Friday, 21 October 2011

The Power of Craft

Tomorrow I will be at the Vancouver Wayzgoose, so of course I need cards. I was told that the cards I hastily printed at home were the ne plus ultra of dorkiness (not because of the design but because of the perforations around the edge), and I must do better.

I thought of printing the cards onto heavy art paper and cutting them out myself (no perfs), but my laser printer needs to wind the paper around the drum and of course the paper was too heavy and it jammed. Never mind, I am obstinate and I am a bookbinder and I have cold mix paste ready to my hand. So I have just printed my cards onto 24-lb laid paper and pasted the paper onto the heavy art paper for a duplex card.

I have no idea if this process is going to work, and if it does the cards may still offend the world at large, but I think they'll be cool. If they work. If not, anyone who can track me down at the Wayzgoose is welcome to a home-printed card with perforations around the edge. I'll have lots.

And I have been thinking about the power of craft. If I want business cards, I am not defeated by not having any money or not being near a store that carries exactly the kind of cards I want. I have printed these on my laser printer, but I could have printed them with my own type, or stamped them with foil, or I could have hand-written them or stencilled them or stamped them with a potato. I have options, and that gives me power.

Similarly, if I can get hold of a raw fleece I can turn it into a sweater. I can take linen thread and turn it into lace. I can take flour and sugar and milk and turn it into cake. Being able to change your surroundings, to turn what you have into something else, is a source of great power.

We craftspeople are wizards.

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