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Caroline Casey: How Handmade Goods Change the World

Oct 20, 2012

by Karen Brown

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

For sixteen years, listeners of Caroline Casey’s Visionary Activist radio show have come to depend on this deep-voiced, raucously funny, profoundly reverent “weaver of context” for news and perspectives on social change, politics, and global culture. She has provided commentary for ABC, CNN, CBS, Fox News, and NPR, and been featured in People magazine and the Washington Post, and is a featured speaker at this year’s Bioneers conference, the largest environmental conference in North America. We spoke about culture, beauty, sustainability, and Etsy.

Karen: Hi, Caroline.

Caroline: Greetings, Ally Karen!

Karen: When I was a guest on your show talking about handmade, I received so many calls and emails, even from other countries, that I thought it would be nice to continue the conversation here on Etsy.

Caroline: It was one of our most popular shows.

Karen: No, really?

Caroline: So popular. It was completely tangible and then got big and universal.

Karen: Well, great! So let’s continue… when we make something by hand, of course we are making a beautiful object, but what else could we say we are doing?

Caroline:  Well… we can say that the major task before us is restoring intimacy to the world, most especially our intimacy with the Earth. And all art is inherently intimate and collaborative, even when you think you’re working alone. For example, the needle meets the thread and then together they both meet the cloth. It’s a kind of intimacy. When you’re doing it consciously, it’s even more powerful. That’s Venus’s presence. Venus is all about art, beauty, love, and reverence for life.

Karen: This is reminds me of Natalie Chanin, when she talks about loving her thread. She says the fibers in sewing thread are held together with tension and torque, but all that tension is what makes thread tangle. So Natalie threads her needle and strokes her thread over and over before sewing – loving it. And while she loves it, she thinks about how beautiful the garment will be and how beautiful the wearer will look when she wears it and how good she will feel, and that it will be the most beautiful garment ever made. And in the process of getting “loved” the thread relaxes and won’t tangle anymore.

Caroline: Exactly. Everything in the world is literal and everything is metaphoric at the same time. You weave the blessing into the thing. Magic is a willingness to cooperate with everything – even tangled thread. When we cooperate with the universe we needn’t fear because “cooperators are standing by.”  And this is how magic and pragmatism are wedded.

Karen: For me, handmade also reminds me that we can accomplish a lot in tiny little steps, even one stitch at a time.

Caroline: You know the old saying: “Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch?” We might think, “Oh I can’t do this big thing, I can’t make real clothes with my own two hands,” or even, “Why vote, my vote doesn’t count,” but that’s just a trick of the reality police to render you non-participatory.

Karen: There are so many lessons in the practice of using your hands. And so many stories.

Caroline: Stories, yes. Handmade things will feed your ancient soul because everything has a story, the story of the maker and then the story of the person who receives the work. By making handmade things, we’re tapping a force that says we’re not destined to accept what fate has assigned us. We want to make things because it’s a way of changing our lives. The marketplace is not meant to be this deadening Walmart thing, but a vibrant cultural exchange, and I think Etsy is changing things as part of a cultural renaissance. In the Middle East, the top blessing, the best thing you can say to someone is, “May the divine bless your hands that have made such beauty.” It’s the impulse to create that invites that divine power in.

Karen: I was reading Anthony Bourdain – yes, chef Anthony Bourdain – and he said that cooking is both very creative and very repetitive and our culture often treats “creative” and “repetitive” as if they were opposites. But it seems to me that most forms of art have elements that are both creative and repetitive because the arts require such profound dedication, whether it’s the intricately knitted sweater, or the musical instrument that must be practiced every day, or all those loved stiches.

Caroline: Well you know, you’re talking about rhythm. Rhythm invites dedication and just like the repetition of weaving, it weaves us back into wholeness in the world. And there is freedom and safety in wholeness. A while back, some social scientists interviewed prisoners – muggers and robbers – and showed them video of people walking down the street. The prisoners told the scientists that anyone with an arhythmic walk would be vulnerable, but anyone with a strong rhythmic walk they would leave alone.  So handcrafts are an outward expression of inner wholeness and the rhythms that can sustain and protect us. Anything done rhythmically with dedication helps feed the heart. If we can find our own rhythm, we could heal our personal economy, and take part in healing the economy of the world.

