When our fingers spend more time selecting things on touch screens than physically picking them up, what does it mean to be handmade? Ethnographic documentary I Am Handmade answers this question by diving into the world of artists and craftspeople who sell their handmade creations on Etsy.com. Hobbyist and professional makers from a diverse array of backgrounds across the United States share their amazement that "complete strangers from the internet" love their silver origami unicorns, quirky hand-painted mugs, and chunky knitwear necklaces enough to part with cash. But, doing what you love isn't as easy as it sounds, and being your own boss carries with it a perverse risk of working yourself to death. The crafters in I Am Handmade can create everything from life-size Doctor Who piñatas to handspun merino yarn. Hand-making their lives, though, requires hard choices.
Running time: 30 minutes
I Am Handmade
by Samantha Close, Ph.D. Student, USC Annenberg