Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Madness - Crafting is not just for women

Crafting seems to have gotten a reputation of being only for women - not true!  I keep trying to figure out how this happened.  Is it because men have traditionally worked outside the home while the women managed family life and had time on their hands for making things?  Are men just shy about promoting themselves?

This subject has come up several times in our household.  Cricut Man enjoys being creative, but doesn't want to be linked to things that are usually linked to women.  For example, we attended a scrapbooking expo and it was dominated by women.  Neither one of us is into scrapbooking, but we use a lot of supplies that scrappers use.  Still, it was uncomfortable for guys to be in that crowd.  Using a machine like the Cricut Expression isn't limited to women.  Men like to use it, but first they have to get access to it.  I love this video of 2 Guys, a Cricut, and a Folding Chair.

Men have their own forms of creativity.  When a project needs some mechanical ability, I always go to my hubby for help.  He seems to be able to see patterns, take things apart mentally, and recreate them.  I remember taking the ASVAB test in high school and being completely overwhelmed by the section where you have to match a 3-D image of a form to an unfolded/deconstructed version of the same form.  Honor roll student, but couldn't figure out what some box looked like when unfolded and laid flat.

Etsy is comprised of a very diverse group of sellers from all corners of the world, a variety of backgrounds, cultures, religions, income levels, and experiences.  Still, men are extremely underrepresented on Etsy.  The Men of Etsy Team reports that as few as 4% of Etsy sellers are men. Surprising!  Some of the more interesting creations you can find on Etsy are made by men.  Are they just teamed up with a wife, girlfriend, or other lady to have an Etsy shop (as is the case for my hubby) or are guys scared of the Etsy environment?

You will see this trend in the blogging world as well.  I was happy to find this blog called "1 Crafty Guy" where the blogger, Brett Lund, not only shows off his crafting skills, but is unafraid to tackle craft projects most men might avoid (glitter eggs, shrink art jewelry, and Cricut projects).  There are men who quilt, men who knit, and men who make sew.  In fact, one of the most amazing tatters I've stumbled across is a dude!  He goes by Tat Man and he is a talented artisan and pattern designer.

Maybe its time to share the sewing machine, Cricut, needles, hooks, and shuttles with the men in our lives and see what they come up with.  They shouldn't feel less manly for using knitting needles rather than needle nose pliers.  Not only will you get a fresh new perspective on crafting, but you will have more to talk about as you develop some shared interests.  Maybe your dude will help you overcome a stumbling block in your own projects or tackle a skill you just couldn't master.  I've enjoyed being in the handmade business with my husband and all the time we spend bouncing ideas off each other.

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