Blog website owners make a ton of decisions when carving out their little corner of the web. Not the least of these decisions concerns the categories to cover. You want clear differentiation, even if you’re covering a narrow niche. If you define your niche broadly, that should be easy. So why include categories for both “crafting” and “making”? Broadly, you could say they’re the same: you start with some kind of raw materials, and end up with a finished object. But looked at from a sort of historical or “look-and-feel” perspective, they aren’t. While people have been crafting and making things forever, when I think of “crafting” I think of sweaters and dolls and quilts and such made by loving hands at home, often with a distinctly 1950s to 1970s feel, because that’s the sensibility in which I learned my first craft. (It was crocheting, back in 1974, if anyone cares). “Making,” on the other hand, is a word coined by the “makers’ movement,” started and energized by the first MakerFaire, put on in 2006 in California and sponsored by O’Reilly Publishing, the same people who put out the computer books with animals on the cover and MAKE magazine. Yet it, too, has much older roots. Think back to magazines such as Popular Mechanics, or Bill Hewlett and David Packard building a computer (and a company) in a garage, or even the Wright brothers creating the first airplane. While Mom might be sewing some clothes in her attic craft room, Dad might be putting together a TV in his garage workshop. (Yes, there was a time you could buy kits to build TVs; look it up!). On the other hand, when that garage workshop focused on wood, and turned out glorious little boxes or tables or elegant pieces of furniture, we might remark without irony on the marvelous CRAFTsmanship. And at MakerFaires everywhere, you’re likely to seek people who consider themselves artists, crafters, and makers all under one roof (and sometimes they’re all the same person!). So what’s the difference? We can’t draw the line at traditionally “male” and “female” crafts (there’s that word again!). With the Lilypad Arduino,...Read More
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