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Handicraft as feminist art | Gal Amram



I have been drawn to art and craft from a young age, and in every stage of my life art has transformed and been adapted to fit my needs and wants at the time. As a young girl, I went to art classes (mostly painting and sculpting) that combined expressive creation with techniques and skills. At the same time, I always did handicrafts; I was initiated into craft by my family, who were there when I made my first steps into that world: My grandmother taught me knitting, my mother taught me sewing with a thread and needle, and my father taught me basic carpentry skills. Even my first sewing machine was a (second- or third-hand) gift from my aunt. At this stage I already noticed that I was learning handicrafts at home, but painting and sculpture in professional spaces outside of home.

And so my time was split between “making” functional artifacts for me and my friends and family, and painting and creating “art.” While some of my paintings were put on display at my parents’ (though most of them were just collecting dust), the artifacts I made were widely used, whether by me or by people close to me who got them as presents. When I would be walking around with clothes I made myself, or handing out a gift I made, I would feel an immense sense of pride. With each new “product,” my confidence in what I can do grew. I also learned that it works the other way around: When I want to feel stronger and more confident, I will wear or use something I made myself. Despite the positive feeling handicrafts gave me, I felt how it was received differently to “art,” and I saw these two types of creation in a different way. Eventually it was clear to me that the art class at the museum was more highly regarded, whereas knitting and sewing were seen as a basic domestic hobby. I am not sure when and how I learned this distinction, but I have almost always felt it.

The older I got the more I started delving into these questions and also realized that many crafts are considered feminine, and my view of them grew more ambivalent. For example, when I heard my mother recounting her experiences from craft class at school, I was, on the one hand, in an uproar over the fact that only girls were tracked into it, but on the other hand jealous that she got to learn it in school. This ambivalence quickly turned into a very personal question, seeing as artistic spaces in my life have always been part of how I define myself – and nearly the only times I let myself feel pride and show off what I created was when it had to do with my craftwork. But I have also kept wondering: Could it be that by knitting and sewing (as opposed, say, to painting) I surrender to a mechanism of oppression?

At this point, it has been years that both handicraft and these questions remain a key part of my life. This is also the reason I chose to specialize in artistic therapy when I enrolled in MA studies in social work. When I had to select a topic for my thesis, [1] I was naturally drawn to the world of handicraft. I realized that if I find handicraft useful, there may be other women who feel the same, and I became really interested in deepening my understanding and further exploring this experience of using it as a tool. Additionally, as a social worker I could feel craft has a great potential on the professional level, and I got to know more and more NGOs and socially minded businesses that put handicrafts to use in a variety of ways.

What is handicraft?

In general, the term “handicraft” refers to the process of creating original artifacts in one of several disciplines – ceramic, glass, wood and metalwork, textiles and similar areas (Zehavi, 2015). However, many historians and researchers still struggle to define “craft,” due to its convoluted, evolving history and the inferior status attached to it for centuries. Therefore, in spite of its complexity, importance and breadth, there is no detailed and thorough historical examination of craft, similar to many fields across various disciplines that are seen as “feminine.” In any case, its meaning has changed and evolved throughout history, depending on social, political, historical and geographic contexts (Zehavi, 2015; Greenhalgh, 1997).

A key characteristic of craft has to do with creating an aesthetic product that relates to a function, has potential benefit, either real or metaphoric (Zehavi, 2015). The relation to function has another meaning, as expressed by Rob Bernard, who makes functional tableware: “Use is what makes craft accessible to us” (quoted in Kikuchi, 2015, p. 98). In other words, the work’s functionality in the everyday space is what enables the work itself (Kikuchi, 2015).

In addition, handwork is one of the most obvious features of handicraft, but it is mostly about what the hand represents and symbolizes more than the body part itself. It is, in fact, not the hand alone that creates and acts, but the entire body that is taking part in the act of creation. Handicraft and the skills required for it are linked to the material on the sensory and experiential level. The hand touching the material generates a sensory experience that becomes the skill linking the hand and the head (Bartal, et al., 2015; Shiner, 2012; Sennet, 2008)

[Image 1]: Chela Edmunds' boob jewel box Source

Historical background – between craft and art

In medieval times, the distinction between free professions (like logic or geometry), which were taught in schools and aimed for the aristocracy and the upper classes, and mechanical professions (like painting and carpentry), which operated within the guild system and were geared toward training experts with high technical skills. Visual art, in all its forms, was considered a mechanical profession that lacked any intellectual foundation. Any hand-made object up until that time, whether made for practicality, decoration or ceremony, was classified as “craft,” and all materials were a form of aesthetic expression (Zehavi, 2015; Berger, 2005, Lucie-Smith, 1981).

