16 November 2010

Science and the arts: Geek Crafters

The Geek Revolution, it seems, is coming. We've been banging on about it at Geek Pop for ages, but now that it's actually happening and the likes of Jonathan Ross and Daniel Radcliffe are standing up for all things geeky and sciencey, it's a bit overwhelming.

Oh, everyone is a geek these days. You can't walk down the street without bumping into someone with thick-rimmed glasses and a side-parting.

So what now to stand out from the geek masses? To separate yourself from the students, the celebrities, the geek fashionistas? What now must the true geek do to demonstrate her devotion to the pursuit of nerdery? To show that she knows geekdom is not just a hairstyle or a cardigan fetish, but a way of life.

Er, well. For my part, I've bought a sewing machine.


Oooh, shiny, shiny...

Ahem. Right, so what's this got to do with geekery? Well, I have to admit that the reason I bought a sewing machine was to make my own curtains and cushion covers. A little nerdy in itself perhaps, but nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, I thought some arts and crafts would provide some light relief from all the hardcore science I have deal with on a daily basis.

Then I discovered THIS.

Okay, for those of you who can never be bothered to click on links, let's try that again. THIS.

Spoonflower.com Amazing. It's nothing to do with spoons, or flowers, but it is AWESOME. The idea is: you design your own (nerd) fabric, upload it, and then they digitally print it for you, post it to you, and you make cushion covers/tea towels/pants*/whatever out of it. Or if you're lazy like me, you just pay to use other people's nerd designs. Needless to say, everyone I know is getting tea towels for Christmas this year. I just have to decide whether to make them out of this:


Or this:


And, well, I can't pretend I haven't considered this:


But what's struck me since I purchased my Singer is that the whole "geek craft" scene is huge. Perhaps it all started with those giant microbe plushies everyone was into a while back. Someone thought: I can make one of those. I'll just sew a couple of eyes onto a purple blob and hey presto! It's Epstein Barr! And lo, geek craft was born.

It's not just sewing though. A few years ago, I did an interview with a biologist/artist who was making and mailing out jewellery based on the structures of molecules. And if I've seen one science-themed cupcake, I've seen a hundred.



This is devotion to the cause indeed. Of course, some people - like the molecular jewellery lady - are actually making decent money out of their geek crafts. But most are just doing it for the hell of it. I like that level of dedication in a person. And it reeks of geek.

So perhaps this is what it takes these days to prove that you're not just a fleeting nerd. Maybe artistic expression of one's love for science/geekery is the ultimate demonstration of what it is to be a geek.

And P.S. I'm getting married in May. Any suggestions for geek items that I can craft from some of those Spoonflower fabrics? Bacteria bunting? Tardis chair ties? Yeah, I don't know what the point of chair ties is either, scratch that.

*Just for the Americans, I do mean "pants" (underwear) and not trousers, which aren't quite as silly.

1 comment:

sos_jim said...

May I have the fishy tea towel for Crimbo please?