Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crafts Collective: Why?

Looking back on my blog, I realize that I haven't written about my vision for a craft-based collective in a long time. I've been writing a lot about what I'm doing, but not very much on why.

For many people, the whole idea sounds strange, "You want to live with a bunch of people and make craftwork for a living?"

Well, it all comes down to happiness. I believe that people are happier when they are connected to each other and the world around them. The culture we live in stresses individuality and personal strength over vulnerability and connectedness. Most people in America lament the lack of fulfillment from their day jobs and yearn for deeper connections with each other. I know I did.

I found that my day job felt unfulfilling because there was little creativity and almost no tangible result. How many jobs does that describe? I found that many of the people around me did craftwork as a hobby in order to "get their fix" of creative work.

I've lived in communities with greater and lesser intentionality for many years, but they've never gone deep enough for me. None of them had an agreement of commitment. None of them expected the participants to do the hard work of resolving conflict in order to strengthen and deepen their commitment to each other and the community as a whole.

And that's what I want: a deeply committed community based around connection to each other and the world around us. We work together, build our homes together, and keep items of beauty and meaning in those homes.

Eventually, I want to be able to look around my environment and tell you who built the house, who made the furniture, who made the dishes, and who wove the rug. And by "eventually" I mean "in about 10 years."

This is why I started a weaving business, why I hired my friends as much as possible last year, and why I'm trying to grow this business as fast as I can.

The Kickstarter project I wrote about yesterday ( is geared toward rolling out lines of weaving as fast as possible so we can market to more lucrative venues and, by next Spring, do some large juried shows.

It's all part of a bigger vision to create a more fulfilling way of life for ourselves and to teach that way to others.

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