Therefore, until the Renaissance period, the West made no distinction between art and craft. This changed over the Renaissance years in Europe, as some craftspeople sought a share of the status and the privileges of the upper classes. Architect guilds, and later on painters and sculptors too, demanded to be included in the education system for the upper classes, and joined the fine arts, alongside music and poetry. This transformation in art education, which moved away from workshops and guilds and into academia, led to a distinction in terminology between “artist” and “artisan.” The main difference between guilds and the academic world was that guilds put an emphasis on traditional techniques, whereas academic institutions – seeking to make it more prestigious by tying it to scientific methods – treated art as a scientific matter, teaching both theory and technique. This distinction marked the start of the split between “fine art” and all other types of art, which kept their basic, vague and inferior status as “handicraft” (Parker & Pollock, 2013; Lucie-Smith, 1981; Parker, 1996).

At the same time, in order for visual art to join the “fine” arts and become an intellectual endeavor, giving it a place in academia, the artist’s work had to be redefined. Instead of a person who is highly skilled in their craft, the artist was recognized as “a man of ideas,” that is the artist’s intellectual claims were given more weight than their technical skills (Lucie-Smith, 1981). This gave way, for the first time, for the notion of artworks justified by their aesthetic qualities alone – a luxury product – rather than by their function (Yam, 2012). It should be noted that at the time guilds and academic institutions were led by men, and knitting and embroidery were mostly seen as “masculine” professions.

Later on, during the Industrial Revolution, big factories were established, the guilds collapsed, and traditional handicraft was pushed aside. Up until then, craftspeople would be asked to make works that are both “beautiful” and “useful,” but the revolution brought with it a distinction between practical artifacts, which underwent industrialization (and were therefore seen as objects), and “fine art” works, now created solely by independent artists. In between the two is where “handicraft” as we now know it was formed, so that any hand-made artifact is considered craft (Lucie-Smith, 1981; Yam, 2002). [2]

Class, gender and craft

The Renaissance period and the divide between “fine art” and crafts, followed by the establishment of large factories and the disintegration of guilds during the Industrial Revolution, pushed traditional handicrafts out of daily economic and cultural life. Through this, women held on to some domestic crafts like sewing, knitting, embroidery or lacework as part of their domestic duties (while the men went out to work in the factories), becoming the keepers of these crafts’ flame. As these arts transformed into standard, mass copy-cat industries, they also became something women do only at home, rendering it worthless of any interest or significance (Yam, 2012; Adamson, 2007).

One expression of the gender-class divide for specific types of art was the recurring association of some crafts with women. Historically, the term “women’s work” means work without pay or appreciation that women are expected to carry out, mostly to do with raising children and domestic chores. Brown (1970) argued that some lines of work became known to be “feminine” based on how closely they fit raising children. For example, activities that can easily be resumed after interruptions, don’t require high concentration, can be easily done at home and do not pose a risk to children. “Women’s work” mostly entailed preparing clothes and sheets for the family, while the men were out earning their daily bread. Throughout art history, decorative work and domestic handicrafts were seen as women’s work, and as such were never deemed “fine” art. Sewing, embroidery, painting and ceramics – none was seen as an appropriate artistic parallel to the great media of painting and sculpting. The ancient aesthetic hierarchy that prioritizes certain types of art over others on the basis of gender associations developed the historic notion of “women’s work,” specifically because it was tied to the “domestic” and feminine.” While handicrafts were made at home by women for their families, fine arts were seen as professional and public. According to similar claims, the gendered hierarchy in arts was not a reflection of the art itself, but rather of where it had been created (Lippard, 1978; Parker & Pollock, 2013).

[Image 2]: Kylie Norton, Ribs (2020), Source

This new definition of art contributed to shaping power relations, and the invention of “fine art” put women and minority groups in Europe and America at a clear disadvantage. Due to gender and racial biases, they were unable to manufacture the expensive, esteemed artifacts, and had been hit even further when their works were classified as aesthetically inferior art, or even worse, as craft. In the Western world, art created by white men, and particularly those with formal education, was considered superior, while works created for functional use or with skills not endorsed by the academia were looked at with disdain (Berger, 2005; Mainardi, 1982; Parker & Pollock, 2013).