Karen: And have fun while we do it?

Caroline: Do you think fun is optional?

Karen: Interesting, because on Etsy, sometimes an item becomes popular with the community just because it’s fun. It will become a favorite – almost a meme – because it is funny or witty or just insanely original.

Caroline: Humor and wit are like a kind of leadership. We see models of leadership like that in animals. For example, wolf culture is not based on dominance as was once thought. We know now that the alpha wolf is the charismatic one who invites everyone in the pack into creative play. And you can identify an alpha wolf within 10 days of birth because it is the cub in the litter with the lowest resting heart rate. The calmest, coolest wolf turns out to be the most charismatic, the most fun. It’s the opposite of road rage. This says, “No, thank you,” to models of leadership and influence based on authority and empire-building. So it’s not a surprise that the wittiest and coolest things on Etsy are loved by the community. They bring out the creative spirit. It’s the spirit of “Woof, woof, want to play?”

Karen: So it’s serious fun.

Caroline: As my dear friend David Grimes says, “If we’re not having fun, we’re just not serious enough.”

Who should Karen interview next? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

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4 Featured Comments

  • buttonsandstars

    Clare Mountain from xThreadBEARx said 3 years ago Featured

    I really enjoyed reading this article. It's as though Caroline put into words all of those feelings inside of my heart when I create something; I can never truly express the beauty of creating. Handmade items are empowering. It makes people realise that they are powerful human beings, absolutely capable of producing something bigger than themselves with their own two hands.

  • fbstudiovt

    Laura Hale from FoundBeautyStudioArt said 3 years ago Featured

    "The calmest, coolest wolf turns out to be the most charismatic, the most fun." Love this so much. I appreciate this space for dialogue about the nature of the work we all do. So often when those of us who are sole proprietors of artisan and craft businesses get together, all we talk about is how to gain exposure, what sales rates are like, which boutiques are worth biting the wholesale bullet for, what upcoming shows are worth the vendor fee, and we completely ignore the more esoteric conversations about the worth of our work. We get so stuck in the business realm, we forget about the intrinsic magic of our work - that we are creating beautiful and useful objects out of nothing. If that's not magic, I don't know what is!

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 3 years ago Featured

    Hi everyone, Thanks for your many lovely comments. I am so interested in what you have to say, and I'd love to know about anyone else -- and I mean ANYONE -- you might want to see interviewed on Etsy. Talking to Caroline for me was about opening up the conversation to new perspectives and honoring handmade in the broadest, liveliest context possible. So please do let me know who else you might want to hear from, and what you would like to hear about, and I'll see whether they will talk to me! Love you, Karen

  • FlowerMoundEscape

    Melinda from FlowerMoundEscape said 3 years ago Featured

    This has to be my favorite article so far! I love creating different things. It brings a satisfaction like no other to see someone enjoy something that I have made. I can't imagine a time where that will ever change.

121 comments

  • buttonsandstars

    Clare Mountain from xThreadBEARx said 3 years ago Featured

    I really enjoyed reading this article. It's as though Caroline put into words all of those feelings inside of my heart when I create something; I can never truly express the beauty of creating. Handmade items are empowering. It makes people realise that they are powerful human beings, absolutely capable of producing something bigger than themselves with their own two hands.

  • PolishMeFreddy

    Alfredo Ramos from PolishMeFreddy said 3 years ago

    Caroline Casey reminds me of a teacher I had at FIDM that truly inspired me. I love this article, thank you so much for sharing <3

  • bosquecarpentry

    Gabriel Montes from bosquecarpentry said 3 years ago

    This article has inspired me to change my profile description from what and how to why. I agree with everything Karen said, but I can add one thing, my commitment to my family. It is not just providing money, but being there. As my family is getting much older, handmade first means being there for my family when they need me the most.

  • Angeline222

    Angelina from Angeline222 said 3 years ago

    Great Interview!....I think CAROLINE said it best, when she said this:..."Handmade things will feed your ancient soul because everything has a story, the story of the maker and then the story of the person who receives the work...".....Anyhow, .TXS so much for this Article , KAREN!....Sincerely, Angie

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 3 years ago

    Wonderful interview from a wonderful woman, thank you so much for highlighting Caroline & helping to bring her wisdom to even more people!

