picture via MIFF site
It was great to see so many familiar faces up on the big screen. Lots of Northside Makers and people that I don't know personally, but I know "of" them from the craft scene in Melbourne.
What struck me about the documentary, was that it concentrated on a specific demographic of crafters. Inner city and probably from a 'WASP' background. Although there are plenty of craft or hobby groups all over Melbourne, the documentary seemed to focus on the alternative crafters. Alternative equipment, messages and methods. To many of the quilting, embroidery or community craft groups the idea of craft is not new, but to the group of people in the documentary it was new and empowering. The group of women interviewed had a similar indie feel to their craft.
There was a statement made about Etsy in the documentary and how it is now owned by Walmart and how many crafters underprice or devalue their work in this environment. I felt that etsy was slightly demonised through the assumption that they make lots of money from crafters without giving much back. For me, etsy gave me a way to open an online shop with minimal effort. It empowered me as a crafter. Perhaps now that I know what I am doing I might move away from it, but initially it empowered me. I wonder how fast the online craft world would have grown without sites like etsy.
There was also a comment made about about crafters that try to make a living from their craft, because of course craft should all be free and warm and fuzzy. But to many of my friends, selling their craft allows them the financial freedom to then make craft for themselves and their friends. It gives them the freedom and independence from the household budget that they might not otherwise have. I don't have an issue with crafters making money from their skills and ideas. But I do have issues with people copying someone elses craft while trying to make a buck.
Walking out, Beky and I both remarked that we wanted to go home and create something! I also wanted to go home and work more on building up Northside Makers, which is a kind of craft/business group that I started with two other lovely ladies about a year ago. I hope that Anna gets the chance to show her documentary elsewhere in Melbourne as I am sure it will create lots of discussion and momentum within the crafty community.
Did you see the documentary, what did you think?