Saturday, 19 January 2008

Creating a Craft Guerrilla

The "Craft Guerrilla" was born out of a conversation between two
disillusioned artists and friends, Deborah Daniel and Ellen Jones.
After years of renting stalls in various well known markets and associating with local craft groups, both decided that it was time for a change, time to step up the pace and "attack" from another angle. AND so the MANIFESTO was born. It's an idealism with regeneration, recycling, sharing and the revaluation of the hand made movement at heart. We're looking to promote our ideals by hosting events in unused spaces and liven things up a bit by hosting fun, lively events open to everyone! We want to show people the true value of hand made, hand crafted, high quality designed goods through our ethos of shared knowledge and experience gained by working with other creative individuals.

"It's really difficult to run a creative business. You end up doing less of the making bit and end up doing more or the selling, advertising, PR, accounting, chasing up payments etc. It becomes too hard and also boring for just one person and that's why we thought that if we were doing the hard work anyway then could join forces with other like minded people, get everyone involved, networking and sharing our goals. You can learn so much from each other!
Also it's really disappointing when you join a supposed craft GROUP and you end up doing a hell of a lot for the group as a whole and in the end you have other people blatantly taking the credit! The credit is unimportant but it's key to feel appreciated and not feel like someone's taken advantage of your good will and community principals which I absolutely respect and beleive in!
BUT things have a tendency to fall into place naturally and things that are deemed as "a waste of time" just seem to fall off the radar. We want to make things fair, create our own opportunities not just for ourselves but for everyone involved with the Craft Guerrilla. The idea of starting up a collective CRAFT ARMY is something that really gets us excited! I (Deborah) make "Kawaii Noir" creatures and Ellen is a Jeweller. So as crafts people and artists we can understand how others too want to make a living from their own work. We've also been at it for a long time and through experience know how important it is to share the work load,the ideas and invaluable experience.
The mission of the "Craft Guerrilla" is to learn, make and work in the company of other creative people. The East London bit is because that's where we are based and so to give others the chance to start up their own local Craft Guerrilla Groups and join the collective. It's socialism in principal but with a difference as we completely except that each individual has his or her own needs, expectations and ambitions ...we're just providing a platform!"

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