Furthermore, museums and the world of art education were largely dominated by white men who used their position and power to define “fine art” so that it excludes the achievements of all those who are not white men. This gave birth to terms like “primitive art,” “popular art” and “decorative art” to describe anything beyond “fine art.” Nowadays these terms attest more to the biases of art historians rather than the art itself (Mainardi, 1982). In a similar vein, common knowledge of art and craft history relates mostly to male history, and the art created by women in the domestic sphere was never part of the public discourse of art (Broude & Garrard, 1982).

The role of craft for women in history

The history of art created by women reveals an intimate bond between the content of the art itself and the lived reality of women, with their experiences and personal history reflected and embodied in their artworks. Art and craft created by women were not displayed in the public space, and only revealed to their close circle. These crafts offered women a socially acceptable context to gather in groups, talk among themselves and eventually penetrate the isolation of traditional domestic life (Anderson & Gold, 1998). They created only using what available materials they had and incorporated into their work aspects of aesthetics and functionality (Kapitan, 2011).

The history of women’s craft and textile activity around the world goes hand in hand with valuable historical examples of the therapeutic importance of art, as well as of its economic, social and emotional roles. Craft in general and textile in particular had diverse roles in many women’s lives, and craft helped them express the hardships and challenges words could not. It was used to deal with loss and anxiety; it served as a source of pride and empowerment and a sense of community and control, and it was a sign of mutual support, activism and social and political change (Anderson & Gold, 1998). Parker (1996) discusses in her book The Subversive Stitch the role embroidery had in the lives of the women doing it throughout history. She describes embroidery as a source of power, joy, self-expression, support and satisfaction. Furthermore, some researchers claim that forms of traditional art by women had a subversive purpose, and that they aspired to change the patriarchal expectations of women (Radner in Anderson & Gold, 1998). For example, in the 18th and 19th centuries women learned to read and write, geography and other subjects that were unacceptable for women to learn, using embroidery or under the guise of embroidery tutoring. Furthermore, craft gave women a legitimate space to assemble, and when crafts were created in a communal context, women had an opportunity to share their experiences and get support and validation. These communal meetings came in the form of sewing circles, or Quilting Bees, a social event in the 19th century where women would meet and make a quilt together (Anderson & Gold, 1998; Mainardi, 1982; Parker, 1996).

In this context, there are two specific events of interest that show the social-political role that craft has for women. The first one has to do with Susan B. Anthony, a leader of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, who gave her first speech to women at a Quilting Bee event at a church in Cleveland. This is contrary to the commonly held assumptions that women would only gossip and trade recipes at this sort of event (Parker & Pollock, 2013; Mainardi, 1982). The second event occurred during the regime of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Women in Chile sewed and quilted arpilleras [3] portraying the hardships they had to deal with. These also documented and commemorated the many people disappeared under the dictator’s reign. The women, whose voices were not heard in most areas of their lives, used craft to speak out. Their products were sold and exported, contributing both to the financial empowerment of the women who created them, and to exposing the world to the harsh reality in Chile, which generated international pressure toward a regime change (Garlock, 2016; Youngson, 2019). Chansky (2010) shed a light on how handicrafts, which were usually tied to oppression of women, were in fact used by them as a creative tool to express themselves, even in a subversive manner. The needle used for embroidery and sewing is an appropriate representation, according to her, of how many women balance their anger at gender oppression and their sense of pride in their gender. The needle pierces through the fabric, pulling the string behind it into an act of creation. The needle’s violent action represents women channeling their frustration and anger into useful, powerful creation.

[Image 3]: Addie Community Quilting Bee in the 1950s

Photo courtesy of the Sylva Herald and Joe McClure, Source

Handicraft today – Reclaiming craft

The 1960s and 70s saw the start of the conscious use of crafts considered “feminine.” Feminist artists sought to revive handicrafts as a valid and relevant artistic tool, pointing to their subversive political value, and trying to upgrade crafts into “fine art.” This came after years in which women artists tried avoiding “feminine” skills (like sewing), or “feminine” features, like pastel colors or fine lines, so as not to be associated with “women’s work.” [4]

An interest in visual crafts has grown since the 90s, and over the past two decades, handicraft has been given a more prominent place in both the domestic and public space and in Western popular culture (Adamson, 2009). Handicraft has also become more widely accepted and popular at home, in the public space and in Western culture, possibly in part as a result of the emergence of social media that let users share their creations and DIY projects (Kaimal, et al., 2017; Leenerts, et al., 2016). In recent years there is a growing trend of dealing with handicraft in culture and in academia, both due to its growing popularity as a pastime and in the framework of more general critical and feminist approaches.

