To Geek or not to Geek: Geek Craft

Ever tried knitting on a bus? Or in a bar? Well we did both recently and were met with raised eyebrows. Made us, and our date, feel a little geeky, but we forgot that to some football fans, crafting is something strange and unusual. Somehow these folks didn't get the memo that crafting periodically makes these leaps into the limelight of trendiness. Rather than explain it though, we sat quietly, knit, and as usual pondered.

Craft becomes a cultural fixation when posed in front of the backdrop of increasingly fast-paced, technological environments. See William Morris, and Arts & Crafts movement. And while crafting may be seen as a sort of rejection of the modern world, it can also be an awesome place to riff on modern technologies. See Make.

Lately though, this techno crafting has fallen into the dimmly defined category of "geek craft."

A couple of weeks ago Geek Sugar, one of the many facets of the Sugar empire, posted this poll to vote for the best geek craft of 2007. Oddly they only came up with six crafts, and of those five were video game related. Geek Sugar has obviously picked up on a craft trend here. Hey, even Martha Stewart made a Wii cake for the cover of Wired.

Yesterday the Globe and Mail in Canada published this article about Geek Craft, that while sort of typical in it's whole shocked-and-awed approach to geek craft, features a brief interview with Kimberly Chapman, a self proclaimed nerd.

"A significant amount of the joy I derive from my nerdy crafts is to be the first to present these juxtapositions to the world," [Kimberly Chapman] says.

She realizes her hobby may seem a bit odd to outsiders, and she's fine with that. Most people, Ms. Chapman notes, "don't watch a puppet show and mentally take apart the stitching to imagine how the puppet was made...They don't look at a structure and wonder what it would take to make a cake version.

"Nerds do those things. Nerds can't stop asking questions and mentally disassembling the world around them. Nerds wonder, and wonder is at the heart of creativity."

Read the whole article if you are interested, but nerd or not, Chapman sounds like a just another crafter who protects her patterns and likes to look at the world from 'how could I do that myself' perspective. Who wouldn't want to have their Wii and eat it too?


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