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Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design Paperback – October 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (October 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568987870
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568987873
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The community captured in both book and film has played no small part in the expansion of the crafts books category in recent years. --Publishers Weekly, August 2008

Their energy is infectious, which is why I call D.I.Y. the punk rock of the craft world.' -- Penelope Green --The Ambassador Of Handmade, The New York Times: (September 4, 2008)

Craft & Arts "Faythe Levine, artist, photographer, filmmaker, curator and author of Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), and Callie Janoff, co-founder and New York City Minister of the Church of Craft, talk about the new craft movement that weds DIY and craft techniques with a punk aesthetic. The documentary Handmade Nation receives its New York debut at the Museum of Arts and Design this week." -- Brian Lehrer --WNYC - BBC Brian Lehrer Show, February 12, 2009

"In our heavily industrialized civilization, we have rightly placed a great value on handmade, original one- or few-of-a-kind goods. For Handmade Nation: The Rise of D.I.Y., Art, Craft, and Design, which is the textual offshoot of a film project due for release next year, Faythe Levine criss-crossed the U.S.A., racking up 19,000 miles to interview and document dozens of artists, makers, crafters, and designers. In addition to photos of the makers, their work, their workshops, and their processes, the book includes essays by Andrew Wagner of American Craft magazine, Garth Johnson of Extreme Craft, Callie Janoff of The Church of Craft, Betsy Greer of Craftivism, and Susan Beal of Super Crafty.A crafty compendium of original creations, this charming books offers much to admireof both the makers and what they make. I am partial to Stephanie Syjucos clothing line, labeled simply Because Sweatshops Suck." -- Robert Birnbaum --The Morning News, October 17, 2008

"Handmade Nation" Has Arrived. See It Thursday., "The 65-minute movie documents a movement of artists, crafters and designers that recognize a marriage between historical techniques, punk and DIY (do it yourself) ethos while being influenced by traditional handiwork, modern aesthetics, politics, feminism and art.It includes interviews with more than 50 artists in 15 cities who explain how the new wave of craft, "forges a new economy, lifestyle and burgeoning art community that is based on creativity, determination and networking," says Levine, co-owner of Paper Boat Boutique - Gallery in Bay View and organizer of the yearly indie craft fair Art vs. Craft.A book by the same title, written with Milwaukee artist Cortney Heimerl, was published in October by Princeton Architectural Press." -- Julie Lawrence --On Milwaukee, February 4, 2009

*Special Edition* Interview, "In 2006 faythe levine traveled the country, putting 19,000 miles under her belt and visiting 15 cities to document the new wave of craft in the usa. in 2007 the trailer hit the web and the buzz built around this film. in 2008 the companion book (co-authored with cortney heimerl), handmade nation: the rise of diy, art, craft and design hit shelves. on thursday handmade nation premiers stateside in milwaukee, wisconsin (home base for faythe and cortney) and next week makes its way to the museum of art and design in nyc. while one chapter ends, the next is just beginning. we couldnt let this labor of love go un-noticed, so lucky for us faythe and cortney agreed to take the time out of their incredibly busy schedules for an interview and insider look at the film and how it came to be." -- Anna Wolf --Design*Sponge, February 3rd, 2009

Handmade Artist Documents A Movement, "Faythe Levines life is all about creativity. Though she doesnt come off as a rebel, the 31-year-old Milwaukee artist, boutique/gallery owner and filmmaker has crafted her life according to her individual vision since she struck out on her own after high school." -- Andrea Waxman --The Jewish Chronicle, December 18, 2008

"As that model of frenzied economic activity seems to be self-destructing right before our very eyes, Handmade Nation encourages us to think small as we begin to re-imagine our roles as both consumers and producers. " -- Michael Carriere --Local Filmmaker's Diy Craft Documentary Captures An Exploding Scene, Decider Milwaukee, February 6, 2009

"The movement's effect on mass culture may seem inevitable, but Levine also hopes to capture the intellectually provocative character of the artists and how they use craft to create awareness about social issues." -- Valli Herman --Los Angeles Times, July 2008

"Step-by-steps for book binding, bag-making and handmade projects that re-use and re-purpose found objects are the meat and potatoes of recently-published crafts super-books like Handmade Nation." -- Matthew Hayles --Blog-To

"Chock full of large color photos and interviews with crafters from fifteen cities around the country, this book provides a window into the modern craft movement in America. The book itself is something of a work of art, as anyone familiar with Princeton Architectural Press should expect. " -- Liz Simmons --The Feminist Review

