Home » INSPIRATION FRIDAY: Faythe Levine


Faythe Levine is the mastermind behind the film and book, Handmade Nation. The project is wildly popular – it has even been covered by The New York Times! With screenings taking place all over the country, I was bummed that Phoenix had yet to be included. That changed last month when Cindy Dach from Changing Hands told me the good news that she, with some other art groups in town, would bring the film here in my hood!

If you live in the Phoenix area, please come by this weekend and support the do-it-yourself movement. And if not, keep an ear out for HN in your own area!

Time: Saturday, May 2, 2009 2:00 p.m.
Location: Modified Arts, 407 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Today’s craft world is no longer simply about cross-stitching samplers or painting floral scrolls on china. It has emerged as a marriage between historical technique, punk culture, and DIY ethos, also influenced by traditional handiwork, modern aesthetics, politics, feminism, and art. The heart of the new wave of craft is community. Participants share ideas and encouragement through websites, boutiques, galleries, and craft fairs. Together they have forged a new economy and lifestyle based on creativity, determination, and networking. Faythe Levine has traveled 19,000 miles to document the handmade scene in the film Handmade Nation, and she and Cortney Heimerl bring together the raw, fresh, and radical results in this comprehensive companion book, Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design. For those who are a part of the emerging handmade nation, or just interested in viewing it from afar, this book is an essential introduction. This weekend, Levine presents two screenings of Handmade Nation, at 2pm on Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3rd, both at Phoenix’s Modified Arts, 407 E. Roosevelt. Cost: $10 door charge. More info: 602.256.6233.

Here is my interview with Faythe about her journey, followed by the movie trailer.

What are three things people will takeaway from this? People have told me they feel inspired to make, creatively empowered and have a new found respect for makers.

What made you push on to complete the project? From the very beginning of production my intention was to capture the excitement and energy coming out of the DIY craft community. This need to document what was happening kept me focused the entire time through production and during editing. Also the continual support of the community was incredibly helpful!

What is the most unexpected result? Even though I realized there was a market for this film since there was a lot of interest during production I wasn’t expecting the response and interest that has surround both the film and book. The opportunities to travel, meet new people and connect with a larger audience has been amazing.

After the tour ends, what is your next project? Cortney and I are discussing the possibility of another book, there are ideas for additional film projects and I am ready for a minute of R&R!

What is the range of crafters in your movie, the criteria for choosing them? Can you share a couple of highlights? There are all types of people represented in Handmade Nation from hobby based makers to full time working artists. I wanted to show that the DIY community is composted of all types of people working within a variety of mediums. A few highlights include Huston TX based Knitta that takes knitted pieces out to the streets and does “knitted graffiti” as well as in depth interviews with people like Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching and Andrew Wagner of American Craft Magazine.

Did you make films before this project? I had a few years of experience working on commercials and music videos but Handmade Nation was my first time directing and working on a feature length film. There is definitely interest in making another film, however, at this point it depends on funding. My dream project is to put together a traveling show that would be in museums and galleries featuring the work of makers coming out of this community, stay tuned for that, it’s in the works!

(NOTE: There is a shot of a latchhook rug of a naked lady in there, so don’t be alarmed when you see the chi-chis!) Click here if you can’t see the video.

Peace, love, and glitter!
Kathy 🙂

P.S. Check out my new book and product line!

SIGNAGE: Tools for Sale!

Linocuts and block printing tutorial


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