Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Is a male crafter really an oddity?

"Men" and "Crafts". Who would have thought that two simple words such as these, could be viewed in so many "strange" ways when used together?

I guess for many people, more so those not involved in crafts of any kind, the thought of men crafting conjures up images of woodworkers and the likes, the more "masculine" crafts as some would like to think.

So today i was in town paying off an overdue library book fine, large enough that i could have bought the book brand new!.......anyway......i stopped into a new fabric shop to get some material for a paper craft project i had in mind. I wanted something to cover a "Journey" themed album with and found this lovely cotton with a map of the world on it. Not cheap but will be worth it on a project.......i got this one in a lovely blue and brown.....

..and one in a Sepia colour too....

Whilst i was in the shop, another guy came in looking for material. By the sounds of it, he obviously knew his stuff and we both went about our business looking through the fabrics. The shop owner, a very nice lady, said that she'd never had two men being the only customers in her shop at one time. It was as though it was unheard of.

Then shortly afterwards, i met an old friend. He has an office job and has in the past, like myself, served in the armed forces. So we go through the usual banter of what are you up to now, and then i mention that I'm into crafting. I may have well said that i was wearing women's underwear and was off to get my hair and nails done!!!

There was the stifled laugh and raised eyebrows, nothing that i have not experienced before but nevertheless. We chatted for a bit before parting company. I guess it bugged me a little, but then i quickly thought about some of the other things he said. He wasn't all that happy in his job, but was too stuck in the system to get out and do anything else. That was enough for me to smile and think about how glad i do what i do.

Whether it be as a hobby or as a career, crafting as we know it, is what i love and enjoy. Someone once said, "You gotta do what you love!". There are many reasons why i do what i do, but best of all, I'm happy, it benefits me, my partner and my kids! End of!

There is a noticeable lack of role models in the world of the male crafter, maybe thats a factor that prevents so many younger lads starting out in crafting? I am a big fan of Tim Holtz and his work, but how many other well established male crafters do i know of? Not many at all. Thats something i would like to do something about and i will.

Throughout history men have been skilled in what is classed as the more feminine of crafts. Big rough hardy fishermen used to knit thier own jumpers, and some of the best tapestry makers I've known learnt thier skill in the armed forces. Not that you need a macho background or other side to your life to balance the crafting out, personally i couldn't care less what you've done in the past or what you do now ( I mean that in a nice way of course)......if you craft and enjoy it.......then thats good enough for me!!!

Maybe you just have to be secure in yourself, or not give a hoot what people think to be a male in this area of crafts. Maybe a recruiting campaign is needed for male crafters, or to encourage them to come out of the woodwork!

Anyway, I've rambled enough, just wanted to get that off my chest....although i have a feeling it won't be the last time!

Take care all......I'm off to do my nails! :)


Anonymous said...

Don't forget to buy a racy thong, too (one for you and another for Maddy-hee hee)! Just kidding! Male crafters are misunderstood. Just keep on keeping on. Your projects are great!

Calv said...

Thanks Lea :)

If we are misunderstood now, imagine if i started wearing a thong!!! *Shudders at the thought*.

Anonymous said...

It was my OH who got me into stamping,he has hundreds of stamps,inks and papers which i borrow and forget to give back lol...I think its great that more Men are coming out as crafters!!! xx jo xx