"Is there something this new craft movement can teach those of us feeling anxious about our futures, who are watching jobs dry up and disappear and wondering if we can somehow make our own way?" -- Inara Verzemnieks --The Oregonian

"The words DIY and indiecraft movement may be familiar to you by now - theyre 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." -- C.P. --Americanstyle

"Craft is officially cool and it is not just something that your Granny or weird Aunt does. The indie/DIY/new wave/whatever you prefer to call it, craft movement has been gathering momentum over the last ten years, predominantly in the US, where most major cities now have their own indie craft fairs filled with wares by local makers and shakers." -- Jo Waterhouse --+1 Magazine

"(Handmade Nation) debuted last year to such demand that it entered its third printing even before the films official release date in February." -- Allisa Walker --Print Magazine

"Pool successfully tapped into the indie craft movement. For example, Faythe Levine, the legendary author of the book Handmade Nation was on site selling her book and showing previews of her new documentary on the subject. Other crafters from the felt world such as Ryn Rina, plus jewelry, scarves, and knitted apparel created an entirely new space at Pool that completely connected not only with the indie vibe of Pool, but the growing movement of crafting in general. " -- Kathleen Gasperini --Label Networks

"Being crafty has paid off for Faythe Levine. Her book Handmade Nation has become a cult indie film in the US..." --MX Magazine

"If DIY is a lifestyle, Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl breathe it, sleep it, embody it. As authors of Handmade Nation and a documentary of the same name, these gals know a thing or two about the modern craft movement." --Do It Yourself

"Levine has helped bring attention to the do-it-yourself craft movement through her book and film." -- Mary Louise Schumacher --Journal Sentinel

"Handmade Nation: The Rise of D.I.Y., Art, Craft, and Design is about independently-owned businesses, where consumerism is definitely considered; the crafters and artists, who are mostly women, earn their livings from their handmade goods. Though readers and viewers may never buy anything featured in the book or film, considering the current world economy, the concept of making what you need and want could not be timelier." -- Jessica Mosby --Womens International Perspective

"Handmade Nation sums up DIY as a 'lifestyle choice', interviewing women who are keeping alive craft traditions and starting up their own businesses. DIY, they explain, offers the chance to create your own economy. Aptly for a film based in Olympia in the United States, home of the feminist punk movement Riot Grrl, the women are empowered by DIY as it proves everything is possible." -- Natalie Bradbury --Manchester Confidential

"A local artist's latest creation is generating international buzz, and putting the spotlight firmly on the Brew City." -- Elizabeth Braun --WTMJ 620

"The tools are familiar: embrodery hoop, needle and thread. Its the concept that rocks.Niftily divided into five geographical segments, the book showcases Milwaukees J.W. & Melissa Buchanan, who pump out punkish silk-screen prints that would make your grandma shriek. " -- Judith Ann Moriarty --Shepherd Express

"...a fascinating account of the crafting community, embracing a vibrant movement of artists, crafters, and designers... [Levine and Heimerl] documents the raw, fresh, and radical results in this comprehensive and fully illustrated book." --CRAFTS Magazine (UK)

"We are awestruck by the boundless creativity showcased in the pages of Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design, and cant wait to see the documentary." -- Lois Alter Mark --Style Substance Soul

"Today, Levine is known as "the ambassador of handmade" -- a title bestowed by The New York Times, to her chagrin -- and her DIY sensibilities run more to sock monkeys and craft fairs.Thanks to her upcoming film, "Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design," Levine has become a major voice in the new wave of craft, whose vibrant, break-the-rules sensibility has become a magnet for hip young women." -- Cecilia Goodnow --Seattle PI

"Handmade Nation is organized, like a road trip around the United States, geographically. Penned by Levine, the preface paints Americas indie craft community as a free spirited network of entrepreneurs." -- Jessica Hemmings and Leesa Hubbell --Surface Design Journal

"Madison isnt exactly a stranger to the DIY craft movement. Especially around the winter holidays, its nearly impossible not to stumble across one craft fair or another, and several shops have come (and a few gone strictly online) onto the scene bearing a wide array of goods created by local artists.But these arent your grandmas designs. Though most newly minted crafters will readily pay their respects to those who came before--people have been making things by hand since they first created tools, after all--this new generation of sewers, welders, gluers, collage makers, weavers, paper artists, and jewelers are all blazing trails uniquely their own, applying a sort of punk, indie ethos to it all." -- Emily Mills --Dane 101

"First-time documentarian Faythe Levine traipsed across the US to stitch together insights into America's DIY community." -- Tanya Feldman --Flavor Pill

