Monday, October 29, 2007

Craft Magazine on the CBS morning show!

(screen shot)

You can watch the clip HERE.
(just sit though that little commercial and it will come up!)
Read about it on the CRAFT blog HERE.

When we were in Austin last week for Maker Faire I went out to dinner with Natalie (pictured above left) and Jenny Ryan and they were discussing the insanity of the next week getting all the costumes ready for the CBS Morning show. You ladies did such a GREAT job! Also I know that there was additional help from Nancy Flynn, Cathy Callahan, Susan Beal and Diana Eng.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Handmade Nation featured maker Jill Bliss made it into the New York Times Magazine this past weekend in an article written by the consumed columnist Rob Walker (Walker is also responsible for bringing attention to the indie craft community in an article last spring called "Craft Work" featuring Heidi Kenny of My Paper Crane as well as an article called "Carry Art" featuring Poketo).

"The Cult of Gocco", NY Times, October 21, 2007 is a great overview of the current status of on of my favorite tools, the Gocco.

Don't know what a Gocco is? This is the definition from wikipedia:

"Gocco is a self-contained compact color printing system invented in 1977 by Noboru Hayama. Using flash bulbs similar to those found in old cameras, an original image is thermally imprinted on a master screen.

The name "print gocco" is derived from the Japanese word and concept "gocco", loosely translated as a type of make-believe play used to learn common rules and knowledge.

In December 2005, Gocco’s parent company, Riso Kagaku Corporation, announced it would end production of the Gocco system due to low sales in Japan. An Internet campaign was started to find a new home for the product."

Here is a photo from my flickr account showing the Gocco in action in my studio:
gocco takes over

Also check out the flickr Gocco pool HERE and the page that Jill set up.

From the Save Gocco site:
although our own signature collection here at savegocco has ended, you can still help save gocco! we suggest sending a gocco'd postcard to the president of the company, explaining why you feel they should continue and expand worldwide production of gocco:
Akira Hayama
President & CEO
Riso Corporation
5-34-7 Shiba,
Tokyo 108-8385,

Want to check out stuff for sale that was printed on a Gocco? Go to and use "gocco" as a tag in the search engine and just see what comes up!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

How is it Thursday? No really, how can the entire week be gone?

We all gathered in Austin to share, learn and celebrate the idea of Making.
Maker Faire 2007 was fantastic!

Maker Faire!

Yes, this really is a giant home made human powered ride that was there.... I was on the phone with Nathan telling him how much fun I was having and how it was 90 degrees out and this thing comes a-rollin' around the corner..... don't get me wrong, it went pretty slow.
Human Powered Ride!

For those of you who may be a bit behind I was invited to speak at Maker Faire last weekend, to share my experience of making Handmade Nation and to talk about the DIY Craft community. My talk was 30 minutes long and included the revised version of the clip. Three BIG first's happend:

#1. It was the first time I had ever spoke to a large audience.
#2. It was the first time I had ever watched a group of people watch the film footage.
#3. It was the first time I had SEEN the footage on a big screen!!

My talk went well, I got good feedback and I didn't choke up, blank-out OR swear (at least I don't remember swearing) so I am really pleased with that....

As far as the rest of the event weekend I have nothing but rave reviews. I got to learn how to crochet, use a loom, watch ladies hand make lace, see a human mouse trap in action, watch hundreds of bottles of coke explode (click that to watch the movie on the MAKE blog) with the aid of a mentos, check it out...
Mega-Fountain using Diet Coke and Mentos!

Makers of all shapes came out to represent: tech geeks, organic farmers, crafty hipsters, skilled crafts people, bike builders, side show freaks and tons of rad family's with kids who had a blast.

Here is a quick re-cap of my 72 hours in Austin

I left at 5 a.m. for Austin from Milwaukee on Saturday October 20th
Waiting for the taxi, 5 a.m. Saturday

I saw the sun rise outside the plane window....
Sun Rising on the way to Austin!

