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A Dude’s Perspective: Men Who Craft

May 30, 2008

by artish

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

artish, a female crafter, took some time to chat with men who craft on Etsy. She wanted to hear their thoughts on the marketplace, crafting and gender. Here’s the latest from the Dude’s Perspective

I’m not ashamed to admit it: I’m one of those people who likes to read your Etsy profile. And I always feel disappointed if there is a yawning blank space at the end where it should say ‘Male/Female, born on…’ And of course while I do applaud all the women who are designing, creating and selling on Etsy, there is some part of me that shouts ‘hoorah!’ when there’s a man behind the store.

Yes, I know it’s 2008 and we are all far too well-educated (aren’t we?) to think that Women’s Work and Men’s Work and the difference between them still exists. But the fact is, some stereotypes still prevail. So here I am celebrating the men of Etsy. They bravely knit, sew, forge, appliqué, cut, sculpt, draw, paint… the list is endless. But the main thing is that they are out there, designing and creating.

Here are some of my favorites:

Beach Burner Portable Bonfire, a 24 inch Recycled Steel Fire Pit, is a stunning piece of functional art. It was drawn and cut by hand, by artist John T Unger aka johntunger. At first glance, you could say that John’s art is a ‘masculine’ one. It’s all about steel, fire, and sharp edges. However, John says, “…I’ve also done very delicate, subtle work that wouldn’t have any obvious gender bias or reference. One of the projects I’d really like to do at some point is glass mosaics of Georgia O’Keefe’s flower paintings (because the shading of the glass would equal her subtlety with a brush)…”

John jokingly talks about Etsy as the ultimate dating site — what better place for creative, talented people to find each other? Sorry ladies, he’s taken.

Matte aka matteart has been painting for a living for 13 years. His paintings and prints are original and modern. He has a wonderful illustrative style, and I adore his bear monsters.

He acknowledges there are a lot of both women and men who work in similar mediums — so his focus is on promoting himself and running his shop well.

I love this Time Travel clock! Eric aka IMOTIME proves that you can make a clock out of absolutely anything. I find his clocks really interesting and imaginative. According to Eric, the fact that the majority of people who visit his shop are women does affect what he makes and how he writes his descriptions.

He finds it humorous that some people make assumptions and refer to his store by saying “she makes clocks from…"

Craig aka cubistliterature does a lot of knitting and sewing — and not surprisingly, he has noticed that people have certain ideas about his choice of medium. He says “…certain crafts (e.g. knitting, sewing — even making yarn) are regarded as being either male or female… what I DO care about is the fact that we still think like this, that we still buy into the whole gender roles mindset.”
I find his shirts particularly interesting because of the way he uses language and plays with words. And who can resist red fingerless gloves? Not I.

Craig says “what I’d really like to say is that I want there to be MORE males out there doing those things considered ‘female’. (And the same goes for the women, too! Get out there and do something ‘masculine’!) I don’t want to be one of a few guys on Etsy — and I especially don’t want to be one of a few guys of THOSE few guys who knows how to knit and sew and spin yarn. It’s time to get past these old-school notions of gender roles. Let’s move forward! It’d make things so much more interesting.”

For some strange reason there are still stereotypes. Here’s to breaking them down! The desire to create something — isn’t that what it all comes down to? So come on all you Real Men out there… show us what you’re made of!

Further Resources:
www.matteart.blogspot.com/
www.johntunger.com/
imotime.com/default.aspx
cubistliterature.com/
www.craftypod.com/?p=439 (men who craft, BLOG)
www.craftzine-digital.com/craft/vol03/?pg=58&search=men+who+craft&u1=texterity&cookies=1 (seven men who craft)

 

27 comments

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts said 12 years ago

    Dude.

