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship is broadly defined as the transmission of culture through a formal or informal teacher–pupil relationship. This collection invites a wide discussion, citing case studies from all over the world and yet focuses the scholarship into a concise set of contributions. The chapters in this volume demonstrate how archaeology can benefit greatly from the understanding of the social dimensions of knowledge transfer. This book also examines apprenticeship in archaeology against a backdrop of sociological and cognitive psychology literature, to enrich the understanding of the relationship between material remains and enculturation.
Each of the authors in this collection looks specifically at how material remains can reveal several specific aspects of ancient cultures: What is the human potential for learning? How do people learn? Who is teaching? Why are they learning? What are the results of such learning? How do we recognize knowledge transfer in the archaeological record? These fundamental questions are featured in various forms in all chapters of the book. With case studies from the American Southwest, Alaska, Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Mesopotamia, this book will have broad appeal for scholars—particularly those concerned with cultural transmission and traditions of learning and education—all over the world.
This new book brings to life the material-culture heritage of southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. In Backcountry Makers, Betsy K. White expands on her previous study of the region’s rich decorative arts legacy, Great Road Style, to offer a closer look at the individual artisans responsible for the diverse works that constitute that legacy.
Beautifully illustrated with some 230 photographs, most of them in color, this volume includes biographical sketches of seventy-five makers—potters, weavers, spinners, quilters, embroiderers, cabinetmakers, metalsmiths, clocksmiths, gunsmiths, and artists—who worked in the region from the earliest eighteenth-century settlement days to the late twentieth century. The entry for each artisan is accompanied by one or more images of a signed or marked work, or, in a number of instances, an unmarked work with certain provenance.
These vignettes offer a fascinating glimpse of the people behind the various pieces, describing their background, family life, and where they learned their trade. Using census records and other documentary evidence, White has traced the earliest of these artisans from their origins in such places as Europe and Philadelphia down through the Great Valley of Virginia to their ultimate destinations in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. Along with the photos displaying the products of their craftsmanship, the book also includes a number of evocative images of the artists and their homes and towns, thus giving the reader a fuller sense of the region where these gifted people lived and worked.
One of the few studies to addresses handmade objects in this locale—and one of the even fewer works to focus on the artisans
themselves— Backcountry Makers will be of great value not only to scholars of material culture and the arts in Appalachia but also to those who collect regional antiques and crafts and want to know more about the individuals who made them.
The study of craft production is a complex and challenging one that illuminates key aspects of the material, organizational, and ideological interests, values, and capacities of a given culture.
Many crafts are treated as separate, but are actually practiced concurrently and in close proximity to each other, facilitating crucial interaction. There is a need for a balanced evaluation of the roles of producer and consumer in craft production, and the importance of properly contextualized workshop excavations and the definition of the entire sequence of operation in documenting craft production both as a social and material process.
Craft Production in Complex Societies redresses the skewed conception and approach to craft production that have been shaped by studies focused on separate, single medium crafts, finished products, and the consumer. It presents case studies and regional syntheses from diverse geographical areas, time periods, and sociopolitical complexities that break important new ground in the anthropological study of the creative role and social identity of the producer and multi-craft production. It is expected to serve as a key reference in craft studies for many years to come.
Contemporary artists such as Ghada Amer and Clare Twomey have gained international reputations for work that transforms ordinary craft media and processes into extraordinary conceptual art, from Amer’s monumental stitched paintings to Twomey’s large, ceramics-based installations. Despite the amount of attention that curators and gallery owners have paid to these and many other conceptual artists who incorporate craft into their work, few art critics or scholars have explored the historical or conceptual significance of craft in contemporary art. Extra/Ordinary takes up that task. Reflecting on what craft has come to mean in recent decades, artists, critics, curators, and scholars develop theories of craft in relation to art, chronicle how fine-art institutions understand and exhibit craft media, and offer accounts of activist crafting, or craftivism. Some contributors describe generational and institutional changes under way, while others signal new directions for scholarship, considering craft in relation to queer theory, masculinity, and science. Encompassing quilts, ceramics, letterpress books, wallpaper, and textiles, and moving from well-known museums to home workshops and political protests, Extra/Ordinary is an eclectic introduction to the “craft culture” referenced and celebrated by artists promoting new ways of thinking about the role of craft in contemporary art.