  • CiaraRebello

    Ciara Rebello from CiaraRebello said 3 years ago

    So inspiring. Thank you!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 3 years ago

    Such a great article to read :) Very inspiring!

  • ChilliPeppa

    ChilliPeppa from ChilliPeppa said 3 years ago

    A beautiful interview, I get so sad when I hear comments about how 'cheap' it is to give handmade gifts, so much goes into every item we make, every little bit of our heart and soul. We are all artists. chilli x

  • brooksbarrow

    brooks barrow from brooksbarrow said 3 years ago

    Great Read - thank You!

  • fernfiddlehead

    Fern from fernfiddlehead said 3 years ago

    Enjoyed this.

  • TigerLiliGems

    Julia Berg from PetiteMortShop said 3 years ago

    Thank you for this article, it is so true - the importance of this kind of marketplace to restore our trust, it makes me feel proud to have a shop here :))

  • smeastman

    Sally Eastman from smeastman said 3 years ago

    Thank you - this is a wonderful interview with some truly profound insights. This type of information sharing is one of the many, many, many reasons that I love the Etsy community so much.

  • idestudiet

    Pia from idestudiet said 3 years ago

    What a wonderful interview! Totally LOVE it. Thank you so much for sharing. ♥

  • corilu

    Kathy from CoriluDesigns said 3 years ago

    Wonderful read :) Very inspiring and well said.

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 3 years ago

    This is a very interesting and enlightening interview.

  • VandaFashion

    Vanda Fashion from VandaFashion said 3 years ago

    So inspiring! I love the dress :)

  • CraftyMrsP

    Jayne Potter from CraftyMrsP said 3 years ago

    wow how true....makes me feel all fuzzy inside...brill read lovely x

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 3 years ago

    Great article there is something so magical about creating it helps me to relax and stay centered and I feel so true and so authentic when I'm creating. We need more articles like this one it helps us to remember.

  • fbstudiovt

    Laura Hale from FoundBeautyStudioArt said 3 years ago Featured

    "The calmest, coolest wolf turns out to be the most charismatic, the most fun." Love this so much. I appreciate this space for dialogue about the nature of the work we all do. So often when those of us who are sole proprietors of artisan and craft businesses get together, all we talk about is how to gain exposure, what sales rates are like, which boutiques are worth biting the wholesale bullet for, what upcoming shows are worth the vendor fee, and we completely ignore the more esoteric conversations about the worth of our work. We get so stuck in the business realm, we forget about the intrinsic magic of our work - that we are creating beautiful and useful objects out of nothing. If that's not magic, I don't know what is!

  • ArtDecoDame

    Desiree from ArtDecoDame said 3 years ago

    Great interview!Love her hair and her attitude.

  • RenataandJonathan

    Renata and Jonathan from RenataandJonathan said 3 years ago

    great interview, great quote ;“If you’re not having fun, you’re just not serious enough.” :)

  • mlezcano

    Mary Lezcano from BellaBboutique said 3 years ago

    Handmade all the way! We all put bits of ourselves, our energy, into the items we make. It's so important to me to share not just my items but with it the "good juju" that it carries because I've made something with love.

  • 4EnvisioningVintage

    Tracy from 4EnvisioningVintage said 3 years ago

    Beautiful described and so agree with ~ "If we can find our own rhythm, we could heal our personal economy, and take part in healing the economy of the world."

  • lovelyfeverboutique

    Jessica from LovelyFever said 3 years ago

    This was such an inspiring interview. The spirituality behind handmade should be discussed,as I know that all people who create can relate to it. The intimacy the creator has with his or her materials is powerful. The process of making something with your hands and consciously loving it all the way through is the difference between an object made in a factory.

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 3 years ago

    all the magic words, such a lovely interview - thank u :)

  • dbabcock

    Deb Babcock from BlueSkyPotteryCO said 3 years ago

    I loved reading this interview. It was so thoughtful and put into words how I feel about making things and using things handmade. Thank you.

