Hippie Homesteaders takes the reader to West Virginia, introducing them to craftspeople who made their home in the Mountain State in order to live off land and their artistic skills. It filled me with pride to learn how the government of the state of WV encouraged and supported crafters. Crafting is highly respected as it’s a way to continue and respect traditions of the past, and to bring them into the future. Tamarack is a center that connects WV crafters with travelers so the artisans have an outlet showcase their talents for new buyers and fans.
This book gives a snapshot of the lives of many crafters who came to WV in order to earn a living with their art, and sometimes coming to the state to learn an art to support themselves. The artists found themselves accepted in their new state and given opportunities to perfect their craft. I loved getting a peek into the lives of these artists and their struggles and determination to live off the land and their crafting abilities. The artist community is a tight knit group and its was wonderful to read how they helped each other.
The Internet has made it possible for the artists (painters, potters, beaders, quilters, weavers, etc.) to reach more buyers and allows them to grow their income, and introduce those outside of the state to the unique handcrafted wares produced in the state of West Virginia.
The can-and-will do spirit of the crafters showcased in the book was a huge encouragement to me and restored some of that same attitude in me. I can’t wait to get back to my writing…and I’m also itching to get some more crafting of my own done.