For the obstinately uncrafty not in the know, Etsy is the biggest force in independent craftsman and craftswomanship in the world, listing and selling millions of items every month. Or, if you are more of a visual learner, on Etsy you can buy this ice cream cozy:
Or this octopus arm sculpture:
Part of what drives Etsy is its close feeling of community—of being able to visit an artist’s Etsy store and learn about her or him or them through the seller’s hobbies and talents. To that end, Etsy holds in-person craft parties all over the world, and PeaTiX was honored to help organize one of these craft bacchanalias…cracchanalias. At any rate, sellers, buyers and those “just looking” come together for one of the craftiest events of the year.
Bringing something machine made to an Etsy craft party is like bringing bacon flavored beer to an inter-religious Ramadan Seder. Everything and all things at the party were handmade: witness the intensely fun nametags below.
The Fabrication Cafe, or FabCafe, is a storied and integral part of the Etsy craft party. Attendees could casually wander into the FabCafe, refresh themselves with a drink, and try their hand at, wait for it…a laser cutter.
A Casual Time
The workshop was conducted in parallel at several tables, and one was able to roam casually from table to table, connecting with instructors at each station. Some clearly had more talent in the craft field than others, but an atmosphere of helpfulness prevailed, with the craftier helping the less craft gifted.
From the pictures below you can get a good idea of the sort of things that come out of a craft party. Here we see a travel journal born of the natural craft of one of the PeaTiX staff, who, miraculously, had not used glue since elementary school. Which probably contributed to why he finished last (not that it was a speed contest).
By experiencing the creation of a craft with the seller, attendees of the craft party were able to more deeply and tangibly understand a seller’s trade and products. Physical, face-to-face community gatherings are crucial for the preservation of our humanity in the internet age, and Etsy is a trailblazing model in that respect. We very much look forward to the next time we can get in touch with our inner elementary school and use lasers simultaneously. To crafts!