  • WhisperingOak

    Quality Handmade Items from WhisperingOak said 3 years ago

    Love the interview! Creating is so intimate, makes you vulnerable. From the moment you choose your materials and appreciate the color, texture, shine, origin to the moment wher idea comes to reality and you present it to the world to see. Then for a second you think "does anybody like it" If nobody does it doesn't matter. You still love your creation.

  • RetrofitBecky

    Becky from RetrofitStyle said 3 years ago

    I really needed to read this today! Thanks so much for the uplifting and inspiring article! Wonderful people and beautifully written.

  • Attractive1

    Elena Fom from Attractive1 said 3 years ago

    Very interesting and useful!! Thanks!

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 3 years ago

    This is a WONDERFUL article♥♥

  • fizzlegiggle

    Jessyka Barton from fizzlegiggle said 3 years ago

    I thoroughly enjoyed the part about loving the thread until it wouldn't tangle. It's so important to show that kind of appreciation for the things we use to create so in the end it will be all about giving love to another person in the creation you're giving them.

  • Meliorey

    Mercedes from Meliorey said 3 years ago

    Oh, I didn't know that about wolves! They are fantastic, very cool! ♥

  • MaggiePainting

    Maggie Flatley from MaggiePainting said 3 years ago

    Enjoyed this, very inspirational.

  • alangood

    alangood said 3 years ago

    Karen! Thanks for a great and inspiring interview. I find caroline Casey to be a truly unique and original voice in the wilderness of these "interesting times" we live in.

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 3 years ago

    Great article and work!

  • dressupalice

    Nansea Jane from Pepperbelle said 3 years ago

    Thank you! this article was encouraging and empowering and I love Caroline's outlook on life, intimacy and the importance of being creative for individuals and for the world. Nansea

  • GardenofYve

    Danielle Yve from GardenofYve said 3 years ago

    well put!

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 3 years ago

    Cool! Thanks for sharing.

  • fiordalis

    fiordalis from fiordalis said 3 years ago

    Fantastic interview. Caroline Casey, I love your way of thinking, also love my needle and thread! Mari

  • paramountvintage

    kristin from blackmoonsky said 3 years ago

    what a lovely article. i love david grimes quote!

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 3 years ago

    Inspiring!

  • kathiroussel

    kathi roussel from kathiroussel said 3 years ago

    Love the thinking here! Beautiful inspiration and wisdom-- thanks to Caroline and Karen for a wonderful post!

  • PiperPixie

    Piper Pixie from PiperPixieDesigns said 3 years ago

    Wow....totally inspired right now. I love what I do and I need to let people know that I don't do this just for income but because I love it and I have a deep appreciation for my creative talents. Thank you so much for this article. Loved it!

  • PhenomenalLove

    Dawn from PhenomenalLove said 3 years ago

    Thank you for bringing this moment to Light, the magical moment of inspired creation. For giving each of us who has read this article a deeper awareness. How are work is not only an outcome; this interview for me is a celebration of how love manifests into beauty and then changes the world. I have been a part of the Etsy artisans for almost a year now and it makes me feel privileged to be amongst such amazing people.

  • silviaberrios1

    Silvia Berrios from DesignsbySilvia said 3 years ago

    Very inspiring interview about the handmade movement. For me it's so true about having fun, together with love and care when I am making my items. I feel so conneccted to the earth, especially when I am working with my organic seed beads. BTW, lovely photo of Caroline Casey wearing a beautiful top in vibrant colors.

  • LoisGaylord

    Lois Gaylord from LoisGaylord said 3 years ago

    YES! YES! YES!!! This was so beautifully written. I've been struggling with how to say many of these things. I especially loved this quote: "Everything in the world is literal and everything is metaphoric at the same time. You weave the blessing into the thing." This is my goal with what I call 'ceremonial cloths'. This is where I am now focusing my work. Thank you to both Caroline and Karen for such clarity and inspiration. Blessings.

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 3 years ago

    Great interview. I love what Caroline says about art being intimate, and I agree....the handmade, loved creation that travels from maker to the person that chose it stands in stark contrast to the mass-made, plastic-encased thing we often purchase at the big-box-mart. As an artist and maker, I love the feeling of timelessness and soul-stillness that occurs when I am deep in the process of creating. I call it The Zone, which I think of as an inner dialogue between myself and my work. This is where physical materials are transformed into a new creation which carries an infusion of my own soul, I believe. It's almost like giving birth! I hope she is right about the cultural renaissance, and I hope it continues to expand.

