Ulla-Maaria, aka HobbyPrincess presented at a recent conference about how crafting and technology connect. She came up with the Draft Craft Manifesto for the rise and rise of crafting. She really hit the nail on the head with it, and it’s really interesting to see the idea and concept of craft blogging now circling the techie blogs, as well as various people reflecting on the conference presentation and her ideas.

I thought I would address those points of the manifesto that touched me most, as these are the very reasons why I started Folkology and why I wish to make Hungarian needlecrafts more well known among crafters around the world. (Quotes are from Ulla’s draft manifesto.)

“2. The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can’t see.”

I think this one needs no explanation. For me, stitching these wonderful folk art designs means that I am preserving the very heritage that my grandmothers and great-grandmothers left for me. The satisfaction of a finished piece that I made with my two hands is an unparalleled experience. Designing and building a website is a creative process as well, but I found that the satisfaction from a finished site just doesn’t come close to the result of good old handiwork. (I am not trying to be snobbish here, it’s just how I experience the two creative processes.) This difference may very well stem from the magic powers that Ulla mentions.

“3. The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.”

As a strong advocate of sustainable consumption, this point is very important to stress. If more people made, bought and used products and items that are made for the long run, the world would be a better place. (Or if you subscribe to the more pessimistic environmental viewpoint, the world will actually get a chance to survive.)

“6. Work inspires work. Seeing what other people have made generates new ideas and designs”

Folkology came to be because I’ve been inspired by the thousands of crafting peasant women, the crafters in my own family, most notably my two grandmothers, and I can’t imagine letting the legacy of these women slip away so easily. Most of the Folkology patterns are original folk art designs from Hungary, and some of them are my own creations, based on folk art motifs found in traditional patterns.

Besides the folk art traditions of my home country, I find great inspiration in scandinavian designers’ works. Take a trip to IKEA and look at some of their textile designs, no doubt inspired by swedish folk textiles. (Coincidence or not, one of the IKEA designers I admire, Katarina Brieditis is part of the team behind Doredo, the swedish craft group mentioned by Ulla-Maaria in the conference presentation.)

I read at least 6 craft blogs daily as well, because there are incredibly talented crafters out there and blogs give them an outlet to show off their work, inspire others, who then in turn inspire them. It’s a wonderful process. Not only inspiring in a design sense, but the daily updates inspire everyday work. Seeing daily progress in others’ projects helps keep the crafting going, and the enthusiasm alive.

“12. At the bottom, crafting is a form of play.”

Exactly. Long live homo ludens!