"(Levine & Heimerl) tracked crafting in the U.S. to compile a visual and mental indulgence in all that is hip and new in the world of craft - although they somehow missed Alaska. Nonetheless, by page 2, I was hooked. Lime pages covered in childlike scribbles track the rise of this handmade scene, which rooted itself in the early 90s mostly through fairs, blogs, and political craft movements. Politics, you wonder? I did too. But the movement is entrenched in groups like the Church of Craft, whose members find higher aspirations in handmade creation and Craftivists, who dedicate their daily lives to making a statement through craft." -- Tanna Peters --Capital City Weekly

"Faythe Levine captures the excitement and enthusiasm for these traditional women's pursuits -- and those crafters who give the arts a decidedly modern spin" -- Katie Dean --77 Square

"Once the epitome of uncool, craft is making a comeback with a new generation. Rachelle Unreich threads up to find a burgeoning movement that is hip, political - and just a little divided." --The Age Magazine (Australia)

"independent artists, crafters, and shop owners of all stripes - from avant-garde embroiderers to designers of books, calandars, and eco-friendly shoes." -- Valerie Rains --ReadyMade

"Can something as simple as book sales, then, suggest that we are approaching a new Age Of Austerity? When a book which attempts to gather all of these trends together under one roof is glowingly reviewed by The New York Times and stocked in the uber-hip clothing store Urban Outfitters, it does suggest theres something more here than simply a yearning for prosaic descriptions of how to sew, cook, saw or grow.That book is Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl, and it documents something bigger than just crafting as Levine travels the length and breadth of the United States in search of people doing it themselves. Levine calls such activity a marriage between historical technique, punk culture and the DIY ethos, but its more than that too; its proof positive that people arent buying DIY books to ferret themselves away in their sheds or gardens. Theyre more often than not sharing ideas and becoming part of networks through blogs and fairs." -- Ben East --The National

"We have been living, in recent years, in the midst of a craft renaissance, in which a new generation of DIY enthusiasts has created a network around the world. Locally, it's visible in the popularity of hip craft fairs like Crafty Wonderland, and the internet has made sites like Etsy.com global hubs of craft culture and part of what has been described as the "new economy."Faythe Levine has encapsulated this..." -- Marjorie Skinner --The Portland Mercury

"(Handmade Nation) puts a face on the indie craft community, making it accessible while illustrating the enormous talent, creativity, and hard work at the heart of the new handmade nation." -- Jeanne Vaccaro --Sadie Magazine

"(Handmade Nation) is a must-have for any crafter, professional or purely personal. Whenever you feel down on your work or are losing direction, just grab your copy of Handmade Nation and you will be revitalized by others who have stuck to their guns and helped to change the entire marketplace." -- Victoria Everman --Victoria Everman Blog

"Last week's New York City premiere of Handmade Nation, artist Faythe Levine's directorial debut, brought the fabulous Kate Bingaman-Burt to town for an all-too-brief visit. (She hand-drew the lettering for the documentary's awesome title sequence.) She saved me a seat at the screening, which was held at Museum of Arts & Design...Faythe, Kate and Megan have more in common than the fact that they're all totally badass, awesome, inspiring and intelligent women. They're also all involved in expanding the definition of what art is by employing and/or championing styles, subjects and techniques that we're more accustomed to seeing anywhere but a museum." -- Jen Bekman --20x200 Newsletter

"It is also the touchstone of the DIY movement. They aren't just socks - they're the start of a personal and a social revolution. One can make things to adorn themselves, teach others a skill or clothe those in need." -- Karen Goldberg Goff --The Washington Times

"(Handmade Nation) looks at the current diversity and growth of making things by hand. The book profiles a range of American artists, crafters and designers who have embraced the traditional techniques with creative/radical new approaches, suitable to our times." -- Margaret Snowdon --Readings

"An informal portrait of the current American craft movement; 24 makers share their thoughts on the vogue for historical technique, punk culture and DIY. With essays by Andrew Wagner, Betsy Greer and Callie Janoff." --Crafts

"Today's craft world is now a linked culture of punk, artistic technique, and DIY philosophy, and HANDMADE NATION trades the new wave of craft sentiments that incorprate community connections and ideas in its process. From logs and galleries to craft fairs and teachers, over twenty artists from across the country discuss their lives, works, and community connections. HANDMADE NATION: THE RISE, DIY, ART, CRAFT AND DESIGN is a key acquisition for any art collection as well as for general-interest libraries specializing in crafts history and culture." -- Diane Donovan --The Midwest Book Review