  • littleyellowcanoe

    Katrina Mason from CuttingPixels said 3 years ago

    I wish that homemade gifts weren't looked down upon. What means more, money spent at some store on something made in china, or a handmade gift the maker spent hours on?

  • bonjourpoupette

    Sofie Skein from BonjourPoupette said 3 years ago

    This is the sort of article I'll bookmark and read again and again - it is so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 3 years ago

    Great perspective on handmade, its nice to hear how revered makers can be!

  • lucysangster

    Lucy Sangster from UseOrOrnament said 3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! I've set up with the aim of changing the world, in tiny ways too: http://www.useorornament.co.uk/pages/blog/?p=100

  • tamilopez

    Tami Lopez from TamiLopezDesigns said 3 years ago

    I am truly inspired by your thoughts. This is a journey we all share. I am blessed to be part of it. Thank you for wording it all so well!

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 3 years ago

    So inspiring ! Thanks so much !

  • knittingdays

    knittingdays from knittingdays said 3 years ago

    Thank you Karen and Caroline ! You right,it is fun to learn from the creation, there is so much to learn and such a joy. But the most important is that we,humans, need one another more than we realize it.

  • mermaidsboudoir

    mermaidsboudoir from mermaidsboudoir said 3 years ago

    Wow, this lifted me up and gave me hope for humanity, made me laugh, and made me realise that none of us are alone in our creative journey Thank you so much

  • cottonbirddesigns

    Angela Cotton from CottonBirdDesigns said 3 years ago

    Great read!

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 3 years ago Featured

    Hi everyone, Thanks for your many lovely comments. I am so interested in what you have to say, and I'd love to know about anyone else -- and I mean ANYONE -- you might want to see interviewed on Etsy. Talking to Caroline for me was about opening up the conversation to new perspectives and honoring handmade in the broadest, liveliest context possible. So please do let me know who else you might want to hear from, and what you would like to hear about, and I'll see whether they will talk to me! Love you, Karen

  • FireIslandSoap

    Billy Bubbles from FireIslandSoap said 3 years ago

    couldn't help but notice the amazing photography!

  • cyberbelle

    Cybele from cyberbelle said 3 years ago

    Caroline Casey is an amazing thinker/writer. Her book, "Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche," is one of my favorite books. Even if you're not so into astrology (although personally I am!), this book is so rich, fascinating (and fun) because of all the culture, science, history, and heart that she brings into every paragraph. Check it out!

  • MyWisteriaCottage

    MyWisteriaCottage from MyWisteriaCottage said 3 years ago

    Thank you I love both subjects Alabama Chanin and wolves. I did not know about charisma being a requirement for leadership but it makes since. I think I should have as I share my world with dogs.There is always a special dog and you do see as soon as they start playing. Interesting. If humans follow that same pattern, the world would be much nicer. We do not need to conquer. We only waste resources when we do.We need to learn to adapt and charismatic leaders would help us see how to develop that.

  • janicewd

    janicewd from janicewd said 3 years ago

    Great words to inspire all of us. Thank you:)

  • LilyThings

    Elizabeth Lagasse from LillyThings said 3 years ago

    Wonderful Read ! Those who don't "do" Handmade are really missing out! Keep Giving :)

  • heli76

    Heli Burke said 3 years ago

    Wonderful inspiring words!

  • ecologicalartist

    Rebecca Burgess from ecologicalartist said 3 years ago

    Thank you Karen, Thank you Caroline! This is a very powerful piece.. the love of thread is something I resonate with completely. Today I fell in love with my composted indigo leaf as I poured my 2011 crop into a bath of warm alkaline water that I made with hard wood ash from old almond trees whose fallen branches kept me warm all last winter.. every color, every from tells a story.. thank you!

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets said 3 years ago

    Thanks Karen and Caroline! Loved the thought behind creative and repetitive -so true. Keeping with the theme of healing...I would love for you to interview John Jeavons, Karen. He's in Northern CA -you probably already know. And his philosophy is feed yourself, feed your neighbor, and restore the soil, which he estimates taking 30 years -so we better get started : )

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin said 3 years ago

    I enjoyed reading this interview. It and the vibrant posts its brought on really say a lot about how connected we are.