Got to Maker Faire by 12:00 in the afternoon!!
Maker Check-In

George Hotz, the 17 year old who cracked the iphone...
George Hotz: 17 year old who cracked the iphone

Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching gave a great talk about her skills, inspiration and business
Jenny Hart giving her "talk"

Human Sized Mouse Trap, yes... just like the game!!
Human Size Mouse Trap

I couldn't resist, here is the game (it never was as cool to play as it was on the commercial, right?)

These ladies make lace by hand!!
Handmade Lace!

This guy named Cory Fogel had a conceptual project called "Purl Drums" where he was knitting and playing drums at the same time, for two days!!
Corey Fogel, Purl Drums

Thank you O'Reilly Media for inviting me to be a part of such a fantastic experience.
psssst.. O'Reilly Media is responsible not only for Maker Faire but the fantastic magazines know as MAKE & CRAFT!

I took over 400 photographs (I know totally excessive) BUT then I had a disastrous camera problem. Thankfully, my good friend and assistant editor of Handmade Nation, Joe Wong retrieved the photos using some magic software and a wave of a wand....

The entire flickr set is HERE

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It is 1:23 A.M.

Gallery Night opening over at the shop, check
Speech for Sunday written & practiced, check
DVD's & media packed, check
Suitcase packed, check
Clothes for tomorrow morning laid out, check

I think I am ready for my trip. Now I just have to wake up in 3 hours and be at the airport by 5:30 A.M. Goodnight & see you in Austin!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sometimes I have to leave the house to get work done. If I stay home (where my "office" is) I often find myself doing things that don't really need doing. Today it's not really working because here I am at a coffee shop posting on ye' ol' blog instead of doing the two major things that need to get done right now:

#1 make sure everyone in Milwaukee knows that we have a fantastic group show up at my gallery, Paper Boat, the opening reception is Friday for Gallery Night.

#2 get ready for Maker Faire this weekend.

The show is titled "The New Witch" with work by Xandar Marro, Pippi Zornoza, Micaela O'Herlihy, Kim Kisiolek, Polina Malikin, Katy Horan and yours truly. I can't resist the postcard image we used from Providence artist Xander Marro, it's a cloth patch that comes with a zine she put together titled "Witch".
You can see photos of the show HERE if you are interested

On to Maker Faire, where I will be spending Saturday checking out everything that is going on, there is SO MUCH going on. Sunday I will be giving a "talk" on the DIY craft community and showing a clip of the film. I have to admit that I am a little nervous about giving a "talk," not so much about being on stage, I am in a band and sorta used to that part. But more nervous about the AV (audio visual) aspect running smoothly, there is nothing worse than technical problems during someones presentation.

Jenny Hart and I are supposed to meet up for drinks on Saturday in Austin which should be fun! When I get back to my hotel I'll post pictures if I have Internet access to let you know what Maker Faire is like! Will you cross your fingers for me and my "talk", and come to our opening at Paper Boat if you are in Milwaukee!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's official!

Here are some funny pictures of Cortney and I after we signed our contracts for the book over margaritas this week! I look exhausted, but soooo excited!!

Cortney Heimerl, Co-author of Handmade Nation

Faythe Levine, Co-author of Handmade Nation

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall has hit Milwaukee, and I have to say it is sorta comforting. It's easier for me to settle down and focus when I'm bundled in a sweater and not overheating in the humidity!

If you are in the Chicago area this weekend you may want to check out YarnCon:
Held at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse on October 13th, 2007 from 10am to 4pm. If you are a sucker for making yarn, working and playing with yarn, or just being surrounded by it, this is going to be the place to be. Visit the YarnCon site for more detailed information! I would also like to mention that YarnCon is a supporter of Handmade Nation and although we can't make it, we thanks them for spreading the word of our project via their programs!