The renewed attention given to crafts makes it a lively, vibrant field that is not afraid to pose fundamental questions about the essence of materialism, what it means in our lives and where it is headed. Some see handicraft in contemporary culture as an act of defiance against industrialization and globalization, stressing the human aspect that lies in the mediation between the artist and the user with personalized, individualized methods, as opposed to generic and anonymous means of production (Bauman, 2016; Minahan & Wolfram Cox, 2007). According to Bauman, the perception that puts the person, rather than the machine, at the center lent crafts a new meaning in the post-industrial era as “a revival of our material culture” (Bauman, 2016, p. 59). This process can be described as the romanticization of craft, with its products seen as an expression of the bond between the personal and the human, and between material and spirit.

Despite the many available alternatives, crafts remain a popular activity. In the current Western culture, both men and women engage in crafts as a hobby for various reasons, even though it is no longer a financial necessity or a unique way to obtain necessary everyday items. However, handicraft is still used for financial purposes, as “tangible benefits are gained from the end products of the crafter’s labor” (Pollanen, 2013, p. 217).

With rising popularity, crafts, which were traditionally considered “women’s work,” are accepted and given a stage in the contemporary art world (Bauman, 2016; Kikuchi, 2015). Yam (2012) claimed that there is some correlation between women’s rights across various periods in history and the establishment’s view of handicraft; the more power and influence women have over the economy, the more vague the distinction between “fine” and “functional” art becomes. Accordingly, some aspects of the return of handicrafts into our lives have to do with the third wave of feminism, which focuses on choice. People of all genders can freely choose to engage in handicrafts, unlike the past when women – and women only – had to do it. Nowadays women are not limited to textile work, and may opt for carpentry or welding. Some artists in the current craft culture seek to challenge the domestic, gendered nature of handicrafts, primarily textile work, and redefine forms of expression that had been tied instinctively to “women’s work” as a form of activism (Chansky, 2010; Pentney, 2008).

Reclaiming textile work by third-wave feminists is not only about recreating art forms that were historically seen as inferior and even served in some senses to oppress, but it is also a form of artistic expression that touches on contemporary issues in innovative ways and with social and political messages (Chansky, 2010).

[Image 4]: Tank-Cozy, Marianne Jørgenson (2007), Source

Handicraft as a self-care tool

Many women deal with pressure and exhaustion having to do with the multiple roles they are asked to fulfill. Often, women’s mental hardships are the result of internalizing patriarchal social constructs, which weaken their voices or shape their roles and identity according to social expectations that serve the existing social order (Saulnier, 1996). They sometimes view self-care and self-help as going against society’s expectations, as prioritizing care for others over self is deeply embedded into many women’s cultural experience (Carroll, et al., 1999). Craft, its products and their function often lend women access into the art world. Functionality is this sort of ‘excuse’ for creating. Craft makes art accessible, lets us create, handle material, devote time to ourselves and to being with ourselves, or with a community of other women artists.

Beyond the great pleasure in the act of creation and in various handicrafts, my research on the role craft has in the lives of women social workers who do crafts as a hobby, shows several clear advantages in craft; engaging in it can be a therapeutic tool for the creators, with five key therapeutic characteristics. Many women engaged in crafts sense the great benefit it gives them; there is merit in understanding these emotional processes – and the vast potential crafts can offer.

Empowerment: Engaging in crafts helps develop a sense of accomplishment, pride and satisfaction, and therefore facilitates processes of empowerment. Craftwork helps that in several ways: First, the craftworker can actively express and process her emotions, and move toward finding a solution at the same time. In this sense, art as concrete activity can empower those who make it (Pollanen, 2009). Craftwork also allows setting achievable, gradual goals, growing and developing a sense of proficiency. The search for a challenge is an integral part to craftwork, and the will to keep setting challenging, yet achievable goals is a sign of a growing sense of empowerment and a characteristic of activities that encourage a flow state (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2005). Alongside the growing sense of proficiency, positive reactions from the environment are also important.