"If you've ever bought a scarf on Etsy, sold a shirt on Supermarket HQ, or set up shop at a local craft fair, then you are part of what Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl would call our handmade nation.And so are they. The crafty duo is behind the book Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design (and, for Levine, a documentary of the same name to be released in 2009). After travelling the country in search of the ultimate neo-Martha Stewarts, they chatted with NYLON about what it takes to become a master crafter." --Nylon Magazine

"C'mon, break out those knitting needles your grandma gave you. Across the country, resurgent interest in things handmade is redefining craft-making for the 21st century, writes Molly Finnegan for PBS. Quilts are cutting-edge outlets for self-expression, and samplers carry messages of anti-consumerism, environmentalism and feminism. The work is not just beautiful: it's hip, it's political and it's a little punk rock.What is she talking about? The wildly popular film, Handmade Nation by Faythe Levine." --Juxtapoz Magazine

"Ah, youth! It is impossible to watch Handmade Nation and not be affected by its spirit: passionate, upbeat, idealistic and above all energetic. The frenetic pixilated opening credit sequence almost suggests that the title might be Over-Caffeinated Nation. It is also impossible not to be struck by déjà vu all over again, for most of the ideas seem more than familiar. The artists and others interviewed are, gosh!, in favor of the handmade versus the mass-produced. They prefer the tactile. They seek an alternative to the corporate. Oh well, to each generation its own rebellion against the forces of darkness. The film does offer a lively sampling of the indie craft movement from around the country, including Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, New York City and elsewhere, covering a lot of ground in crafty as well as geographical terms. --American Craft

"But it's nice to see people making things for themselves, and that's commemorated in `Handmade Nation,' a short documentary about crafters showing at the Renwick Saturday afternoon. Will DIY sink back into obscurity once this recession is over? We hope not. Go check out the movie -- maybe it'll inspire you to make something of your own." --Express Night Out

"This book champions a wave of craft artists who cultivate audiences through grassroots business strategies. The twenty-four makers profiled in this manifesto of the Do-It-Yourself ethos share a passion for making things by hand and have definite opinions about their marketplace." --Fiberarts

"Handmade Nation documents the new wave of art, craft and design that is capturing the attention of the nation. It is the feature film debut of director, author, artist and curator Faythe Levine. Levine traveled to 15 cities and covered more than 19,000 miles to interview artists, crafters, makers, curators and community members.

Today's craft world has emerged as a synthesis of historical technique, punk culture, and the DIY ethos, also influenced by traditional handiwork, modern aesthetics, politics, feminism and art." --Buyplympia.com

Review

Levine's subjects are independent-minded folks who've taken up DIY mantle passed down from generations gone by, valuing the handmade over mass-produced and craft over convenience. Some members of the crafty crew will also host a number of talks and lectures at colleges and community centers, with a few other stops scheduled to promote the film's companion book, also titled Handmade Nation.

"I could not resist posting the opening credits to Handmade Nation, it fills me with so much glee. The opening credits alone will make you so proud to be a creative, crafty person alive today. Doesnt it just make you want to create something? " -- Sarah McColl

"Handmade Nation documents the new wave of craft that is capturing the attention of the nation."

"If you've ever bought a scarf on Etsy, sold a shirt on Supermarket HQ, or set up shop at a local craft fair, then you are part of what Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl would call our handmade nation.And so are they. The crafty duo is behind the book Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design (and, for Levine, a documentary of the same name to be released in 2009). After travelling the country in search of the ultimate neo-Martha Stewarts, they chatted with NYLON about what it takes to become a master crafter."

"This is a must have book for all, whether you craft or not!Faythe traveled 19,000 miles across America documenting the emerging DIY community and the lifestyle they live based on creativity, determination and networking." -- Alison Lee

The Needle And The Damage Undone, "(Handmade Nation) offers a simple message and pleasure. Levine and Heimerl and their makers are saying, in essence, dont stop beading necklaces when you get your first job. Beading is your first job. And while youre at it let your freak flag fly. But do make sure that youve put that flag together yourself, and only out of recycled sweaters." -- Alissa Quart

"As that model of frenzied economic activity seems to be self-destructing right before our very eyes, Handmade Nation encourages us to think small as we begin to re-imagine our roles as both consumers and producers. " -- Michael Carriere

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Customer Reviews

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A must read for anyone remotely creative.
Lori Auffhammer
Unfortunately, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing it yet, but each and every review I've read has raved about its honest and inspirational tone.
Victoria Klein
There are so many opportunities for artists of all kinds, and this book provides short profiles and great photographs on many artists.
Janice Phelps Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By reader and maker on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Moviegoers often get into a classic argument: which was better, the book or the movie. The introduction to this book explains that it is a companion to a forthcoming documentary. I eagerly await the film. Sensing the passion with which the authors approach their subject I think it might be a five-star film.

