nerdcraft: a field guide

nerdcraft: a field guide

per the talk i gave last summer at gnomedex, i will do my best to  document the nerdcraft taxonomy that i have been playing around with for some time.  for those of you unfamiliar with taxonomy; it is essentially the science of classification; or more simply organizing neat stuff into clever categories.

the genesis of this project came about from me being an avid internet user (addict) who spends a lot of her time (ok most of it) following blogs, sites, communities, podcasts, etc that have to do with crafting.  i found that i was particularily delighted by items that blended two of my passions: fiber arts & the realm of nerdy interests.  after a while it became clear that there were enough of these amazing projects popping up to merit some sort of classification system.  and thus the field guide to nerdcrafting was born.

to keep myself from going too crazy and maintaining a certain level of focus i limited the domain i would follow to things made by hand.  domain being the highest taxonomic rank and for my purpose the qualifier that would rule out items manufactured.  as cool as the darth vader head that bre pretis showed being printed by a makerbot is, it falls out of my field guide since it was not constructed by hand.

the next level down in the taxonomy is the kingdom; and in this case it is nerdcraft which isn’t necessarily crafting done by nerds, (although more often than not it is); it is making things that you could say lie in the realm of the nerd.

following both domain and kingdom is the phylum; which is where my personal passion lies: fiber arts.  whether it is knitting, sewing, cross stitch, crochet, needle felting, or any sort of combination of the above i am absolutely in love with the fiber arts. although within the domain and kingdom of handmade nerdcrafting there are many other options to focus on: papercrafting, metal work, painting; i’ve chosen to stick with fibery geeky goodness.

in the case of class which can be likened to genre i have three that i’ve currently identified:

movies, books & television the example below being the fabulous princess leia buns designed, knitted and modeled by the very talented ansley bleu.

games & gaming this example, i’m proud to say, was knitted by me based on a pattern designed by famous british designer alan dart.

science & technology probably the class that produces the most suprises; science & technology is a popular genre of the nerdcrafter. the example below was knitted by the genius of the crafty hedgehog who has also made the pattern available for sale!

stay tuned because i will be writing follow up posts that delve into the families and species for each of these classes, with even more amazing (dare i say jaw dropping, smile inducing, hearty laughter provoking) samples from across the web.

finally, when i do post photos of species please note there will be two genus in which they will likely fall.

the first is literal; which is a literal representation of the subject captured.  for example these adorable super mario mushrooms created by emily b. miller of chilly skyline for her husband’s cube at work.  the pattern is also available!

the second is conceptual, which is more of an homage or tribute to the subject and an original presentation by the artist.  in this case wonderfully warm wooly wrist warmers with the same cute super mario mushrooms as above.  brought to you by the uber cool and talented vickie howell.

so to quickly recap my nerdcraft taxonomy, it is:

domain: handmade

kingdom: nerdcraft

phylum: fiber arts

classes: movies, television & books; games & gaming; science & technoloy

genus: literal and conceptual.

the fun is watching the families (think star wars) and species (felted sarlacc pillow anyone?) unfold!

so next up with be filling out my field guide and continue to grow into the  nerdcrafter i  aspire to be.  hope you’ll join me for the ride.