In other news, I've finally updated the etsy shop with donations for the first time in quite a few months! Over the past year I have received so many amazing handmade items to help raise money for the film, when this silk-screened poster by Beth Howard arrived last month I was so excited to post it for you all to see! So rad!

She donated 4 total to our etsy shop at $35 each, thanks Beth!
((For those of you not familiar we have been taking donations of handmade items and the proceeds go towards the documentary expenses.))

Monday, October 08, 2007

Wow 3, count them 3 entries today. That NEVER happens. But so much is going down if I don't write about it now I never will!!

Susan Beal just forwarded me a link to an article titled "Crafty Bitches" in Portland's Willamette Weekly that I was interviewed for a bit back. It's a great long article about craft, BUT, I just left a comment because I felt that I wasn't represented well.

I have had a lot of problems with press, being misrepresented. Anyone who deals with being interviewed or doing press related stuff knows that one little mis-print or mis-quote can change everything, make you sound like a total goob (yeah, you heard me, goob!). Because of this I am very careful in interviews now to be as clear as possible when stating my answers to questions or commenting on topics. In this particular article there is a quote from me about craft & war. Honestly, I think it's just sorta just hanging out. You know, no context. Just floating there, then to be revisited by having someone comment on my quote. The quote is accurate, the problem is it was an answer to a question that wasn't printed.

Ahhhhh reporters. Gotta love them with every ounce, but dang, I'm not a goob!

Anyhow, you can read the article and my comment about Craft and Activism HERE.
Blogs of Note.....
Thanks everyone who came by via
Blogs of Note!!

Your comments and feedback are much appreciated!

xo, Faythe
Last week Editor and Publisher Dale Dougherty of MAKE & CRAFT Magazine contacted me about speaking about the DIY craft community at Maker Faire in Austin, TX.

So..... I will be making an unexpected trip to Austin over the weekend of October 20-21!! Not only will I discuss different aspects of the community, but I will talk about my experience making the film and meeting so many different makers and how to get involved! I will also be showing the clip of the film that you can see on youtube and having a Q&A.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Big Big Big Announcement!
Handmade Nation will now not only be a documentary but a book, available in November 2008 out on Princeton Architectural Press!!! The book with be written by me (Faythe Levine) and co-author Cortney Heimerl (super amazing designer and recent Masters Graduate of NYU). We decided that the documentary will also be released around this time (a bit later than our original projected release) for a variety of reasons, number one being we need more time to edit.

Want to know more about the book?? It will feature 25 community members with 5 essays, all people we interviewed over the course of shooting the film.

There will be illustrations and hand drawn fonts by the lovely Kate Bingaman-Burt of Obsessive Consumption! Here are some samples of fonts she sent over this week- there is a photo set HERE if you want to see more!!!Want to know who is going to be featured in the book???

Besty Greer
Dennis Stevens
Garth Johnson
Callie Janoff
Susan Beal

Community Members:
Tracy Bull, Happy Owl Glass
Jenine Bressner
Deb Dormody, If'n Books + Marks
Heidi Kenny, My Paper Crane
Sabrina Gschwandter, KnitKnit
Sarah Neuburger, The Small Object
Ileana Rodriguez, India Romeo
Shannon Mulkey, Patina
Alena Hennessy
Christy Petterson, a bardis
Melissa & James BuchananThe Little Friends of Printmaking
Emily Kircher, EKRA
Melissa Dettloff, Lekkner & Crafters for Critters
Sue Blatt, Timber!
Annie Mohaupt, Mohaupt Shoes
Stephanie Syjucco, anti-factory
Nikki McClure
Jill Bliss, blissen
Sarah Anderson, birds of prey
Clarity Miller, Black Bird Fashion
Jenny Hart, Sublime Stitching
Whitney Lee, Made With Sweet Love
Kathy Sever, Ramonster
Jennifer Perkins, Naughty Secretary Club

We will also be giving shout-out's to the online community forums, more on that later!! I have to go install a show at my shop called the New Witch, so much to do, so little time.

xo, Faythe