Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Community Service Project: Knit and Crochet Trail Markers!

Come help out and hang out at SCC on November 20th from 10 am - 2 pm for this community service project because it is going to be awesome!

SCC is partnering with artist Alicia Kachmar, the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, and Knit One for a Knit and Crochet Meet-Up in SCC’s main galleries to benefit the Knit Trail Markers Project.

This project offers a unique opportunity for Pittsburgher’s to participate in community service for the city’s newest Regional Park. Knitters and crocheters of all skill levels are welcome to participate in making biodegradable trails markers in red, yellow, and blue. Artist Alicia Kachmar will be on hand to provide instruction and assistance to visitors. For more information visit the Facebook Page!

This event it sponsored in part by Knit One, “A Closely Knit Community.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Living a Crafted Life

By Sharon Massey, SCC Store Manager

In October I went with a few other SCC staff members to the “Crafting a Nation” conference in Washington, DC.  It was great to be immersed in craft dialogue for two full days, and there were a range of topics that have been on my mind since returning home to Pittsburgh. 
One of the panel discussions was titled Living the Crafted Life, which is something I have been trying to do for several years without even realizing it, and now I want to try and make an effort to continue.  Jane Milosch, one of the panelists and a former curator of the Renwick Gallery, mentioned that for every 3 commercially-made items we buy (such as clothing and jewelry), we could buy one artist-made object. We can adorn ourselves with unique, high-quality items, rather than cheaply-made, widely-available things.  
Bryan Peterson, Shaman Brooch, found metal, copper, mixed media
As a jeweler, I already practice this with my jewelry, and I am lucky to have acquired a nice collection of jewelry over the years.  Sure, I could have bought a lot more objects at a cheaper price, but I’m sure most of it would have broken or gone out of style by now.  Instead, I get to take pleasure every morning in choosing a unique piece of jewelry made by a real person, someone who in most cases I have met and whose work will never go out of style.  At some point I can decide to either give this jewelry to a friend or family member, or donate it to a museum collection, but either way I’m not contributing to the cycle of wasteful consumption that our society has begun to take for granted.
Martina Lantin
I practice this idea in other aspects of my life, for example, almost all of my dishes, cups, and mugs are artist-made.  Most of it doesn’t match, but I prefer it that way, because I know each piece was made with care by an individual, and each piece has a story.  I think my soup tastes better out of the ceramic bowl made by a former student, it is more fun to make a martini using my handmade wooden olive fork, and my evening tea is more enjoyable in the mug I bought from an exhibition in NC. 
I bet I get a lot more compliments on my handmade recycled leather handbag than anyone gets for their trendy Coach bag.  Where is that Coach bag going to be in 2 years anyway?  If you care enough to buy things based on commercial labeling, you probably also feel like you have to keep up with the latest trends, subscribing to the cycle of continually purchasing and discarding objects, a victim of style obsolescence.  
Wendy Stevens
The Living a Crafted Life conversation gave me validation for the path I am choosing, and while I have surrounded myself with craft mostly for the pleasure of owning and using handmade objects, this dialogue reinforced the environmental and ethical reasons for living a crafted life.  If you’re reading this blog you probably already agree with me, but I wish that this idea would find popularity with mainstream Americans.  It could significantly change our economy, as well as our environmental impact, and as a bonus, everything would look a lot more aesthetically appealing! 
I plan to continue to live a crafted life, and I’m going to try and make improvements, such as buying more handmade clothing.  For now, I’m educating by example, but I would like to figure out a way to tell more people about the joy of living a crafted life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

IheartPGH writes about Handmade Nation!

Visit IheartPGH to watch the trailer!

Written by Lindsay

Handmade Nation Screening, Baltimore, MD
Handmade Nation is a documentary film about the rise of all things handmade and crafty by artist and filmmaker Faythe Levine.   I first learned about this film at the Craft Congress – a meeting of craft fair organizers – that was first held in Pittsburgh in 2007.  You can read more about the Craft Congress in this New York Times article from December 16, 2007.  Again my path crossed with this film at the Art Activist & Equity symposium which was held at the New Hazlett Theater in 2008.

Jennifer Baron and Faythe Levine
Faythe Levine gave a presentation about the inspiration for and her experience working on the film and a book about the project that really stuck a chord with me.  And even inspired me to take a filmmaking class at Pittsburgh Filmmakers last summer.  I left that symposium with a ton of knowledge – Elizabeth Perry gave an amazing presentation on Twitter that made the whole thing make sense.  And hearing Faythe Levine talk about her experience of filmmaking – I think she said something like – and I could be off on this because it was over two years ago  – there was a story to be told about this handmade movement – there was more to it than people just making things and selling them at craft fairs.  Her thoughts really resonated with me as my experience with this blog has been about stories – there are so many stories to be told about not only Pittsburgh but blogging as well.
Faythe Levine will be here in Pittsburgh for a screening of the film on November 6.  This event is cosponsored by the Society for Contemporary Craft and Pittsburgh Filmmakers.  The current exhibit at the society for contemporary craft is – DIY a revolution in Handicrafts.
There is also a Handmade Nation book as well"

Monday, November 1, 2010

One last reminder, I swear!

This Weekend!! Finally, it's here!

HANDMADE NATION Comes to Pittsburgh! Saturday, November 6, 2010, 2pm $8

The documentary film Handmade Nation will be screening at the Harris Theater in downtown Pittsburgh. Presented as part of the Three Rivers Film Festival, Handmade Nation explores the rise of D.I.Y. and the new wave of art, craft, and design. Tickets for this screening are only $8 and include a post-film reception with Director Faythe Levine at SCC's main gallery.

Supported in part by Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Handmade Arcade!