A new magazine / podcast / blog for the thoroughly modern crafter.
Sometime in early 2005, crafters with a slightly geeky mindset began getting excited about something called MAKE. Taglined “Technology on Your Time,” MAKE was (and is still) a magazine, blog, and thriving online community that celebrated the creative process in a whole new way.
Granted, much of the DIY from MAKE involved more techy projects, like building your own paper shredder or making a vinegar and baking soda grenade. But not infrequently, you could also find truly wonderful crafty stuff. MAKE featured amazing tutorials for, among other things, the duct tape wallet, a bra made from a pair of tighty whities, printing photographic images onto wood, and making your own pumpadums. Ideas you’d likely never find in the mainstream craft mags -- which was what what made them so compelling.
Clearly, the folks at MAKE appreciated the world of craft, and so, late last summer, they decided to produce a special craft issue of MAKE Magazine. But, like so many craft projects, this one grew arms and legs and took on a life of its own. Faced with far more projects and ideas than would ever fit in a single issue, the MAKE team decided to make something: a whole new magazine devoted to the world of craft.
Enter CRAFT—a magazine, podcast, and blog juggernaut that’s poised to build deep roots in the crafty community.
“I see the current crafty community as a growing group of highly creative crafters who don't want to be spoonfed what mass culture is offering,” says Editor in Chief Carla Sinclair. “Instead, they are using their creativity, crafty skills and DIY spirit to make things that are unique and that reflect who they are. Not only does crafting offer them a way to show off their individuality, but this new crafting community allows crafters to buy and sell their wares like never before, thanks to the internet.”
Like its parent publication MAKE, CRAFT Magazine blends traditional craft techniques with creative re-purposing and a hint of technology. It’s also one of the very few print craft publications written for the crafty generalist.
“There are a lot of magazines out there that just cover one kind of craft,” says Associate Editor Natalie Zee. “But we see crafters everywhere who combine their knitting with sewing and beading and so on, trying a little of everything. Plus, our team gets inspired by all kinds of different things, so we wanted to cover a really wide variety of topics.” Speaking of variety, in the first issue alone, CRAFT looks at: making your own chain mail, sewing and programming an LED-lit tank top, learning to silkscreen, knitting your own boots, and tricking out a kiddy car with fabric and fringe. If there was ever a magazine to nudge readers out of their crafty comfort zones, this is it.
CRAFT also veers from the mainstream magazine pack in that it’s heavily influenced by the ever-evolving world of the crafty internet. In fact, CRAFT Magazine is just one of several content streams produced by the CRAFT team. There’s also the constantly-updated CRAFT blog (http:// www.craftzine,com), edited by Zee, which presents a huge variety of interesting projects, websites, and innovative crafters. Perhaps you’d like to suggest a topic?
CRAFT is also the first magazine -- really, the first anything -- to use podcast technology to deliver free patterns. In a partnership with Fitz Patterns, CRAFT has a podcast feed on iTunes that brings subscribers a new pattern (with sewing instructions) each week. All you to need to do is download the free iTunes software, and then subscribe to the feed..
And if you prefer podcasts of the audio variety, never fear. CRAFT has one of those as well, produced by Bre Pettis, who also helms the MAKE podcast. The CRAFT show features interviews with creative folk, and also takes phone calls from listeners. “Bre is like the crafty Larry King,” jokes Zee.
And, since the crafty world so dearly loves Flickr, CRAFT has a vibrant group there, in which devotees share pictures of their latest creations.
So many content streams equals so many ways for the crafty community to participate in the CRAFT universe. And, by the way, you are cordially invited to participate.
“We have a blog with new projects and craft news daily. And we accept writing assignments from crafters who have never written before,” says Sinclair. “It's a back and forth thing - crafters can come to our site or magazine to share what they know with us or to learn something new from us (and that's how it is with most crafting blogs and sites). The new craft movement is all about exchanging ideas and supporting one another, and I think that's what we're promoting with CRAFT, whether its through our blog, magazine or podcast.”
So, suggest a crafty idea for the blog. Call into the podcast. Get your photos together and post them on the Flickr group. Or, go all out and submit an article. While you’re at it, support CRAFT by subscribing, advertising, or picking up a copy at the newsstand. After all, it’s not every day that an emissary from the world of print journalism comes along and speaks our language.