Vol. 04: Crafter Manifesto

The magic of making things.

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Ulla-Maaria Mutanen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Helsinki in Finland, has been thinking about why we enjoy making things. Creator of the HobbyPringcess blog, she developed a Crafter's Manifesto that could just as easily be read as a call for makers to unite. We present it here as our holiday greeting to celebrate the universal urge to do it yourself.

  • People get satisfaction for being able to create/craft things because they can see themselves in the objects they make. This is not possible in purchased products.

  • The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can't see.

  • The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.

  • People seek recognition for the things they have made. Primarily it comes from their friends and family. This manifests as an economy of gifts.

  • People who believe they are producing genuinely cool things seek broader exposure for their products. This creates opportunities for alternative publishing channels.

  • Work inspires work. Seeing what other people have made generates new ideas and designs.

  • Essential for crafting are tools, which are accessible, portable, and easy to learn.

  • Materials become important. Knowledge of what they are made of and where to get them becomes essential.

  • Recipes become important. The ability to create and distribute interesting recipes becomes valuable.

  • Learning techniques brings people together. This creates online and offline communities of practice.

  • Craft-oriented people seek opportunities to discover interesting things and meet their makers. This creates marketplaces.

  • At the bottom, crafting is a form of play.


The original "Crafter Manifesto" weblog post.

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