  • gossamer531

    Gossamer Tearoom from TheGossamerTearoom said 3 years ago

    Really tremendous conversation. Thank you for sharing it! There is so much beautiful inspiration and affirmation for artists here. As an artist, I take the concept of bringing something to the world that makes a difference very seriously. I am ashamed of my fellow dwellers on this planet who continue to give their hard-earned money away for cheap, plastic, manufactured items when there are so many people out there who want to sell something that came from their imaginations and their hearts and their own hands. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your reminder of the deeply spiritual side of creativity and its value in life.

  • SusanFaye

    Susan Faye from SusanFayePetProjects said 3 years ago

    Yes, woof woof, Etsy is the funnest playground I've ever been to! Never seen so many alpha artists in all my ding dang life! It definitely feeds my soul.

  • janiceartjewelry

    Janice Hagey-Schmidt from janiceartjewelry said 3 years ago

    Great article! And that dress!! Love it and so want it.

  • Muza

    Muzas Workshop from Muza said 3 years ago

    Thank you Karen and Caroline for sharing your mind with us. I love handmade and hope it changes many lifes for better.

  • KatherineJMariacaS

    Katherine Mariaca-Sullivan from TakenLiterally said 3 years ago

    What a lovely, expressive meditation on creativity. I felt my heart rate slow just reading the words. Thank you!

  • blossomingsutra

    carol meyers from blossomingsutra said 3 years ago

    LOVE Caroline, she is a goddess. Weave blessings into all you create.

  • byKEONA

    Keona from byKEONA said 3 years ago

    This interview.... so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. Caroline speaks the words that have been running through my heart and mind every single time I create. Yes, the handmade movement will make the world more of an "intimate" place.

  • gloriafreshley

    Gloria Freshley from gloriafreshley said 3 years ago

    Wonderful, affirming article. Thanks very much!

  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana said 3 years ago

    Some of the comments were as good as the article. A great read!!!

  • vanessabullick

    Vanessa Bullick from VanessaBullick said 3 years ago

    Such an interesting interview - you have managed to get to the essence of what making is all about - which is something I have always found hard to put into words. I can relate to the rhythm of making you discuss. Thank you. Vanessa

  • BigRockPaperCo

    Melissa Cyrenne from BigRockWeddingFavors said 3 years ago

    So happy I read this. Thanks!

  • bluebirrrddreams

    Sarah Blue from BluebirrrdDreams said 3 years ago

    Aww, as a long time Caroline Casey fan it warms my heart to see her get such an enthusiastic welcome at Etsy. I know that many artists harbor insecurity and fear that their talents are somehow not enough. Not true! Everything you create by hand brings positive energy into the world. Thank you!

  • hanamendes

    Hana Mendes from hanamendesdesign said 3 years ago

    Love this article, thank you! Inspiration to all makers. "May the divine bless your hands that have made such beauty."

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 3 years ago

    Great article! Thanks for the info.

  • BinduDesigns

    Bindhurani Saju from BinduDesigns said 3 years ago

    Thread and needle together meets the cloth and it is intimacy. It is venus....Love that thought. so when I do crochet, my hand and hook together meets the yarn to create love. That is very poetic.

  • messinabella

    messinabella from BandBEstate said 3 years ago

    great article!

  • LaECLECTICa

    LaECLECTICa from Laeclectica said 3 years ago

    Wonderful read, very inspiring!

  • SoxAndPatches

    SoxAndPatches from SoxAndPatches said 3 years ago

    Tremendous article, and assures the artist in all of us, that there is a community of people out there who "get it" and understand the inherent basic need for handmade items in this overly factory-produced world. Great interview - thank you!

  • cberez

    CB DESIGN'S from CBDesignsPR said 3 years ago

    Love the ideas, very inspiring!!!!!

  • tbtcwedding

    Riezl Morgan from tbtcwedding said 3 years ago

    This is true! It's always fun creating my purses because I'm serious and I care so much about my work!

  • Sixoclock

    Helen from Sixoclock said 3 years ago

    Great article! I agree 100%! There's something about handmade that connects on a deeper level.

