Last Sunday I went to see Faythe Levine Film, Handmade Nation. The author traveled 15 cities around the U.S. to document the stories behind the handmade community. She spoke with 80 artisans to print their experiences within this interconnected culture. This time around, I’m not going to go deeper about the content of this Film, because you can go and see it for yourself (which I highly recommend). Instead, I’ll just share my experience.

I was invited to watch this Documentary from my Etsy Rain team. We occupied almost half of the crowd at the movie theater, by the way. Watching this documentary made me feel like I was having a live interpretation of the book written by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl, Handmade Nation: The rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design. The film has a very cute look and a handmade touch to me. The esthetic goes pretty good with the theme. I have to say as a crafter, I was smiling the whole time; it was very enjoyable to watch, and my heart felt content when I left the theater room.

After watching the movie, I went with my Etsy Rain fellows to “Happy hour with Faythe” sponsored by Grassroots Business Association. We were hanging out eating and talking with Faythe about her experience making this film. She was also asking questions to the artists and crafters on the table about our own experiences. Faythe is a sweetheart, very open to listen and to share her experiences. My husband came by and sat with us for a little bit, and then we left. It was quite a lovely Sunday to me.

After I watch the movie that Sunday, I kept thinking about some of the things that I’ve seen about the craft community. It’s interesting to see how things can be so different in other places around the world. While in Venezuela (my home country) the handmade community is large enough, the handmade items consumed by the people are not as valued as in the United States. We have some manufactured products, which have been increasing in the past couple of decades, but the craft community is quite big.

It was also interesting to think about how not too long ago, everything was handmade, and after the industrial revolution, manufactured items where highly valued by population, because they were representing “progress”. Now we seem to be more aware of that term, and the activism of the handmade community toward sustainability and recycling is standing out and is permeating into other sectors of the population.

I liked this documentary very much because I believe the world can turn around for a positive change, if people dream and create more. Being happy should be the purpose of our existence (instead of having more money, power, or buying more things). Otherwise, why all the work and effort we put into our lives?

Claudia Horsey

1 Comment

  1. Faythe Levine on October 19, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    Thank you for your kind words and your reflection on where "craft" and "handmade" fits in on a global level from your perspective. It was good to meet you and good luck with your jewelry line and creative endevors.



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