Video instruction is definitely going to play a role in the future of craft media. Watching someone sew, or paint, or fold paper can convey a complex technique easily in seconds. High-quality video demonstrations are also really enjoyable to watch. They’re a form of entertainment (think about The Food Network) as well as a form of instruction.
My guest on the podcast today is really good at video. Robert Mahar has a fantastic YouTube channel, Crafted With Robert, where you’ll find dozens of beautifully produced craft videos. He also has a class on CreativeLive. Robert specializes in crafty content that’s rooted in nostalgia, and his talent for reinventing old-school crafts with a decidedly modern twist has gained him a loyal following.
Robert first became known in the world of craft and design as the proprietor of Mahar Drygoods which he owned from 2005 – 2010, and that’s when we first met online. Mahar Drygoods was an online emporium of vintage and artisan crafted curiosities for children. He curated this online collaboration of more than 50 artists, designers and craftspeople to create the imaginative and unexpected. Never mass-produced, all Mahar Drygoods items were handmade in the homes and studios of their creators with an emphasis on recycled and sustainable materials whenever possible.
During our chat Robert talks about his 13 years as an appraiser of modern and contemporary art and how the skills he developed during that period of his career served him well as a shop owner, design blogger, and craft instructor. Robert explains what he learned about designing an approachable project during his time working at Paper Source and how that job led to an opportunity to create, produce, and eventually star in craft videos with the Kin Community.
- Robert’s appearance on the Martha Stewart Show
- the line of girl dolls he commissioned from Mimi Kirchner for Mahar Drygoods
- ModMom furniture
- Robert’s former design blog, The Junior Society
- Robert and Molly’s new studio
And, of course, Robert recommends great stuff he’s enjoying right now, including:
- Origrami Retroprint
- Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules by Corita Kent (and Lisa Congdon’s handwritten version)
- Castle in the Air’s doublette crepe paper and Dennison Company crepe paper craft pamphlets on eBay
- The Last Bookstore
Robert and I will both be teaching at Craftcation in March and I’m excited to meet him in person after all of these years. His classes will include “How to Teach a DIY Workshop,” “Producing a DIY Video 101,” and “Modern Himmeli Mobiles.”
Connect with Robert Mahar online at Robert-Mahar.com and in the following places:
Listen to the show right here by clicking on the arrow below or subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher (perfect for Android users) and listen on the go. I love to listen to podcasts while I sew, cook, fold laundry, and drive places. Don’t just flip through radio stations at random! Listen to the people you really want to hear from and learn something new.
I hope you enjoy the show.