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  1. #1
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    History of crafting

    I need help from all you craftistas!!! I am writing a research paper for my English class on the history of crafting and how it has changed over time. The paper has to tie into my family history with. My grandmother, mother, and i all craft :G-ma-sewing, quilting, cooking & baking. my Mom-sewing, creating "country" folk crafts Myself- knitting, papercrafts, sewing, cooking. I need info on crafting during the 1940s, 1980s, and present. If anyone has any ideas or info please let me know...yall are the crafiest bunch i know!!! thanks in advance

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  3. #2
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    Well, the early 1940s were during the war, and a lot of crafting was done in the name of patriotism. Make it work, use it up, re-use it, etc. My mother sewed almost all of her clothes at that time. Baking was interesting, too, as people tried to make do with rationing of butter and sugar.

    I was a young woman in the 1980s, in my 20s. I learned how to embroider and sew during the 70s, and saw it as part of the post-hippie "back to the earth" movement. I was shocked to see how little crafting was going on after I moved out of Boston and into L.A. Maybe I was just hanging out with the wrong people, I dunno. I still did a lot of sewing, however, and watched crafting gained respectability in the art world. There seemed to be a lot of pushing through accepted methods of dealing with common crafting materials, and experimentation with materials not previously associated with crafts.

  4. #3
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    Crafting in the forties was done out of necessity. In part because of WWII, but also because that's what people did. There were a lot of middleclass women who quilted from old clothes, or made new childrens clothes out of colorful feedsacks, or made paper valentines and christmas cards because that's all they could get. You didn't have the malls or evening shopping hours and entertainment so you stayed home and tatted or crocheted or baked. My dad's mother would cut down worn sheets into pillowcases, then into handkerchiefs, then rags.

    In the fifties, the impetus was to get women out of the workplace and back into the homes so that all the men coming back from WWII would be able to find jobs that the women had been doing just fine up until then. Think Rosie the Riveter. Women had learned to enjoy earning money and making decisions but now it was a man's world again. So women took up more bizarre crafting in the fifties. This is just my view. I was born in '57. They still had the reuse/recycle wartime mentality, so if you look at craft books from back then there were a lot of things made out of tin cans and used magazines. One of my aunts made a fully upholstered with piping and padding ottoman or footstool out of juice cans fastened into a flower shape. Geez I wish i had that still. My mother's youngest sister had dotted swiss on her wedding gown, so she could cut it off and make a baby bassinet skirt from it. one thing that entranced me was cutting up tin cans to make "flowers" or decorative but razor sharp dust collectors. this is also when tires were inverted to make planters everywhere.

    Sixties continued that bizarre slant, with macaroni encrusted boxes sprayed with gold paint, and cutting wine bottles into wind chimes or drinking glasses. sand candles and other candle making, the beginnings of tie-dyeing. Everything could be macramed.

    i think I was the only person in the world who embroidered in the seventies. just kidding, but not. I knew no one who wasn't more than twice my age who embroidered then. lots of cross stitch, but not fine embroidery oh, rug hooking was popular.

    Eighties were sort of anti-craft. I did a lot of the stuff I still do, but it just wasn't seen around. I worked on my natural materials as art phase. Lots of wreaths, topiary, bonsai, and continued using shells as jewelry as much as i ever did. My friends who crafted did things like make Care Bear or Cabbage Patch type dolls, or floral arranging for weddings. that sort of thing. I saw lots of pottery and ceramics back then. i knew more people who were taking up calligraphy and watercolors then.

    The present, because of my age and cousins and coworkers all at the end of the Baby Boom, is full of people who want to remember how they did that thing they did in third grade, whether it was making a pinata or macrame guitar strap or doing bead weaving. No one ever wanted to learn how to braid palm sunday palm into fancy things back when i learned. But now, everyone remembers that a few people did that, and it looked cool.

    Now people don't think I am weird because I made my own earrings or brooch or because I use a shell for a paperweight or a soapdish.

  5. #4
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    thank you soo much guys i really appreciate your help:)

  6. #5
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    Just thinking about the 80s..... and suddenly remembered sweatshirt art! Everyone was cutting up sweatshirts and resewing or reattaching them in interesting ways. Think "Flash Dance" That was the one, right? Lots of craftiness in the punk scene, too. Here in LA Mexicana crafts inspired a lot of artsy types. So did 50s kitch. Lots of thrift re-do. Lots of junk furniture redecoration; a drip-painted car-door turned shelf inspired my husband and me to Do Up a dead 50's TV someone gave us with paint, an aquarium tank, poster, Xmas lights, glass pebbles, etc. It was AMAZING. (He got it when we divorced.) Also Goths did a lot of crafty stuff.

    None of whom I hung out with. I really did hang out with the wrong people.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzymahoney

    One of my aunts made a fully upholstered with piping and padding ottoman or footstool out of juice cans fastened into a flower shape. Geez I wish i had that still.
    Back in the early 70's, my grandmother made those little footstools for me and my sister. My sister still has hers, but mine got destoyed long ago. They were covered in velvety fabric and trimmed with fringe.
    A while back, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion had instructions for those footstools. I saved the article, and if I can find it, I'll let you know!!
    (My stack of papers to file is obscenely huge!) At any rate, I have had cans in my attic, waiting for me to find the instructions and make a pair for my boys!!

  8. #7
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    Yeah, I've been wishing for one of those juice-can footstools myself.
    I will add that during the 50s, when the US was soaring toward affluence, quilting was largely scorned. It was seen as something that the previous generation had had to do to get byŚ but now they had jobs and cars and could go buy blue plaid blankets at Sears. The artistic component was totally overlooked, and some families even denied that anyone in their family had ever quilted. Bizarre, non?

  9. #8
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    Hi,

    My name Elizabeth and I study BA Furniture and Product design at London Metropolitan University in the UK. I have been gathering information for my final year dissertation on the views of sustainability and recycling within art and design. I am also looking at the ideas of hyper consumption within our society and how they in turn affect our society''s views on its own needs and wants. During my research I found this blog and realised that contacting you guys may be the best way to help in my search for information on thrifting and its origin.

    So, I was just wondering if you could help and provide me with any more information regarding thrift craft and its origin and why it was first introduced. Also, if you could provide me with any useful books that would also be great.
    Any information which you could provide would be fantastic and very much appreciated.
    Before I forget, would you guys mind if I quote any of you on any information that you do provide?

    Thank you in advance.

  10. #9
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    There are a few old threads here that might have stuff to interest you. Some of these people post on a few boards with these names, so you could also search supernaturale and craftster and a few other places.

    Mirz and Post modern crafty sharing
    mirz on 'manly' craft groups
    mirz and crafty heritage

    Three or four other users here that you could search that may have interesting POV would be CraftychicaAZ, hodge, quixotic, delqc, and a few others.

    Mirz is from Finland, Craftychica is in Arizona (US), and hodge and delqc are in Canada, I think. You may know quixotic from the craftivism site.

    Most inveterate crafters are not all that snobbish about material sources. We create with whatever we have at hand. I wish I could remember more people including some that I've thought were very inventive.

  11. #10
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    Thanks for posting the history of crafting. Creativity is the necessary factor for crafting.


 
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