December 20, 2007

What was I just saying the other day?

How many days ago did I say this about that New York Times craft article? Four?

…At least it didn’t go for either side of the usual “hipsters do crafts!” / “it’s not your grandma’s [x]” dichotomy most reporters choose…

Today my shop, Stitch Cleveland, was featured in a Cleveland Plain Dealer Arts & Life section article. A small list of the flat-out factual inaccuracies:

  • My surname, and Honey’s, are spelled wrong.
  • Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland was the third edition of this coast-to-coast show. San Francisco was fourth.
  • Bazaar Bizarre got its Cleveland start at the now-closed 1300 Gallery, not this year’s new location in the Sincere Building downtown on East Fourth. 1300 gave BazBiz a lot of support in its first years and we wouldn’t want to slight them in any way.
  • Despite the article’s title and reference to “anti-crafters,” we are not associated with The AntiCraft. Don’t get me wrong, I love them! This sweater chart is just the ticket for my zombie-movie-loving boyfriend. But to class all creators of unusual craft items under that moniker is at best, inaccurate, not to mention associating unrelated crafters with their brand.
  • Not a factual error, but a thorn in my side: the caption for the photo below reads “Brightly colored indeterminate species pass for stuffed toys among anti-crafters.” They don’t have to “pass for” toys, they are toys. Tying up a stack of newspapers with string and drawing eyes on it? Now that would be trying to pass something off as a toy that clearly isn’t.

But enough corrections! On to the article!

See the second page here, including an adorable photo of Megan drafting a pattern. You can also read the whole thing online here at the Plain Dealer’s website.

I predicted they’d pick one of the two article types above before this even came out. From the very beginning of the article, it’s as if the reporter tried to see how blatant she could be with the hipster-tie-in:

You, yes, you with the latte in your hand and the raw steak appliqued on your T-shirt. Stand up. The rest of you: Stay put, look and listen — ummm, read:

Oh, I get it. If you drink lattes, you are a hipster crafter — whoops, I’m sorry, an “anti-crafter.” Although I suspect she didn’t even talk to Marie in person. And then…

Same goes for the little pink brain earrings she fashions from clay. Few would call them pretty, but they work for Andy, 26, who eschews the mainstream and embraces the witty, outrageous, inexplicable and weird — according to conventional standards, anyway.

Without A Pulse brain earrings are adorable and funny! And I dare say, pretty, too. At least they’re not cheap mall dreck.

In closing, let me quote the Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland playlist standard, Public Image, Ltd.’s song “Public Image“:

You never listen to a word that I said
You only seen me
For the clothes that I wear
Or did the interest go so much deeper
It must have been
The colour of my hair

The public image

What you wanted was never made clear
Behind the image was ignorance and fear
You hide behind this public machine
Still follow same old scheme

The “public machine,” of course, being the newspapers who continue to recycle the same old story tropes again and again.

I’ve asked another PD editor if I can draft a response to the article, so we’ll see what they say. In short, I’m annoyed that no reporters seem able to break through their internal prejudices about the crafting world in order to report on what’s actually going on there. Lattes and all.

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  • Rosie

    Ugh, it’s so weird to hear “anti-craft” as a label for ALL of these different types of crafts and artists. Aren’t we really “PRO-craft?”

    Reply to Rosie
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  • Erin

    I hope they let you respond. I don’t know who the reporter is, but I find the anti-hipster tone really pretentious.

    Reply to Erin

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