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Nothing says love like a skull and crossbones tea cozy: Crafting contemporary subversive handcrafts

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Subversive crafters portray feminist messaging within stereotypically non-feminist (e.g. domestic) items. They express irreverence, politics and a culture of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) practices embodying irony, sarcasm, parody and humour. Drawing on 44 North American interviews and participant observations, we explore how subversive crafts and crafters exist outside of the traditional gendered domestic context. We discuss how socio-political and sociocultural visual imagery in subversive crafts plays a role in defining contemporary handcraft culture.

Keywords: DIY; craft-fiti; crafting circle; craftivism; cross stitch; grandma; handcrafters; subversive craft

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Michigan State University, USA 2: University of Northern Iowa, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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  • The aim of Craft Research is to advocate and promote current and emerging craft research, including research into materials, processes, methods, concepts, aesthetic and style. This may be in any discipline area of the applied arts and crafts, including craft education.
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