Handmade Nation_lowres


When the revolution comes, the capitalists probably won't have their backs to the wall at needlepoint, but the many do-it-yourself toilers in the craft movement exude a similar rebellious spirit as they combine business savvy and art skills to confront the generic offerings of Target and Walmart. There is a strong tradition of folk craft in the United States, and these young entrepreneurs are renewing it with punk-rock spirit and shedding the image of knitting, sewing and quilting as precious domestic pastimes distinct from popular culture. One young woman sells kits to make colorful hook-knot rugs, but her template for a reclining nude is from pornography, not Renaissance painting. One Olympia, Wash., crafter noticed that all bands sold arty T-shirts, so she made band mittens to sell. In Handmade Nation, Faythe Levine travels cross-country to interview 24 crafters in their homes, improvised studios or shops. Most are women, but there are male quilters and printmakers as well. Some are self-taught, others are university trained and others have fled formal art media. Some sew clothes or bind books, and others focus on hand-printed rock band posters and bottle cap jewelry. Levine's film explores how they have become small business owners with the autonomy of artists and the aura of misfits and rebels. Guerilla promotion methods include one woman's music video with a band playing while she works, and a group of knitters marking Houston signs and lampposts with signature color patches. Levine will attend the screening. There will be a market from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring members from several local craft associations including the New Orleans Craft Mafia (an event co-sponsor), Krewe Do Craft, Handmade Louisiana and others. Free admission. — Will Coviello

Handmade Nation

7 p.m. Fri., Sept. 18

Delgado Community College, Student Life Center, Lac Maurepas Room, second floor, off Navarre Street; www.handmadenationmovie.com or www.neworleanscraftmafia.com