Monday, July 13, 2009

crafty weekend

I spent the weekend reviewing the 450+ entries for this year's Crafty Bastards alt-craft fair with Tina Seamonster, Kriston Capps, Kelly Rand, Kim Dorn, Sara Dick, and Pete Morelewicz.

This was my second year participating in the two-day process. It was good fun, and, like last year, was not unlike jurying a fine art show, particularly in the sense that lots of applicants seemed to fall into a surprisingly narrow number of categories. I'm amazed by the power of certain art or craft memes--how they get picked up by many different producers who live in disparate parts of the country, presumably unaware of one another.

There were definitely some standouts, and some booths that I can't wait to see--assuming those applicants make the final cut once all of the scores are tallied. I don't envy the CB folks for having to compile all of those numbers.

As with last time, there were a number of drinking-game-worthy words and phrases that appeared in an overwhelming number of vendor statements: whimsical, up-cycled, and sustainable seemed quite popular this year; making return appearances were unique style, inspired by nature, and the ever-popular a blend of classic and modern. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with any of these phrases per se...except that when 200 different people use them in exactly the same way to refer to entirely different objects and practices, they cease to mean much.

Other observations: Edgar Allen Poe appears to be the new Abraham Lincoln; fake mustaches are still inscrutably popular; and little homespun kawaii creatures are not necessarily more interesting than the mass-produced toys they resemble.

You can read more about the jurying process here on the Hello Craft blog. Note that Kriston, Pete, and Kelly all managed to keep their bios to two or three simple sentences; mine rambles on for four bloviated paragraphs.

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