A playful and safe space: Craft generates a safe therapeutic space for women, which lets them play, learn more about themselves and develop. The value of the safe space for women grows with the understanding that for many of them, other spaces in their lives may not necessarily be safe, and about a quarter of women in Israel do not feel safe walking in the public space in the dark (The Central Bureau of Statistics, 2019). Furthermore, for many women the domestic space may not necessarily be a safe space, be it physically or emotionally. The existence of a safe space is not at all granted, and art’s ability to provide women with a sense of security is precious.

Moving on from a sense of security, the space for crafts is also described as a playful space, where women let themselves put their duties and commitments aside, go back to feeling like children and play with the materials. Winnicott (1971) saw playing as inherently satisfying, and argued that there – and perhaps only there – the adult is free to be creative, and this would be their only way to find themselves. This space lets them be themselves, make mistakes, learn and develop. The ability to evolve through playing is tied to a term coined by Winnicott, “potential space,” which describes the area where the objective and subjective realities meet. This is a playful space, which allows for experimenting and playing, between the internal world and the real, external reality. The therapeutic experience occurs in this potential space, and playing helps development (Winnicott, 1971). Like playing, art too creates a balance between the external and internal experiences, allowing us to get to know ourselves better (Kapitan, 2011; Sennett, 2008).

Sensory experience and embodiment: The sensory experience, as a part of creative women’s overall experience, has great significance, in touching the material or using it to create something new. Simply touching the material can help improve the mood, and the long process of craftwork can facilitate handling negative emotions by handwork (Pollanen, 2015a; Reynolds, 2000; Reynolds & Prior, 2006). But beyond the enjoyable and soothing effects of the sensory experience, it has further therapeutic benefits, and touching the material and the process of creating an artifact serve as therapeutic interaction for self-help (Pollanen, 2013).

The embodiment approach offers an explanation for the influence of the sensory experience over our health and welfare. According to this approach, our movement and physical gestures, like our sensory experiences, have an effect on our cognition, perception, action and emotions; the influence is mutual. Based on this approach, the nice, pleasant physical experience of handicraft may have a direct influence on the individual as a whole. Even though craft is often seen as handwork, the entire body is in fact engaged in action. When the body and all of its layers are engaged in handicraft, all of the senses are working, and craft comes into being by manipulating the raw material in a process that demands investment, caring and attention. Reciprocally, just as the creator influences and shapes the product in the creative process, she is also influenced by this process. A pleasant sensory experience can lead to constructive and beneficial emotions, thoughts, perceptions and actions (Huss, et al., 2018).

"A room of one’s own”: The personal space that is created while working on crafts helps women achieve balance in their life; this work let them free from other roles in their life (job, parenting, marriage and so on), and so let them focus on themselves and improve their mental welfare (Pollanen, 2015a).

Krumer-Nevo (2002) wrote about the contribution of the feminist approach to understanding the experiences of women in situations of ongoing distress, through presenting a feminist interpretation of the story of Penelope, Odysseus’ wife. Krumer-Nevo mentions that by unraveling her wedding gown, Penelope “creates a feminine space for her within the public space of the palace, immersing herself in a unique experience of time, centered on the present [...] She owns herself, and not anybody else, not any man” (p. 435-436). While these words were written in a different context, the significance of this space for women can be seen in the theoretical framework of feminist research. The studies Chansky (2010) describes show that for men, coming home from work usually means a relief from their main source of pressure. But for women, the end of the workday does not necessarily mean transitioning into a calmer space. Hence the significance of this space for women, by existing and by women making a decision to create such spaces for themselves.

There is a subversive element to claiming the space for handicraft as a personal space. Stereotypically, engaging in craft can be seen as a subservient undertaking, but what the history and experiences of women who do craftwork describe is nearly the opposite. Nowadays in the modern Western world, we can see women’s choice to say out loud that they choose to care for themselves, that they insist on their own space, as a subversive action. Furthermore, in some societies it is still craft that would let women unite and undermine other oppressive gender constructs, just as women did all through the history of handicraft. This study sheds light not only on the importance of a personal space for women in general and social workers in particular, but also on women’s ability to use this space, once achieved, in a deep, empowering way.

