Thursday, October 04, 2012

Big-Ass Book of Crafts


In Finland there's something called "käsityö" and something called "askartelu". The difference is the skills required to do the things.
If school kids can do it with a little instructions - like, let's say, punch holes, melt plastic and glue stuff on stuff, it's "askartelu".
If you would actually benefit of professional schooling to create good quality items people would pay for, because they can't make them themselves, even after reading the instructions in a book or internet, that's "käsityö".
The lexicon says that "käsityö" is crafts. Handwork, needlecraft, handicraft.
"Askartelu" is pottering or hobby crafts.

To me the difference is great and important.
To have these thousands of people, usually women, pottering about with paper, felt, cardboard and plastic and other kindergarten crafts, and believing to be craftswomen...
I'm sorry. I am. You are not. You are a potterer.

Sure you are creative, sure you make wonderful things - sure, you are more of a doer and maker than I am, who do practically nothing, but you are not a craftswoman.
Sure, you gather skills as you potter about, and some of your creations are actually very good. But you are not a craftswoman.
Sure, this is just my opinion.

I was really excited to see "Big-Ass Book of Crafts". I have Asperger's and one of the usual characteristics is to collect as much information and data as possible. And there are two of these "Big-Ass Books of Crafts"! Yupee! I'm in heaven! Yes, I want!!!

Until I went to to see what it is.
Oh, yes. Glueing things on things. Making things of garbage, like TP rolls and PET bottles and plastic spoons. Taking things and making new things of things by... glueing things on them. Pottering.

I am very disappointed. I was running to a smorgasboard filled with my favorite dishes to see it was some re-heated stuff I don't like.
So, excuse my rant.

I'm sure the book is lovely, and there are a lot of people out there who love this book. And the ideas are great and it's wonderful people are creative and make things. It really is.
I still think all those potterers are more makers than I am, and I truly envy their enthusiasm and productivity. I wish I had just 10% of it.
Oh, and I know some real craftswomen love this book, and I envy them that too. I wish I could see past my strict and, actually, rather limiting definitions.


Lisa said...

Now, I can clearly see the difference between those two words...

Ketutar said...

I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic or not, but I take it that way, and "lol". I know I'm a bit of a hairsplitter, but - I have Asperger's. We are like that. To me, the difference is great and important.
If you're not being sarcastic, but truly mean that... good, I suppose.