  • pookdesignz

    Amanda Gwynne-Farrish from pookdesignz said 3 years ago

    This article is so affirming of the creative movement, glad I had a chance to read it!

  • ArtMadeByTammy

    ArtMadeByTammy from ArtMadeByTammy said 3 years ago

    Very inspiring! Thanks!

  • modflo

    modflo from modflo said 3 years ago

    “Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch?” i needed to read this today, thank you, and what a lovely interview.

  • MinaMinette

    Jan Penn from MinaMinette said 3 years ago

    I love the idea of creating being "serious fun"...sometimes more serious and sometimes more fun...

  • erinstaub

    Erin Staub from erinstaub said 3 years ago

    This is the most beautiful argument and one of the strongest statements I've read in a long time. Thank you so so much for making it, and for dedicating your life to it. It means the world to hear these things spoken. Thank you!

  • GlassByKat

    Kat Welch from GlassByKat said 3 years ago

    This is the last thing I'm reading before drifting off to sleep, because I feel such a sense of peace and belonging now. Thank you for these wise, uplifting words.

  • lacunawork

    Hana from lacunawork said 3 years ago

    I had to stick this phrase so my wall... SO true and inspiring! “If you’re not having fun, you’re just not serious enough.” And reminds me of another " If you walk with joy, you can be sure you are walking the right direction "

  • sallyannlivingston

    Sally-Ann Livingston from TheNavigatrix said 3 years ago

    That went straight to my heart, thankyou so much. A spiritually nourishing read.As for who to interview next, I'd love to hear what the much loved Louise Hay has to say on Etsy. She has been a major inspiration to me and I can't imagine my shop being able to manifest without the support and tools I gained from her books.

  • alethiah

    Alethia from FortnersFinds said 3 years ago

    Beautiful article...a great soul feeding for me!

  • Faithopeinspire

    Jody and Terri from FaithHopeInspire said 3 years ago

    Wonderful perspective on handmade. Thank you. I just have to add that the hand knit sweater dress is the most beautiful article of clothing that I have ever seen!

  • jefrist

    Jenna Frist from FristVintage said 3 years ago

    really enjoyed reading this. I WISH i could make something handmade that was wonderful. I enjoy vintage more so I should probably just hang in there, but handmade would be so rewarding (in a totally different way).

  • Woolyburrofibers

    Melissa Bonham from Woolyburrofibers said 3 years ago

    Inspiring! Our creative energy is all connected!

  • mbueb

    Monica Bueb from MonicaBags said 3 years ago

    This has got to be one of my favorite Etsy articles. Thank you, Karen, for your beautiful perspective.

  • FlowerMoundEscape

    Melinda from FlowerMoundEscape said 3 years ago Featured

    This has to be my favorite article so far! I love creating different things. It brings a satisfaction like no other to see someone enjoy something that I have made. I can't imagine a time where that will ever change.

  • Talking1

    Richard - TalkToMeGuy said 3 years ago

    This line from Caroline Casey: "And all art is inherently intimate and collaborative, even when you think you’re working alone." Was so very inspiring to me as I have, in my life, been different forms of artist [food, herbs, talk] and have spent much of those times alone; 'Intimate and collaborative', Yes, so true/powerful! To the author/Karen I love the interview form, I am envisioning more of these 'articles'. Thank You!

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares said 3 years ago

    This was very encouraging. It reminded me to never give up what I enjoy doing and not to do something just because it's trendy or "in", but to make and creative from the soul instead.

  • CoreandMantle

    Alayna from CoreandMantle said 3 years ago

    Lovely article. Very inspiring, thank you.

  • PaperHeartFire

    Emilie Monson from PaperHeartFire said 3 years ago

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, I'm going to put this article on my wall to make sure I read it again and again. It feels like a tuning fork.

  • TaraTaraTara

    Tara Herberger from TaraTaraTara said 3 years ago

    Wonderful topic. Enjoyed the insight!

  • debraannsalat

    DebraAnn Salat from DebraAnnSalat said 3 years ago

    Thank you for reminding me why I do what I do. I'm going through some life changes and feeling like a handmade life cannot sustain me and you have reminded me that sustaining means different things. Perhaps a small change in attitude will make a big difference in living. Thank you for the inspiring words.

