What Would Craft Not Publish?


Ever-vigilant Rob Walker has published a piece killed by Craft after the magazine claimed it might be seen as “anti-religious.” Anti-religious crafts have always been fascinating to us, so we took a peek at Jean Railla‘s essay. “What Would Jesus Sell?” is named after the new Morgan Spurlock documentary, about the anti-consumerist Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping. The bizarre thing is, besides the title and one paragraph describing the film, there are no religious references whatsoever (and not even a list of Jesus-condoned purchases, unfortunately). What there is, however, is a questioning of the Buy Handmade Pledge, reported by Walker and elsewhere earlier this year. And what we think lodged the knitting needle in a Craft editor’s behind was this:

But I can’t help thinking: Isn’t shopping, no matter how wonderfully crafty and politically correct still, well, shopping? Can you escape the so-called sin of consumerism by buying handmade? Isn’t the whole point of modern crafting Do It Yourself–not Buy from Someone Who is Doing It Themselves? Not to be a total hypocrite; I shop Etsy and artisan crafters as well as buy the crap from China just like everyone else. It’s just that I see a new trend, which is moving away from crafting and towards consuming. What’s next? “Hip Craft” aisles at Wal-Mart?

According to Walker, late last week Craft changed its tune, saying the article was axed as a “matter of timing and space issues” (might we mention that Railla wrote this piece for her regular column, ahem). We’d say the real reason for the cut was that Railla’s piece was a little too anti-craft.