Contributors. Elissa Auther, Anthea Black, Betty Bright, Nicole Burisch, Maria Elena Buszek, Jo Dahn, M. Anna Fariello, Betsy Greer, Andrew Jackson, Janis Jefferies, Louise Mazanti, Paula Owen, Karin E. Peterson, Lacey Jane Roberts, Kirsty Robertson, Dennis Stevens, Margaret Wertheim
In 1974, women in a feminist consciousness-raising group in Eugene, Oregon, formed a mock organization called the Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society. Emblazoning its logo onto t-shirts, the group wryly envisioned female collective textile making as a practice that could upend conventions, threaten state structures, and wreak political havoc. Elaborating on this example as a prehistory to the more recent phenomenon of “craftivism”—the politics and social practices associated with handmaking—Fray explores textiles and their role at the forefront of debates about process, materiality, gender, and race in times of economic upheaval.
Closely examining how amateurs and fine artists in the United States and Chile turned to sewing, braiding, knotting, and quilting amid the rise of global manufacturing, Julia Bryan-Wilson argues that textiles unravel the high/low divide and urges us to think flexibly about what the politics of textiles might be. Her case studies from the 1970s through the 1990s—including the improvised costumes of the theater troupe the Cockettes, the braided rag rugs of US artist Harmony Hammond, the thread-based sculptures of Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña, the small hand-sewn tapestries depicting Pinochet’s torture, and the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt—are often taken as evidence of the inherently progressive nature of handcrafted textiles. Fray, however, shows that such methods are recruited to often ambivalent ends, leaving textiles very much “in the fray” of debates about feminized labor, protest cultures, and queer identities; the malleability of cloth and fiber means that textiles can be activated, or stretched, in many ideological directions.
The first contemporary art history book to discuss both fine art and amateur registers of handmaking at such an expansive scale, Fray unveils crucial insights into how textiles inhabit the broad space between artistic and political poles—high and low, untrained and highly skilled, conformist and disobedient, craft and art.
It’s the 1960s. The Vietnam War is raging and protests are erupting across the United States. In many quarters, young people are dropping out of society, leaving their urban homes behind in an attempt to find a safe place to live on their own terms, to grow their own food, and to avoid a war they passionately decry. During this time, West Virginia becomes a haven for thousands of these homesteaders—or back-to-the-landers, as they are termed by some. Others call them hippies.
When the going got rough, many left. But a significant number remain to this day. Some were artisans when they arrived, while others adopted a craft that provided them with the cash necessary to survive. Hippie Homesteaders tells the story of this movement from the viewpoint of forty artisans and musicians who came to the state, lived on the land, and created successful careers with their craft. There’s the couple that made baskets coveted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery. There’s the draft-dodger that fled to Canada and then became a premier furniture maker. There’s the Boston-born VISTA worker who started a quilting cooperative. And, there’s the immigrant Chinese potter who lived on a commune.
Along with these stories, Hippie Homesteaders examines the serendipitous timing of this influx and the community and economic support these crafters received from residents and state agencies in West Virginia. Without these young transplants, it’s possible there would be no Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, the first statewide collection of fine arts and handcrafts in the nation, and no Mountain Stage, the weekly live musical program broadcast worldwide on National Public Radio since 1983. Forget what you know about West Virginia.
Hippie Homesteaders isn’t about coal or hillbillies or moonshine or poverty. It is the story of why West Virginia was—and still is—a kind of heaven to so many.
Making Value, Making Meaning: Techné in the Pre-Columbian World adopts the concept of techné as an analytic tool useful for understanding how the production process created value and meaning for social valuables and public monuments in complex societies in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and the Andes. In doing so, the archaeologists and art historians contributing to this volume add to the study of ancient artisans and craftsmanship through the exploration of how technology, the organization of production, artisan identity, and the deployment of esoteric knowledge factored into the creation of symbolically and politically charged material culture.
The wide-ranging case studies in this volume demonstrate that the concept of techné—thorough and masterful knowledge of a specific field deployed to create things with social utility—is a powerful one for understanding the political economy of craft production and the role of objects in social life and how their creation and use helps to generate their social, political, and spiritual power.
