Building Your Own Network
One of the goals of this website has been the creation of a national Arts & Crafts network, where collectors, dealers, artisans, architects and anyone with an interest in the Arts and Crafts movement can instantly be in touch with others with similar interests.
And while the internet can provide us with the tools to make this possible, it cannot duplicate, it cannot replicate, and it cannot be a substitute for personal contact.
Like yourself, when I was growing up there were a plethora of clubs: Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H, religious groups, card clubs, book clubs, photo clubs, women’s clubs, and so forth.
Many of these have become but a shadow of what they once represented. Perhaps the advent of easy transportation and advanced technology have lessened the need for small clubs and organizations.
But, as we have already demonstrated in other ways, Arts and Crafts collectors are again the exception.
When the Arts and Crafts movement was first gaining a foothold in cities such as Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and Buffalo, those first enthusiasts recognized that they needed a means of meeting people with similar interests – and of spreading the word.
And so they created Arts and Crafts Societies.
While it may seem that the Arts and Crafts movement is well-established today, we remain as scattered as those first enthusiasts were more than a hundred years ago. And despite the advances in technology, we still remain isolated from many of our fellow Arts and Crafts collectors. Without fail, at each year’s National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, someone meets a new Arts and Crafts friend – only to discover they live just a few miles apart.
I would like to encourage you, then, to call or email your Arts and Crafts friends who live in your area and to suggest that you form an Arts and Crafts Society. It doesn’t have to be a burden for anyone. Start small, invite friends over to one of your homes, ask everyone to bring a dessert or drink to share, and have one of your members present an informal show-and-tell on what they collect.
And if your group soon outgrows everyone’s home, find a room in a church, school, restaurant, or community center where you can meet.
The important thing is to reach out, to meet other people with similar interests and to establish a friendship, a network, a community of Arts and Crafts collectors.
And when you do, let us know and we’ll publicize it here at ArtsandCraftsCollector.com to help spread the word.
Until next Monday,
Thanks for stopping by!
Top: Textile expert Paul Freeman discussing textiles with Grove Park Inn Conference attendees.
Middle: Arts and Crafts friends Bob Thompson, Laura Wilder, and James Miller enjoying some time together while setting up at the Grove Park Inn Conference.
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