Thursday, May 30, 2013

I am not an old lady... but so what if I were?!

There's a common stereotype of the handmade artist. That they're all old ladies clicking away at their knitting needles or sewing machines. But here's the thing: young people who craft become old people who craft some day. Knitting, sewing, upcycling, dressmaking, pottery etc are all crafts that were closely linked to necessity once upon a time. If we didn't make clothes we would have to stay naked, if we didn't make bowls we ate from the floor, if we didn't mend and make do when things fell apart we would have to find someone to make a new one (not always possible). Why do you thing handmedown clothes is a tradition in families?! So many women (and some men too) learned these crafts because they had to.

A lot of crafters I know picked up several different crafts over the years. I certainly did. It makes sense that these older folks who crafted out of necessity will have picked up a few more crafts over the years (if they enjoy it that is!).

  Crafting has had something of a revival in Ireland (and indeed in the rest of the world too) in the last decade or so. I remember my first visit to a craft show all those years ago and some 90% of attendees were over 50 years of age. Nowadays that same show draws a mix of any and all ages every year. I noticed my favourite art shop started stocking more for adult crafts (it was previously primarily aimed at school and college kids). I started to hear of friends taking up new crafts. In 40 years I will be one of the old ladies at these shows, still crafting away.


  1. Very interesting to know and remember Petra ...
    also because the ages to consume ,waste and consume could be finish without oil .. we have learned that small production's units are most efficient and more environmentally friendly ...
    Very good article Petra.

  2. interesting observations. It's a sad thing that it takes a recession to help revive crafts in a country built on the shoulders of craftspersons, carpenters and artists.

    1. very true! a lot of people were too busy going out drinking, clubbing, the cinema, holidays, days out, the irish version of theme park visits etc (things that cost money) until it got too expensive.
      i would hazard that this was in part due to the novelty of actually having more spending money for once (during the celtic tiger)