Frances Louisa Goodrich University of Tennessee Press, 2010 Library of Congress TT848.G665 1989 | Dewey Decimal 746.14097568
“Mountain Homespun will be of special interest to those studying southern Appalachian handicrafts, the 1890s handicraft revival, and northern Protestant missionary work in turn-of-the-century Appalachia.” —North Carolina Historical Review
“Mountain Homespun is much more than a memoir. It offers unrivaled specific information on the processes of mountain crafts—not only on weaving, spinning, and dyeing, the author’s primary interest, but also on basketry, quilting, and other pursuits. All in all, the book is an important publishing event.”
—Berea College Newsletter
“This is a wonderful book. It belongs at the bedside of every spinner and weaver everywhere.” —Jude Daurelle, Handwoven
“In the fifties, sleek Mixmasters were replacing rusty eggbeaters, and new pressure-cookers blew their tops in kitchens all over town. There were kids everywhere, and new ‘ranch-style’ houses filled vacant lots. . . . Turquoise Studebakers and dusty-rose Chevy BelAirs with flamboyant fins and lots of chrome replaced dark pre-war cars. Cameras took color snapshots instead of black-and-white. We wore red canvas tennis shoes and lemon yellow shorts, and bright blue popsicles melted down our chins.” —from the Introduction
In Penny Loafers & Bobby Pins, the four Sanvidge sisters, whose birthdates span the Baby Boomer period, present a lively chronicle of growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in a small midwestern town. Each sister writes about the facets of her childhood she remembers best, and their lighthearted stories are illustrated with period photos. Sprinkled with mentions of pedal pushers, home permanents, and “two-tone” cars; early TV shows and the first rock and roll; hula hoops, Tiny Tears, and Mr. Potato Head (played with a real potato); and memories of their grandparents who lived nearby, Penny Loafers & Bobby Pins also features “how-tos” for re-creating the fads, foods, crafts, and games the Sanvidge sisters recall in their stories.
Ways of Making and Knowing
Pamela H. Smith, Amy R. W. Meyers, and Harold J. Cook, editors University of Michigan Press, 2014 Library of Congress AZ101.W39 2014 | Dewey Decimal 001
“Making” and “knowing” have generally been viewed as belonging to different types and orders of knowledge. “Craft” and “making” have been associated with how-to information, oriented to a particular situation or product, often informal and tacit, while “knowing” has been related to theoretical, propositional, and abstract knowledge including natural science. Although craftspeople and artists have worked with natural materials and sometimes have been viewed as experts in the behavior of matter, the notion that making art can constitute a means of knowing nature is a novel one. This volume, with contributions from historians of science, medicine, art, and material culture, shows that the histories of science and art are not simply histories of concepts or styles, or at least not that alone, but histories of the making and using of objects to understand the world. The common view of craftspeople more or less mindlessly following a collection of recipes or rules—which are said to be fundamentally different from “science” and “art”—has greatly distorted our understanding of the growth of natural knowledge in the early modern period. More intensive examination of material practices makes it clear that the methods of the artisan represent a process of knowledge-making that involved extensive experimentation and observation, in addition to generalizations about matter and nature. As increasing numbers of people came to be immersed in such activities, whether as craftspeople, medical practitioners, merchants, nobles, magistrates, reformers, collectors, or even scholars, the attributes of “nature” were not only articulated in a variety of ways, and not only seen as a resource for human use, but came to be identified with a variety of “goods.” Knowing nature could of course lead to material betterment but for many, living according to nature’s dictates also led to the development of personal ethics and the public good. As natural knowledge became increasingly important in society in these various ways, it forged new connections among groups, helped create new identities, brought about new kinds of claims to authority and intellectual legitimacy, and gave rise to new ways of thinking about the senses, certainty, and epistemology. None of this could have happened without the conversations and controversies that enabled the assessment of objects in novel ways.
Although craftspeople and artists often work with natural materials, the notion that making art can constitute a means of knowing nature is a novel one. This book, with contributions from historians of science, medicine, art, and material culture, shows that the histories of science and art are not simply histories of concepts or styles, but histories of the making and using of objects to understand the world. An examination of material practices makes it clear that the methods of the artisan represent a process of knowledge making that involves extensive experimentation and observation that parallel similar processes in the sciences. Ways of Making and Knowing offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary history of the ways in which human beings have sought out, discovered, and preserved their own knowledge of the world around them; it has only been through material and human interaction with (and manipulation of) nature that we have come to understand it.