The words “DIY” and “indie craft movement” may be familiar to you by now—they’re the buzz words surrounding a new breed of craft show that has been growing for several years in cities across the country.
Faythe Levine, an artist, curator, author and director, was a part of those beginnings. She launched a craft fair called Art vs. Craft in Milwaukee,Wis., in 2004.Two years later, she realized someone had to document the growth of the movement. “I needed to make sure this was captured in the right light,” she says. In the spirit of the times, she decided to do-it-herself, funding a documentary on the “new wave of craft” in 2006.
Levine ended up traveling 19,000 miles and stopping in 15 cities to visit craft fairs, studios, galleries and boutiques to capture the stories and experiences of artists and retailers. Intrigued by her YouTube teaser, Princeton Architectural Press commissioned a book, and Handmade Nation:The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design, appeared last November.
The original project—the “Handmade Nation” documentary— was released earlier this year, and Levine has followed up with another cross-country tour of readings and screenings at museums and art centers.