print by dutchdoor
It’s human nature. We like to name, define and label everything around us. We place things in neat little boxes and label them so we can remember them for the future.
The same silly desire to label is true for craft. Traditional. Contemporary. Fine. Indie. Heritage. They all are meant to define craft. (What’s the difference between traditional and heritage anyway? Probably not much.)
But the problem is, by its creative nature, craft is fluid, evolving and ever-changing. Anything contemporary in style (indie included) is being defined by the work being made. The lines and perceived barriers between categories are blurry.
This intrinsic blurriness is why people struggle with defining indie craft. Because in itself, indie craft is another label fighting against any definitions that have been placed on it (see Independent Design is Clever. Practical. Power.). Once you say craft or indie craft is about design, there’s a maker ready to prove you wrong. And that’s great. It’s defining itself now. We’re living it.
chair by medelman art
I like to look at indie design/craft like this. There’s an indie movement, and designers/makers within that movement are making craft. Indie is clearly broader than just craft. Everyone recognizes the importance of this new craft movement.
Handmade craft, as a whole, is great at breaking boundaries. Sure, craft is about making things by hand. Pretty simple, right? But it’s also about growing connections. It’s about community, reconnecting neighborhoods and being cognizant about sustainability.
What do you think about indie craft as a label? Do you think indie and craft are an inseparable pair when it comes to defining indie craft?
I’ll speculate more in my next post. Thanks for having me!