Disbrain’s color and our craft’s generosity

One lovely end-of-summer shot of color from a Russian site called Disbrain. Translation isn’t helping much and I hope that the picture says it all. NOTE: The link had lots of porn attached. Go to http://disbrain.livejournal.com/1652.html only if you’re virus protected. Thanks to those who alerted me.

Last week’s American Crafts Council salon that’s now online as an audio file got me thinking about crafts and activism.

Polymer clay has been mostly drawn to admirable charitable causes like Bottles of Hope and Breast Cancer Awareness (one of many sites) and Ron Lehockey’s Cerebral Palsy Kids Center support. (Click on his new halloween hearts.)

With our recent conversations about the perils of gold and diamonds, we’re inching closer to making bolder statements about our medium. The deviant art crowd turns away from the pretty and the comfortable to examine another viewpoint. Overall we’re a mostly tame and generous group. That tameness may change.

In his book Buying In, Rob Walker, one of the salon speakers, suggests the following.

Maybe in some sense, the craft idea is a kind of gateway drug to a different way of thinking about material culture – and about consumer behavior that doesn’t merely feel like being part of something larger than ourselves, but really is.

Thanks for listening today. I’m reading and thinking.

  • reply Judy B ,

    I was drawn to Sabrina’s comment “slowness is what we need.” It got me thinking about the connection of what I make and what it is made from to the buyer. The nature of our medium is that it is NOT disposable – will not degrade or decompose over time – so how will I make something that is worth that period of lasting. And is that my political statement…when so many more of us will have so many fewer dollars in the very near future I want the buyer to feel as though it is an investment that won’t need bailing out. Fascinating, Cynthia, and thank you for drawing our attention to it.

    “Eat less and pay more for your food.” Sorry I didn’t jot down who this was attributed to, but I love it.

    • reply Dee Wilder ,

      Thank you for a thoughtful and important post.

      • reply Judy ,

        Part of the appeal of making origami cranes from clay, for me, is the permanance that Judy B. refers to in her comments. They become permanent symbols of peace, long life, fidelity and prosperity. From the first crane I made from clay, this fact resonated with me.

        • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

          Judy – Of course! Quiet and important statements through art. Thanks for reminding us. Peace and prosperity!


          • reply Merrie ,

            I clicked on the link above Disbrain while at work (my mistake) and got all kinds of porn popping up on the screen. not what i expected from PCD.

            • reply Julie Picarello ,

              I agree with Judy wholeheartedly re: Michael Pollan’s “pay more; eat less” concept because it applies to so much more than food. Rather than investing in quality products we often go for the cheapest and fastest…and when they break, we just buy more. There is no real connection or commitment made to that product. Because I have been guilty of this myself, I appreciate the insight and the reminder of a better approach.

              • reply Kathryn Ottman ,

                Cynthia, I was so pleased to see this topic brought to the forefront again. As a lifelong volunteer, philanthropist and founder of the Polymer Clay Fests including Cabin Fever Clay Fest, I’ve always felt compelled to “give back” whenever possible. As a professional fundraiser for the past 14 years, I’ve not only used my creative talents to raise funds for worthy causes, but also to share the experience of working with different mediums and bringing a creative outlet to various individuals and groups. A sort of therapy for the injured, ill, and underpriviledged. I’ve volunteered much of my time teaching at Children’s Hospital, Walter Reed, senior centers, and after school programs.

                On that note, it is one of the reasons that a pledge has been made to use each of the Polymer Clay Fest venues to raise funds for a cause close to my heart. Last year, the CFCF 2008 auction raised nearly $3,000 for the wounded at Walter Reed. CFCF 2009 will raise funds for two organizations yet to be decided by the attendees.

                Thank you again for bringing our attention to the many ways we can give back through our art. I urge those of you who are able to open your hearts and share your time and talents with those you believe may benefit the most…you will feel better when you do!

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