Faythe Levine and Micaela O’Herlihy are filming crafters at fairs, shows, and events coast to coast for their Indie Craft Documentary project. I crossed paths with them when I was selling at Renegade Craft Fair Brooklyn with PDX Super Crafty and got to do a quick interview about our book and everything else we’ve been up to lately.
Faythe was kind enough to return the favor and let me interview her recently, and here’s what she had to say about her film and the state of the craft in 2006!
What’s your art, craft and film background, Faythe?
Some of my projects are:
I am also a fine artist working predominantly with felt and sequins in many shapes and forms as well as doing mixed-media painting and collage on found smashed cans.
What gave you the idea to document the indie craft community on film? Have you and Micaela worked together before?
While traveling around the country selling my goods under Flying Fish Design I became overwhelmed with the extent of the craft community nationally. Of course, a lot of the community is on-line and I found there there was a lack of off-line documentation. My motivations is stemmed from the same roots of why I opened my boutique and gallery and started Art vs. Craft, there are these feelings of admiration and inspiration for the people who are creating this huge out-flow of work while supporting people. It really comes down to community and people–there is so much out there that is “mega” and “mass” and any glimpse of true people-to-people creative interaction to me is a glimmer of hope that we can make this world livable. Whoa, that was a little out there, but seriously, I am motivated by the people who are doing things that I find healthy and inspiring.
I also had made invaluable connections with many many show organizers, designers and artists which has allowed me to easily contact the folks I am interested in interviewing.
The more I began to think about the craft community and art and design, the more I found the lines blurring between them all. Another interesting point is that the community is mostly women, and there are very few art movements that I know of that are made up of a majority of women–I think that is incredible.
Micaela and I are what I would call “creative collaborators.” This is actually our first project working together, although at my previous gallery (Flying Fish Gallery–pre-Flying Fish Design) we did a show of her paintings. We are working on another film this summer that is an experimental film shot on 16mm all underwater called “The Snorkeler.” I am helping produce and doing some prop work. We do have future plans and projects too.
Where/who have you filmed so far?
Atlanta, GA: we shot at the Indie Craft Experience, Young Blood Gallery and Boutique, Beehive Collective. We also got to interview Garth from extreemcraft.com.
New York/Brooklyn: Renegade Craft Fair, Cog & Pearl, Sodafine, interviewed the ladies who edit Adorn Magazine, interviewed Dennis Stevens of redefiningcraft.com.
Milwaukee, WI:. We shot at my show Art vs. Craft, and we will also be doing interviews with the ladies of fasten clothing co-op.
Minneapolis/St. Paul: We shot at the Craftstravaganza.
Chicago: We shot at Depart-ment.
Check out the blog for more details and pictures.
What are your future travel/film plans for the movie?
We will be traveling to San Francisco, LA, Austin, Seattle, Portland and perhaps a few more cities.
What do you think is exciting about the indie craft community?
I probably hit on some of this previously but I can not stress enough how important I think it is to have a supportive art community that is approachable and accessible, and I think that the Indie Craft Community is both of these things.
I love seeing the work that flows out of people’s minds and I love the friends I’ve made.
What do you think will happen next, or in the future, with indie crafting?
This is a very pensive and sensitive topic that is very important at this point in the community. Mainstream marking has already co opted the visual aspect of handmade and now major corporations are moving in on the indie craft fairs. I hope that people stand firm and keep moving forward with the ethics that started it all– supporting independent artists, doing it yourself and not allowing mega corporations to take our community over. With that said, I understand the need to make a living and having the opportunity of the exposure that a large company offers can be very tempting. I am not sure where the community is going or if it can continue in the shape and form it has taken over the past few years–all I know is that I am thankful that I got to experience it first hand and I am working on giving back all that I got from it while working on this film.
How can people find out more info, or support the project?
First off, I would like to mention that at this point in production we are totally self-financing the film. So every amount of help makes a huge huge difference and adds up quickly to our growing costs (mostly travel expenses).
There are a number of ways folks can support the project. People can donate handmade items to our etsy shop (details under “support” on our site) or buy items from our etsy shop– there are also pins, totes and t-shirts there!!
Check out these sites for more info:
We are also taking cash donations via paypal at email@example.com or you can make a check out to Faythe Levine and send it to indie craft documentary, P.O. Box 134, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0134.
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Susan Beal loves movies, crafting, and especially movies about crafting!