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Radical Craft

Yes, this is what I think about on my days off, besides wondering how much Fra'mani Salumetto I can eat and not feel like a little piggy myself...anyway, the new Surface* mentions Tord Boontje and Target and how he is at the front of the radical craft movement. There was a conference entitled Radical Craft in the spring that I did not get to go to, there is an interesting summary of it here, and while it is very cool, it is not exactly what I thought it would be. It was about big name designers, industrial designers, and experiments with craft, craft as a way to generate new ideas. The products are great but some are theoretical and most are outside of the scope of what I can offer at Rare Device.

Now, there is something else called Craft Congress which is going to happen the last week of March in 2007, and it also sounds great but not quite what I was thinking of. This meeting is for indie craft organizers to get together and share resources and ideas. For some reason, the name led me to believe it would be a real conference about craft today, in the newest, Etsy-influenced, contemporary art trend-making sort of way...but it's not.

Where is the conference that has both practical seminars and showcases of extreme craftsmanship? Is it possible? Are people interested in craft as art, craft as commerce, craft as hobby, craft as community? I think so - I hope so. I am! I love the high-school kid in the Midwest learning to be a businesswoman, learning about the internet, plus learning how to make things, and I love those who would document this as a movement, analyze it and talk about the importance of it, how it influences traditional media and is influenced by it. I love hearing about new materials, and using old ones in new ways (and vice versa). Ah, I am rambling and it's almost 3am so I am going to stop. Weeks ago I thought that as my next big project, I would organize such a conference...and then I scoffed at doing such a big thing! And now I am hoping someone else will do it's the right time.

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  • I was searching for something else and came across this post. I was actually just thinking about this and I think you are on the right track. I have participated in Renegade and have attended the National Stationery Show and have wished the two ideas could be combined somehow….

    I like the idea of an event that allows designers to show and sell their wares but also includes days that involve workshops, lectures, and perhaps even an ‘industry only event’ where we can all connect, shop owners, designers etc. (At the NSS they also have the ‘Supply Side’ event where we as designers etc can hook up with people who can help us manufacture and produce certain things.) Plus with Grace posting so much on d*s about the Biz Lady nights (which I am still hoping I can get started in Chicago), I think this is ripe with possibility. I am so eager to find something more in line with what you are speaking about. I think the new “craft movement” isn’t so clearly defined just as the word ‘craft’ accomodates all sorts of definitions.

    Sure you don’t want to organize anything? I would certainly volunteer to help.

    paper stories

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