Handmade online: the crafting of commerce, aesthetics and community on Etsy.com Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Abrahams, Sarah L.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of American Studies, Folklore Program
  • Etsy.com is an online marketplace for the buying and selling of handcrafted objects. As a part of the independent/DIY craft subculture, Etsy.com offers a unique glimpse into the world of contemporary, independent craftspeople. Though only three years old, Etsy has been exceptionally successful in creating a unique space for craftspeople to interact with peers, as well as sell their objects to an ever-growing customer base. Beginning with an analysis of the website's technological and socio-cultural precursors, I interrogate Etsy's self-presentation as a company interested in both commerce and community. In turn, sellers maintain high expectations for what the website can and will help them to achieve. I explore the aesthetics of the objects promoted on Etsy with particular attention to the traditionally gendered nature of craftwork, reconfigured notions of labor and leisure, and the perceived benefits and drawbacks of individual artists working inside a private, for-profit company.
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  • In Copyright
  • Roberts, Katherine R.
  • Open access

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