The book felt too shallow - as if it were not expected to stand alone. The artists featured in this book have substantial presences on the web, making their work easily accessible without the book. Because of this I was looking for what value was added by collecting their work in one place. The accompanying essays offer something new as do the photos of the artists in their work spaces. The all-too brief text on each artist is lacking. It doesn't add sufficient depth to what is already on the web. It feels like sound bites from a movie (which perhaps it is.)

The photography is good and the quality of the book is great (as always from Princeton Architectural Press.) The hand-drawn timeline at the beginning of the book is a delight. It is an example of the analysis and synthesis I hoped to find more of in this book.

This book would be great for someone just getting into the DIY world, but for those already immersed, I think the movie will be a richer experience.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Melissa R. Sanders on October 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just received my book a few days ago and have already torn through it. It has a great balance of informative backgrounds about the artists involved with the companion documentary, soon to be released, and amazing visuals of the artists' work. I also really enjoyed the essays added throughout. I was especially excited to see one by Betsy Greer. I feel I have some knowledge about the artists' work that I would not have had if the book was not released. It also gives some insight on how the "New Wave of Craft" snowballed into what it is today. The timeline at the beginning of the book is also very illuminating.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Janice Phelps Williams on January 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think I first heard about Handmade Nation on a podcast I'd downloaded to my iPod. How ironic that technology introduced me to Handmade Nation. As an artist and craftsman, I've been making and selling my creations since I was a teenager and walked my handmade dolls and bears 2 miles down the road to the local gift shop. But now...now, is a great time to be a part of Handmade Nation. There are so many opportunities for artists of all kinds, and this book provides short profiles and great photographs on many artists. It also has a philosophical angle, a life-style angle. So, we get a glimpse into how creating things is a part of the way these artists view life, their life and their relationship to others. I find that most interesting. Some of the work profiled is not as strong, artistically, as others, but I'm not sure that is what the book is about. There are other books out today that profile the best in arts and crafts. This book is more about a movement, though honestly perhaps the movement is just able to be publicized more in this decade than in was in the '70s when I was shlepping my felt dolls down the street. We had art fairs and such then too, but oh, how great it would have been to have had the Internet! Scanning! Email! This book is worth getting, because it may be difficult to view the movie on which it was based. I've tried to find viewing places and time, but none are in my area, yet. So, if you are into crafts, and want a nice coffee table book, and want to support the authors who have sacrificed a lot, I believe, to bring handmade nation to the public, buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terry Snyder on April 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I want to get inspired, I go to this book and read about all the people who made it happen in the Art business. I love their energy, the passion and ideas!
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book! It has an interesting timeline on how handmade work and arts and crafts have developed in recent years. The specific artisans that are featured are very interesting, and the photos of their work are outstanding! The focus isn't on the "traditional" arts and crafts so much as how people have developed their own non-traditional take on arts and crafts. There are some very creative things in here!
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By Cara S. on April 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a nice book that shows the stories of a few people that have "made it" in the world of DIY and craft. They can sustain themselves doing what they love, and good for them. I hope to be in their place someday.

I was hoping for more of a historical overview of the rise of DIY and craft. This has almost none of that.

I still enjoy the book, as it is nice to see that people can still be successful in the world of craft, but the title was pretty misleading. I am looking to find the history of DIY, and instead find a series of vignettes on artists that practice different crafts, how they got started, and their studio practice.
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By Victoria Klein on April 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
There is certainly something to be said for being a trailblazer, and all of the crafters in this book represent a second coming-of-age for not only the handmade community, but also an entire generation. "I was going to all these fairs and I remember thinking: Something big is happening. This has to be documented," said Faythe Levine, the book's co-author in her September 2008 New York Times interview.

Faythe is also the director of an accompanying Handmade Nation documentary, which is currently being screened at festivals worldwide. Unfortunately, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing it yet, but each and every review I've read has raved about its honest and inspirational tone. All upcoming viewings are listed on both the documentary's official website and the Handmade Nation blog (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a Boston screening).

Bottom line: this book is a must-have for any crafter, professional or purely personal. Whenever you feel down on your work or are losing direction, just grab your copy of Handmade Nation and you will be revitalized by others who have stuck to their guns and helped to change the entire marketplace.
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