Support systems and social connections: Craft also has a social power with unique therapeutic potential; throughout history craft has fulfilled a role for women, both in the communal-social aspect (bonds that provide social support) and in the activist aspect. Furthermore, participating in playful art-based activities in a group setting can have a positive influence on people on the physiological, biologic and social levels (Grape Viding, et al. 2015). In recent years craftivism – craft used for social activism – has been on the rise, benefitting both the individual and the community (Leone, 2018). [5]


The therapeutic role that craft has in social workers’ lives, and more broadly in the lives of women, is given a deeper meaning with the knowledge and understanding that it fulfilled a similar role for women throughout history. However, it is important to stress that the association between craft and women is not based on its “feminine” characteristics or women’s artistic abilities. The essence of that bond between craft and women, now and in history, is tied to class. Even if women had been part of the upper classes, they were oppressed as women. That is why over the years craft has been nearly the only type of art that let women create, thanks to its accessibility, availability and legitimacy. This bond gives a special meaning to women’s choice in handicraft nowadays, in a process of reclaiming it (Guilat, 2008; Chansky, 2010).

In the interviews I conducted for this research and in lectures I gave about this topic, I saw many women who were very happy with an open discussion of handicraft and that room it has been given. Some even said they normally hide the fact they do craftwork (specifically in areas seen as more “feminine”), whether because they see it as inferior, or “not art.” It should be stated clearly, then: Handicraft has great value, in terms of art, history, self-care and all its aforementioned elements. Doing it as a hobby or profession is a wonderful present we can give ourselves, which will make our unique light brighter and let us spread it on to others.

Handicraft has a long history in human culture. It served as a social and cultural tool, and as a tool for socialization and domestication. Craft’s status and value were directly tied to gender and class issues in general, and the feminist revolution in particular. The similarities to the profession of social work, and the way in which these two fields are historically intertwined, is noteworthy. Even though there is little research on this subject, it is clear that craft has great, diverse therapeutic potential. However, further research is required in order to understand more specifically the therapeutic significance of craft and how to maximize its benefits. An important issue in the literature is the problem of stress and wearing out among women in general and social workers in particular, alongside the close correlation between therapeutic professions, public status and gender. Therefore, further research should look into the effect of handicraft on social workers and their mental welfare. I hope craft will be further established as a form of art, culture and therapy, and that more women will keep engaging in this centuries-old “trend” of handicraft.

Gal Amram is a social worker. She graduated from Ben-Gurion University with an MA in social work, specializing in artistic tools, and from the University of Haifa with a BA in economics and Middle Eastern studies and MA in management of education systems. Amram works at the Dimona Welfare and Social Services Department, treating LGBTQ people and women with trauma. She is also a workshop facilitator and artist.

This essay is adapted from chapters of my thesis on “Handicraft as a Hobby, as a Tool to Deal with Wearing Out and Stress Among Social Workers.” I am thrilled and proud to be using tools I have learned in writing this thesis in my regular work. You are invited to write to me your thoughts, ideas or comments at



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[1] “Handicraft as a Hobby, as a Tool to Deal with Wearing Out and Stress Among Social Workers,” supervised by Prof. Ephrat Huss, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

[2] The Arts and Crafts movement was established in the United Kingdom in the late 19th century, later spreading to other parts of Europe and North America. It was based on resistance to machine-made artifacts and on a deep respect for craftsmanship; its members saw craft as a tool for deep social-political change. As the movement grew, craft was recognized as its own category in visual culture, no longer an adjective describing an action, but a distinct practice (Zehavi, 2015; Greenhalgh, 1997). The movement’s leadership sought to unite craftspeople with art and bring back a sense of joy to the crafts. It had some success in promoting the crafts and shaping key parts of how we view “craft” to this day – particularly relating to the decorative-aesthetic side of it, and in charging the act with emotional, personal or social meaning. This movement was not free of criticism, and according to some claims its success was tied to the exploitation of tradespeople and industrial designers for profit. Furthermore, any distinction between art and craft throughout history in a way almost always reflected social and economic divides. Even within the Arts and Crafts movement, women and the textile industry were seen as inferior (Parker & Pollock, 2013; Lippard, 1978).

[3] Spanish for burlap; colorful quilt usually created by a group of women, and a common handicraft in South America.

[4] From “Women’s Work,” an exhibition displayed at the Brooklyn Museum Center for Feminist Art.

[5] For example of craftivism in Israel, see here [in Hebrew]. From “Craftsmakers” – communal women craftivism, on the website of the Association for Women’s Art and Gender Research in Israel.


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