The viability of the crafts industry


I wrote this in 2010. It’s as relevant now as it was then, and Jon Upsal’s Garden’s post from yesterday reminded me of this.

The Tin Foil Hat Society

Once upon a time, all over the world, there was a thriving textiles industry — or rather, many, defined by geography and the availability of raw materials with which to produce textiles.  Thousands upon thousands of workers, toiling each and every day to produce what little they could due to the lack of fossil fuels to assist in their labors.  Guilds sprung up in many areas, both to assist members in receiving a fair price for their goods and also to regulate what, how much, and by what process goods could be produced.  This both limited and protected those who belonged; it was a fair trade off and one that worked for many hundreds of years.  Then came the industrial revolution and these antiquated ways went on the trash pile of history.  Or so it seems.

It should be noted that many of the textiles of the past cannot —…

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Reblog: Our post x-world


Jon Upsal’s Garden has a post on his blog today that I think is very good. It talks about re-creating a pre-Christian mindset, but even if you have no interest in doing that it is still very thought provoking.

Some of his comments inspired me to post this in his comments section:

“We should try to choose the hand-made over the mass-produced, even though we realize it might cost more.”

There’s a concept called amortization that is never taken into consideration except when dealing with finances, but I really think it should apply to every purchase. I am a hand weaver. I sell my towels for at least $20 per dish towel. But.

#1. They’re large. Most of my towels are 15″ by 20-22″

#2. It’s locally purchased fiber and preferably produced in the USA by American growers and processors, if I haven’t spun it myself.

3. They will last 20 years at least. Even with bleach stains, they hold up. I have towels that as far as doing their job, work as well as they did after their first wash. They are faded from repeated bleaching but they will last another 10 years as well as they have the first 10 years.

4. They are woven more densely, they only have two sides that have seams as opposed to most commercially woven dish towels which are seamed on all 4 sides, and the seams are generally stitched much more carefully.

5. You are supporting a local craftsman/woman who will in turn put that money back into your own community. Most of us are acutely aware of the importance of supporting our own craftsmen and women and will happily spend a little more in supplies to get a better quality product in return. Our products are better because THEIR products are better.

If you buy towels from Costco, they may last 3-5 years at best. If you buy dish towels from the dollar store, they might last a year. If you amortize the cost of buying the same dish towels over and over again, over a period of 20 years, it only makes sense to buy from a weaver. You pay a little more per towel but you don’t have to buy again for 2 decades – or a lifetime, depending on if you buy cotton or linen. It just makes sense.

I think that you are on to something by pointing out the tribal mindset inherent in hand crafts people. And in the magic inherent in the crafts themselves, the world view they — almost require — to produce quality. I have myself done much meditation, much magical workings while spinning or weaving, even if the extent of the magic was to will strength and good will into each fiber, luck and joy on the wearer/buyer.

And the final, probably most important reason, to support your local craftsman/woman, is because they are the keepers of the knowledge of the skills. If they give it up, there will be no one to teach it to the next generation.

Our Post x-world

Stress and fertility


I think some family members might benefit from reading this.

bioZhena's Weblog

How stress affects the inherently narrow fertile window

Stress can do unwanted things to a woman and her menstrual cycle. In a nutshell, stress can make a woman completely infertile in this menstrual cycle (e.g., LPD, see below), or it can change the position of her fertile window (the time of ovulation included) within the menstrual cycle. Any of this can cause problems and lead to more stress…

The medical term is stress response, and it refers to the overall reaction of the organism to any adverse stimulus, whether it be of physical, mental or emotional kind, internal or external. The purpose is to adapt to challenge, and this goes on all the time. (C’est la vie! Real life is a never-ending series of stress responses.) Should the compensating reaction of the organism be inadequate or inappropriate, a pathological disorder may result.

The HPA axis, the immune system and the…

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