  • Artsy

    Artsy said 12 years ago

    Just wanted to add one of etsy's finest males.. http://johnwgolden.etsy.com

  • tortillagirl

    tortillagirl said 12 years ago

    Dude! I'm in awe of that beach burner. Amazing. P.S. khphillips is one of my absolute favorites. Talented and an extremely nice seller, to boot; I'll be purchasing more from him in the future. I see him on the front page but not here. http://www.khphillips.etsy.com

  • johnwgolden

    johnwgolden said 12 years ago

    Thanks Artsy! One of Etsy's finest females ! I'm down with khphillips too! Hmmm...there is a strong North Carolina flavor to these comments. Great crop of males! Love Matteart's stuff. Figures I am visiting Birmingham after he's moved to New Etsyland, er I mean Portland :)

  • Xenotees

    Xenotees said 12 years ago

    Westernartglass: http://www.westernartglass.etsy.com/ One of my favorite male crafters here! He spins recycled beer & wine bottles into incredible glass creations! He also has the best descriptions! Wonderful idea for an article!

  • strawberrykisses

    strawberrykisses said 12 years ago

    www.TrisHankDesign.etsy.com Incredibly nice and helpful and fun to work with! I love their designs!!!

  • CubistLiterature

    CubistLiterature said 12 years ago

    I like Cubist Literature.

  • johnwgolden

    johnwgolden said 12 years ago

    I too like Cubist Literature. :)

  • westernartglass

    westernartglass said 12 years ago

    is cubist literature like a spam sandwich--chopped up abstracted stuff? excuse me--i've gotta take my lobster fer a stroll...whheeeee!!?!

  • CaprichosDePapel

    CaprichosDePapel said 12 years ago

    I luvs me some etsy dudes! &hearts

  • Artsy

    Artsy said 12 years ago

    Another one of the boys http://gush.etsy.com

  • JesseMosher

    JesseMosher said 12 years ago

    Hey nice to see so many etsy men around -This is Jesse's girlfriend here -I practically run this shop as he just paints --but now that I can show him oh so many atlented men on here --He should be pleased ! Great idea ! Nice choices ........... from a still semi new etsy shop here with a male ARTIST ...........

  • Xjaeva

    Xjaeva said 12 years ago

    Wow, I didn't even know dudes were on etsy...sweet! My simple minded girlishness I suppose. I love the clocks!! Especially the baby doll one that was already sold :( There was a super nifty porch grill that kicked booty. I can't say enough about all the people and products on Etsy.

  • johnclark

    johnclark said 12 years ago

    Way to go, us.

  • IWillFly

    IWillFly said 12 years ago

    Guys who sew are sexxxxy!

  • binarywinter

    binarywinter said 12 years ago

    <--The girl parts do the inspiring, the boy parts do all the crafting. i did learn it all from my moms though so I guess its full circle.

  • BlackStarBeads

    BlackStarBeads said 12 years ago

    Great article! I'd like to add two of my favorite Etsy old timers: http://www.scarfguy.etsy.com http://www.http://www.canadianwoodcrafts.etsy.com

  • BlackStarBeads

    BlackStarBeads said 12 years ago

    that would be: http://canadianwoodcrafts.etsy.com

  • tortillagirl

    tortillagirl said 12 years ago

    P.S. I learned how to knit after my husband taught me how to cast on my very first stitches. Guys who knit are cool.

  • raghousenternational

    raghousenternational said 12 years ago

    Awesome article. I have an old article about men who knitted in the 1920's. It was quite interesting. Tons a men sewed before and played a great role in the invention of many things even women undergarments!

  • artish

    artish said 12 years ago

    I am LOVING these links to male artists. I'm going to go browsing now...

  • FallenRoses

    FallenRoses said 12 years ago

    I love to see men doing 'crafts.' Its a whole other world from the regular jobs out there. Personally, I think expressing yourself in a medium such as Handmade items or art is incredibly sexy ;)

  • leolucaescobar

    leolucaescobar said 12 years ago

    I love Coyotealert, it's so nice to see a guy shop, really. Cool shirts girls can buy for bf's.

  • jewelrybyreshell

    jewelrybyreshell said 12 years ago

    The Beach burner was amazing. Loved it. Hats off to the Dudes. Pk

  • ApplewoodHandwovens

    ApplewoodHandwovens said 11 years ago

    Great burners... all of them! Glad ETSY is so rich with diversity!!

  • visualcreatures

    visualcreatures said 11 years ago

    Johntunger...that is one serious craft! I love your work!

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