The Aura of the Analogue in a Digital Age: Women’s Crafts, Creative Markets and Home-Based Labour After Etsy

Susan Luckman

Abstract


This article examines the renewed popularity of the handmade by examining the current renaissance in the street credibility of previously disparaged women's craft practices, particularly those employing yarn (for example knitting, crochet, needlepoint and weaving) and fabric (sewing, felting). The author historically locates current debates around craft production and creative work by drawing upon the British Arts and Crafts movement, with its own longstanding association with women's' labour in the home and desire to realise sustainable ethical labour practices. Notably, both the periods under discussion mark profound shifts in the economic organisation of society – then, the Industrial Revolution; now the de-industrialisation of much of the 'industrialised' world and the rise of the (digitised) knowledge economy – and see a concurrent increase in the popularity of the handmade original as a desirable aesthetic object.


Keywords


Cultural Work, Craft, Creativity, Gender, Micro-Enterprise, Etsy

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