“Crafting?” or Making?

Before taking “Making/Hacking/Composing,” I did not understand the Maker movement at all. I thought DIY was for weekend warriors, could not fathom writing code for my own website, and would have been disgusted walking into a “Makerspace” like that of Hack Pittsburgh.

However, over the past few months, I learned that DIY could be anything from making your own household cleaners to building and programing a laser ball. This class has enabled me to think differently about the world, and how people can “hack” theirs.

Last weekend I went to the “Handmade arcade” with a few of my friends. When we walked they were confused. I had told them it was a craft fair, to simplify it, and they were thrown off by the cardboard tube structure being built in the Assemble stand, the interesting T-shirts, and handmade stuffed animals that seemed more professional than crafty. To them, the “maker fair” was synonymous with craft; however, as I have learned from this class, makers are not only crafters. Yes, they create things like jewelry, hand painted bags, clothing and such, but they also create electronic work, like trendy designs on the computer.

The self-made prints were my favorite part of the convention. There were shirts with inventive prints, wallets with dinosaurs, and everything from tees to coasters.

Handmade Arcade added to my understanding of the maker movement, and I saw it in a way I can apply more to myself. While I will never have the desire, or patience, to create a robot, I now know there are ways for me to design, print, and create whatever I want.

Is anyone else empowered by the Maker movement? Instead of buying what you need, why not go to a website and get step-by-step directions to make it yourself? I think this movement has the potential to create a self-sufficient culture. People just need to recognize where it can go.

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3 Responses to “Crafting?” or Making?

  1. KLSnyder22 says:

    I think a big difference between “makers” and “crafters” is the level of innovation. Like you said above, why not just get online and make something you need instead of buying it at a store. I have recently made a green tea facial cleanser, and it’s working terrific!
    I think there is also a distinction between those who make things for profit and those who make things to share an interest. Nina from Assemble was at Handmade Arcade, and she was offering children’s (and adults, too!) exploration with the paper towel roll structures. Was she charging for this activity? No. Does assemble charge for their organization? No. It’s entirely non-profit. While some of these vendors at Handmade Arcade were selling really neat, innovative things, I could make them. I know how inexpensive they are to create, and many (but not all) of these people are making their living off of touring the country at these art fairs and selling the same stuff they saw a pattern for online. Where is the creativity in that?

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