Jumped The Snark
Saturday I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in McCarren Park to meet up with Gotham Knitter and the ladies of Superette. A good time was had by all, and I was very impressed with Ann and Dabney’s wares! There was some mighty cute stuff at the fair: I got a super-cute shirt for our nephew Franco, [and wanted one for myself and Trey!] More than making me want to buy stuff, however, the fair made me want to just go home and make nice things.
One thing I did notice, however, was the majority of the people in attendance were clearly *not* the typical Williamsburg hipster: the crowd was more rockabilly West Coast than surly Royal Oak: brighter tattoos, brighter hair: the Phylum Ultra Lounge rather than Phlyum Post-Electro-Clash. A pronounced marked tribal difference, and it cracked me up, how “alternative” aesthetics, like all fashions, tend to self-select into a kind of conformity.
A vein of this same conformity undergirded the merchandise on display: countless T-shirts with silkscreened bird motifs: the pleather wrist cuff, the vintage hardback turned journal: the alternative “monster” peluche… I began thinking about this idea of “alternative” crafting: is it really “subversive” to knit something with a skull-and-crossbones motif? Is a spike of yearning in the collective unconscious manifesting in a thousand semi-decontructed silkscreened bird T-shirts? One can argue that all fashion trends are such manifestations: what does this one mean?
For a moment I thought of Marie-Antoinette, playing shepherdess in her faux farmhouse. But then I thought, is that really any different from me playing at gardening in our meager backyard, painting watercolors or knitting scarf after superfluous scarf? It’s fun to MAKE stuff. What’s won is done: joy’s soul lies in the doing, yes?
At drinks with Ann I joked about how the perfect craft fair product would be the alterna-monster doll wearing a deconstructed bird-motif shirt, and we had a good laugh about it. Sunday morning I woke up inspired by what I thought would be a hilarious joke. But halfway through my project, I was in love with my new friend, CRAFTY!
So thank you for the inspiration, Superette and Renegade Craft Fair! And for the reminder that as paper beats rock, love ALWAYS crushes snark.