By Stephen Brown, Guest Blogger
Let me start by saying how excited I am to be a judge on TLC’s new hit show “Craft Wars,” not only for the limelight it’s pushed me into personally, but for the glaring spotlights now criss-crossing the sky over the craft and hobby industry.
When I heard the news that “Crafting was making a Return” I found myself asking the question…Where had it gone? For myself and most of the creative people I know…it’s been alive and well, and has ask for no permission to leave the building!
Perhaps what the worlds been waiting for, is someone in the media to add its hip stamp of approval to crafting, like TLC who proudly announced “Craft Wars is not your Grandma’s craft show!” Now, how do they know that? They don’t…it’s just an attempt to blame macrame on the previous generation, clear the craft slate and get the world re-excited about the marvels of Make and Do. So for the moment, lets all agree as a group to refrain from using words like hanging table, bushy-eyed owl…no wait, they are popular again…wink wink…and larks-head (a popular macrame attachment term). We will assume all of our past craft crimes have been forgiven, and we will now embrace the “return” of what we all hold so dear, Crafting!
I have spoken with many crafters who have expressed their concerns about the competition factor on Craft Wars, saying art should not be timed, crafters should not be pit against one another….and artist should not be given random materials to create with, and while I understand the passionate place these remarks come from…please realize it’s like saying *Dorothy should have never been put through so much, to get back to Kansas! But without the yellow brick road, witches and flying monkeys the excitement of that journey would have been lost. And for the contestants and watchers of Craft Wars, it’s this battle of glue and glitter, that’s pulling in viewers that would have never known they were even slightly interested in crafting. That said, I would love to be hamming it up on your TV screen, teaching the detailed elements of craft I used to turn my handmade goodies into a multimillion dollar business called Glitterville…Where every day is a holiday! But lets start the masses out with the exciting stuff and then work towards the details.
On August 21st my first book called Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween…A glittered guide for whimsical crafting! will hit the bookstore shelves. One year ago…a full color how-to craft book was a hard sell to the publishers…but today with everyone’s excitement for crafting, the only question is “when will the next book be finished?” …and yes I’m working on that now!
While Crafting will never go out of style to any of us reading this article, it will be interesting to see how crafting in primetime TV will affect the world of Make and Do. I mean, look what it did for Glee clubs…an industry that was working with much worse PR than crafting. And as a lifelong crafter who sings show tunes I feel like things are finally Coming Up Roses!
*References to The Wizard of Oz, A Good Witch and the Wicked Witch that sits on the utmost far end from Stephen, is in no way intended to reflect the personalities of the judges panel on TLC’s Craft Wars. Any similarities are merely coincidental!
Stephen Brown is an author, entrepreneur and founder of the multi-million dollar giftware company, Glitterville Studios. His one-of-a-kind designs are described as “wondrously wacky” and are sold across the globe in a variety of high-end retailers. Stephen can be seen weekly on TLC’s Craft Wars on Tuesday nights at 10/9c p.m.
TLC’s CRAFT WARS “Barks & Crafts” episode premieres Tuesday, July 10th at 10/9c
Episode Description: Three competitive crafters go to battle in a series of challenges fit for man’s best friend; they must create a spectacular pet mansion out of pet toys. At stake is a $10,000 grand prize. The competition is hosted by author and avid crafter, Tori Spelling.
Series Description: In each episode of CRAFT WARS, hosted and executive produced by Tori Spelling, three talented crafters will be supplied with every crafting tool they could dream of, furnished by Michaels, the arts and crafts store, as well as some unexpected items. First, they’ll face off in the Pop Craft challenge, where they must create one of the craft worlds most popular items in just one hour. Judges Erica Domesek (author of the DIY book, PS I Made This), Stephen Brown (author and founder of the multi-million dollar gift wear company Glitterville Studios) and Jo Pearson (author and creative expert for Michaels) will evaluate their crafts and eliminate one contestant. Then, the final two crafters must wow the judges in the crafting challenge of a lifetime, the Master Craft challenge. They’ll have to use all of their creative crafting prowess, and push themselves to the limit, because when time is up, only one will win and walk away with the $10,000 prize.
Follow these links for sneak peaks:
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