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March 25, 2005



I would like to add some things to your great list:
- the joy in the process of using your mind and skills for creating
- the satisfaction in learning by doing
- the magic of creation, when the result of your efforts turns into something completely new and unpredicted, and usually much better than your initial plan


since I'm on this track...
Crafting is meditative.
Crafting with others inspires thoughts and, of course, more crafting.

Sister Diane

Wonderful stuff!

Off this comment,
10. Learning techniques brings people together. This creates online and offline communities of practice.

I'll add:

The creative process brings people out of their mundane worries, and allows them to more freely express the contents of their hearts. Being with others in creative activities is a way to immediate and deep connection.


Hello Sister Diane,
Thanks for the amendment. I believe the objects of crafting are primarily social objects in the way that they lay ground to a special connection between people. A Finnish philosopher Pekka Himanen suggested concept of "enriching communities", where people feel that they can be something more together. (As opposed to "impoverishing communities" where one has to be less than one could be, like employees complying to the rules of an autocratic workplace). Making together (may that be code or cozies) certainly seem to have this dimension of renewing together.


Excellent list! And I don't disagree with any of it. I do digital graphics work by day so I rarely have anything tangible to prove what I do all day exists. I returned to crafting when I got this job because I missed the handwork of previous positions.

A few years ago, a friend and I created a craft show called the DIY Trunk Show in Chicago, Illinois. This year we created our own Craftifesto which you may find interesting, and which proves some of your points above. http://www.diytrunkshow.com/about/#craftifesto


heh well i must say on the issue of #10, you had me at "brings people together!"

but actually first i was going to write because i think your manifesto is a true marvel, i'm sure we all have been thinking so many of the same thoughts recently; reading every phrase, i am in awe of your far too rare ability to be both deeply logical and compassionate. i fear i'm coming across as sycophantic, but i really don't mean to be.

which brings me to the second reason i was going to write, to trash you :) you had me more-or-less word-for-word until #11, when you say "This creates marketplaces." the rest of #11 is a breath of fresh air, but it seems to me that #4, especially the brilliant bit about the "economy of gifts," makes that last bit redundant, and moreover actually restrictive.

maybe i'm misunderstanding you but i think discovering "interesting things" and meeting our "makers" can be done in infinitely more places than just the market, and it seems important to me to leave those possibilities completely open. so i guess maybe my question to you is, in an economy of gifts, do we even know a marketplace needs to exist?

perhaps it's not a marketplace, but a... hmmm... party?

Mickey Nardo

Several additions from someone known as a "serial hobbyist."
...You can leave your project for a long time, and when you come back it's just like you left it - an old friend.
...If you have a difficult and frustrating job [mine was psychotherapist], crafts are relaxing. The materials "do what they're told" as opposed to many other things in life.


I spend most of my time building software applications. This manifesto applies to all creative endeavours - engineering, software development, building trades, anything where one starts with tools and materials and applies creative thought to make something new. We are all artists at heart.

Thanks for the post.

(found this via BoingBoing, have blogged at my blog and posted at the Lotus Developer Domain over at IBM -- http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nd6forum.nsf/DateAllThreadedweb/b732e93d45920e148525701d0036cd5d?OpenDocument


yes i'd just like to add that i read this from the perspective of a musician and it rings just as true


Love the craft manifesto! I'd like to share some ideas on the same subject. I've put these together for a clothing swap that I host called Swap-O-Rama-Rama

I've clipped a few comments that are especially relevant to the craft manifesto.

Why Swap?
In the creation, production, marketing, and disposal of clothing, there exists an opportunity to improve the care of the planet and the soul of the individual. In an endless search for newness, Americans consume resources for the creation of more, regardless of the fact that we exist amongst a fantastic surplus. This is easily seen in the amount of textile waste produced in the US. It currently comprises 4.5% of residential waste created. Each American is responsible for approximately 35 pounds, totaling 8.75 billion pounds per year. Fifty percent of the textiles consumed and discarded are made from synthetic fibers that are produced from oil, which has a negative effect on the Earth.

This cycle is perpetuated, in part, by the fashion industry, which encourages the purchase of new goods through a constantly changing vision of what is in style. Through advertising we are asked to view shopping as a creative endeavor, when in actuality it is only the designers who play a creative role in the process. The consumers creativity is simply in the selection. The consumer interprets styles, and this is the means to express their own uniqueness. The craft involved in the making of clothing, once viewed as a creative endeavor, is now left to the machine, which manufactures most of the clothing made today. The average person is ill-equipped for sewing, and distant from the creative process due to lack exposure and experience. After goods are purchased, consumers become advertising billboards as they tote logos and labels on all areas of the body. Branding, in its current form, creates distinct social divisions. Labels broadcast the spending power of the individual. This separates consumers into categories that reflect the size of their wallet rather than the expanse of their creativity.

DIY & Relabel
Swap-O-Rama-Rama utilizes the existing surplus of clothing to create ÒnewÒ recycled goods, at little cost, without consuming raw materials. In do-it-yourself spirit, through workshops and the collectivizing of ideas, it helps each individual break down the barrier between consumer and creator while inviting each individual to reclaim the creativity that has been lost to industry. Through hands-on experience, Swap-O-Rama-Rama invites the public to discover that the making of things is not an activity to be avoided in order to attain leisure, but rather a playful and leisurely endeavor unto itself. Finally, by re-branding clothing with self-celebratory labels, Swap-O-Rama-Rama invites us to see each other through shared creativity rather than through socio-economic status. All are invited to cover up existing branding with new self-celebratory labels that read Recycled, Modified By Me and the like. These are provided at each swap.

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