>> Carla Sinclair is editor-in-chief of CRAFT magazine.
From process to product, copying is imperative to crafts.
Last summer, when it reached 119 degrees are pleasantly addictive.
in my neck of the San Fernando Valley, I One level up from the process level is the product
guzzled bottle after bottle of icy kombu- level. A quality that differentiates a CRAFT project
cha tea. The tart, sparkly, slightly sweet brew was from a MAKE (our sister tech publication) project
the only drink I found refreshing. Although the is that it’s not uncommon for a beader to make 20
fermented tea is fairly new to store shelves, people copies of the same earrings, or a knitter to make
have been making it themselves for thousands of dozens of the same stuffed owl. This compulsive
years, and it has a reputation for being a powerful desire to create and repeat leads crafters to become
detoxifier as well as providing other health benefits. business-minded — or at least generous around
According to Wikipedia, the chef at Google prepares gift-giving holidays.
batches of kombucha and serves up 100 glasses a On the highest level, the instructions for creating
day at the corporate cafeterias. craft-based projects are copied — online, in sewing
The ingredients of kombucha tea include black or bees, at stitch-and-bitches, and in publications.
green tea, sugar (to ferment it), water, and a kombu- When this happens, many people are creating
cha “mushroom,” as many kombucha aficionados, copies of the same thing at once.
including myself, improperly call it. (It’s actually a Still more ways that craft and copies are inter-
symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.) laced include:
As a former kombucha brewer, I’ve always been • Crafting to replicate what you see. For instance,
intrigued with the mushroom. Its texture reminds the Counterfeit Crochet Project (page 54) playfully
me of octopus sushi — slick, tough, and rubbery. — yet seriously! — encourages crocheters to copy
Its alien appearance is flat, floppy, disk-like, and coveted designer bags with their needles, yarn,
almost translucent, with a fishy-gray tint. and imagination. And Jonathan Danforth (page
But the most fascinating feature of the mushroom 30) uses his modified camera to copy positive
is the fact that, during the fermenting process, the images of what he sees onto silver-plated metal.
mushroom clones itself so that you end up with • Crafting templates to duplicate a design. Sew-
twin ’shrooms, one lying on top of the other, both ing patterns fall into this category (read about
of which you can use to make new batches of tea. pattern-maker Lisa Howdin on page 52) as well
When Arwen O’Reilly wrote a kombucha tea how- as rubber stamps (page 21) and linoleum block
to (page 101), it got me thinking about the cloning printing (page 134).
aspect of making the tea, and then how replication This Creative Clones issue has plenty of projects
is a part of crafting on many different levels. we hope you’ll want to copy. But more importantly,
On the ground level, one aspect of many crafts is we hope you find projects that serve as a kombucha-
duplicating a particular technique hundreds, even like host for you to create something original,
thousands, of times to complete a project. something others will want to replicate. ×
Crocheting, embroidering, knitting, spinning wool,
and beading are some examples of crafts that turn
us into robotic machines, copying the same purl,
chain, or whipstitch jillions of times until the project