I watched and thoroughly enjoyed Making it Handmade last night, a short film by Anna Brownfield focusing on the Melbourne's local craft scene. As well as being really encouraged by the number of crafty folk there obviously are around town, it gave me a lot of food for thought about what crafting in the twenty-first century actually is about - and it's quite a long way from the common cry that crafters want to be like 1950s housewives. Certainly crafting women today are reclaiming the skills of other generations but because they choose to, not because they have to because it is their perceived womanly duty (to paraphrase Gemma Jones, who was one of the interviewees).
As an extension of this, I am thinking today about how I can make what I make in more environmentally friendly ways and with more of the 'cottage industry' ethos in mind. As it was pointed out by Rayne Fahey (again to paraphrase), there's not much point going to the trouble of making it handmade with cheap acrylic wool from China when there is gorgeous local wool products to be had (from the Bendigo Woollen Mills http://www.bendigowoollenmills.com.au, for example, as was also pointed out - I've just been to their website - beautiful looking yarn)
So my thoughts at the moment are crafting with more of a conscience - not just moving away from buying to making by buying to make. It might cost a little more, I don't know yet, but I'll try buying more local supplies and even perhaps making my own beads for my jewellery making. I'll keep you posted on my progress. Ironically enough, all this coincided with a visit to an enormous local shopping mall yesterday, which my husband and I emerged from irritable and dismayed by the buy, buy, buy mentality.
What do you think?
PS Making It Handmade will still be on ABC 2 I-View if you live locally.