The Dark Side of Crafting?

I was recently sent this update from UC Berkeley and Indiana University, and thought I would pass it along.  I have never had a brush with the "Dark Side" of crafting they describe here.  Have you?

Do you sew clothes, print posters, or shop for craft supplies only to realize your craft has negative effects, e.g., on the consumer or society at-large, morally, socially, and/or legally? Do you see a “dark side” to craft? If so, UC Berkeley and Indiana University researchers conducting a research project on handcraft and computing would love to talk to you. We will conduct interviews by instant message, email, phone, or in person within the next few months.

To help us with our research, please email Daniela at, Jeff at, or Shaowen at

image blatantly stolen from pirateluv which just has so many other cool things on it too.

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mezcraft6 years ago
I think there may also be another dark side to crafting - in that most of the time it encourages an activity which is largely stagnant. By that I mean, a lot of people I know who craft, craft whilst watching tv, sitting still just moving their hands. It is a fairly non-physical activity in which you can spend hours doing without realizing time has gone by. I am not saying that by crafting we are condemning ourselves to not being healthy, but a lot of crafty people, who craft alllll the time, are not. I might be overgeneralizing a bit... but I do wonder if there is a co-relation?
It's true that it's usually a sedentary activity, but you have to think, what would you be doing if you were not crafting? Would you really be out running or biking, or would you be watching TV or playing video games with that time instead?
I think most people would just be doing some other sedentary activity if they were not crafting.
Plus, if you are crafting while watching TV, then you are busy with your hands and less likely to snack.
I'm good with blaming my spare tire on my crafting...yup, that'll work.

Seriously though, I know lots of healthy crafters, I don't think the crafting obsession is the problem for most people. For me personally, I know if I stopped doing crafts, I'd just read or play on the PC or watch TV instead. I wouldn't start jogging if the world ran out of crafty things to do. Probably doesn't help though!
Some call it a spare tire. I call it a naturally expanded workbench. i find a darker side of crafting some facets that are so mind numbingly repetitive that hot pokers start to look appealing. Though for the most part even sedentary crafting keeps one out of jail, um, I mean trouble.
He,he! Oh, yeah, idle hands are the devils workshop!
Ah yes, the workbench! Also an excellent plate! Laundry is easier than dishes, no?

I like the repetitive stuff. For me, it's soothing, relaxing...meditative. Unless I'm falling behind on a deadline, then it is the most excruciatingly stressful aggravation.

Crafting can't keep me out of trouble, no sir.
Another dark side could be repetition. But I have found that when I'm out, I guess the fresh air does my brain good and i get more ideas. Also, I love the library. My secret name for it is "The Tower Of Learning". Our central library is 6 stories, 4 of them underground. I peruse Metalcraft and Ornament and sometimes ceramics magazines. The color combinations in the ceramics make my creative juices come bubbling up!!
Anyway, if I wasn't sitting crafting, I'd be sitting reading, watching tv or on the computer. I'm thinking of moving my computer so that I have to use it standing up(eventually).
dannylions6 years ago
OMword - yes - the dark side of crafting is the hoarding part... yes it hurts my family in a big way... and the fact that it started with me trying to turn a stim from my son (who has autism)... into something useful as first beading - then clay ad now all sorts of mixed media. Yes - it hurts him sometimes when the beads are too small or if he gets frustrated.... 50/50 dark/not so dark.... depending on how much I am trying to please my son ... not even sure this makes sense,,,, sorry in advance.
Months late, but I just discovered the forums! Yes the dark side is hoarding, I've spent about $3,000 on beads since 2008. I didn't know I was so compulsive!!!! I've switched from shoes and fabrics to beads.! Does anyone want/need beads of any kind, cheap?! :(
Yes. Can u email me.
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