  • sbanghart

    Sheena Lewis from BeautifulAgainBridal said 3 years ago

    I often have people say to me "why would I buy (this hand made thing) when this (store bought commercial thing) is so much cheaper - and it always frustrates me that people have lost the understanding of craftsmanship. Making something with your own two hands from materials that you source locally and/or get from fair trade... spending time and literally putting blood, sweat, tears, and love into an item - to me that's worth the extra $ because every time I look at it I see more than just a thing... it tells a story, it is a story.

  • bojacobson

    Bo Jacobson said 3 years ago

    great interview, and a fantastic angle on the total value of handmade. (plus, I had never heard “Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch")

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 3 years ago

    There's a lot of wisdom in your words.

  • allstarorganics

    allstarorganics from allstarorganics said 3 years ago

    Thank you Karen and Caroline for opening up this discussion about the creative impulse. I'm a longtime listener of the Visionary Activist radio program, and it's wonderful to see that world, and the Etsy world, collide. I especially value seeing the hand of the maker in things i use and need. It's the embedded intimacy that I react to. I make products from things we grow on our farm, and I can kind of size up, and appreciate, how much human time is in a garment, tool, or object of desire, by drawing on my own experience. I'm tending a fire right now as part of making our Apple Wood Smoked Salt. It'll take four days to smoke and four more to dry and hand break. I love the smell of the smoke as it curls through the salt.

  • Simag

    SimaG from Simag said 3 years ago

    B E A U T I F U L !!! ♥ Thank you so much for sharing,very encouraging & very inspiring ♥

  • conita01

    Elizzelle from conita01 said 3 years ago

    Very nice, thank you for sharing with us!

  • RainasTextileHse

    Kim Nelson from RainasTextileHouse said 3 years ago

    The sheep made the wool and the woman dyed it, and I found it on Etsy and bought it, and felted it into a warm and colorful seat for a piano where a young woman sits to play beautiful music that the sheep hears as its grazing...and the man while he's spinning, and the mailman too...and her child. Everything is everything. In some ways everything is handmade, however! some things remain more connected to the force of life we exchange...

  • millerkent

    Kent Miller said 3 years ago

    Karen and Caroline -- I love this inspiring and seriously playful reminder of what we who feel most alive when working with our hands sometimes forget: we are also helping to bring magic and wholeness into the world. In thanks I offer up a maxim that one of my teachers passed on to me from one of hers: Keep your hands moving!

  • ThePetalShop

    Faye from ThePetalShop said 3 years ago

    Well said....In this consumer world I often wonder if the young aren't losing the wonder of making things...taking bits and pieces of life and forming them into works of art. As I have talked to younger people I can see the wonder in their faces that someone is able to create something out of nothing. Now if something breaks it is discarded to be just another piece of trash in our mountains of trash...and a new thing is bought to replace it. I can remember my mother sitting around quilting, sewing and knitting....it was what she did in her spare time.....and our home was filled with her creations. And when my time came she taught me and the love was passed on and I have passed it to my daughter....and like stitches in time I hope it goes on and one and is never losted.

  • regaliajewellery

    Tanya Nicholson from RegaliaJewellery said 3 years ago

    This is why I love creating hademade jewellery. I love knowing each piece is unique. When it comes to designing bespoke piece I'm thinking about the individual and their personality, it is like telling a storying that highlights their style.

  • Browebr

    Br Nk from huhuhuhu said 3 years ago

    tested

  • Browebr

    Br Nk from huhuhuhu said 3 years ago

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  • MichaelFrazierDesign

    Michael Frazier from MichaelFrazierDesign said 3 years ago

    Excellent interview Caroline and Karen. "For me, handmade also reminds me that we can accomplish a lot in tiny little steps, even one stitch at a time." Isn't it amazing that we turn ideas into progress and things to make a better world? The artists and crafts person make such a difference injecting art and aesthetics into products that speak volumes of pride.

  • christineballano

    Christine Ballano from BarejCustomJewelry said 3 years ago

    I love staying in contact with my buyers so that I can continue to offer things they like or are looking for.And if someone wants something special made for themselves, a wedding etc. I would love to hear from you as well, I try to inject your personality in my creations

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