“Everyone knows how darn after a fashion – one has, after all, to darn so often…” ~ Maureen Goldsworthy, ‘Mend It!’
“To sew is to pray. Men don’t understand this. They see the whole but they don’t see the stitches. We mend. We women turn things inside out and set things right. We salvage what we can of human garments and piece the rest into blankets. Sometimes our stitches stutter and slow. Only a woman’s eyes can tell. Other times, the tension in the stitches might be too tight because of tears, but only we know what emotion went into the making. Only women can hear the prayer.”
A couple of years ago I made a post describing a fine mending job that I did for my brother-in-law, repairing his tallis (prayer shawl). Little did I know that the post would lead to a small but significant flow of jobs mending precious, and sentimental, or just beloved textiles, for people here in Winnipeg.
Honestly, it’s been a surprise to me, how few people or businesses offer fine mending! I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to work on some really interesting and challenging textiles.
It’s been a hell of a overcomsumption party, but the fun is over and the guests are puking in the bushes outside. It’s time to relearn the wisdom of Making Do and Mending.
The Japanese have a really beautiful set of aesthetic traditions that, to me, are the exact opposite of the frantic, febrile spasm of over consumerism that the world seems to be caught up in. We are literally consuming ourselves to death.
One of the most beautiful and healing of these concepts is wabi sabi.
Wikipedi says, “Wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
“the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy.” (Wikipedia)
Those are such beautiful concepts. There is a coolness, serenity, naturalness and acceptance that feels like the exact opposite of anxiety in these concepts. Now I am no expert at all, but I think I really get this right down to my bones. These are my guiding principals as a craftswoman. Continue reading “Visible Mending: The Beauty Of Broken Things”
Clearly the product of a crochet craftavist’s happiest hallucination about a trip to an alternate crochet circus universe. Wow.
Without a doubt this is the most fantastical excursion into a surreal crocheted reality ever. I think my favourite part might be the lovely lace parasols of the stilt walkers. Or maybe the woman filling her crochet grocery cart with crochet food. What a fantabulous yarn bombing. A must watch.
A lovely little yarnbombing video that’s relaxing and enjoyable to watch. Take a few minutes to breathe and enjoy! The stilt walker’s umbrellas are my favorite. See photos on Facebook
I was immediately caught up in the wonder of the intersection between non-Euclidean geometry, feminism, crochet, and environmentalism, and I set out to make my own Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Garden.
I have a crochet coral reef in my living room.
My Coral reef is full of tiny sea creatures, mostly sea turtles, octopuses, and snails, because I find them the most fun to crochet.
When kids come to visit, I like having something completely indestructible for them to play with. It’s extra fun when they find a tiny albino sea turtle hiding inside a sea-weedy coral. Very often, a guest will pick up a coral to play with and sometimes I send the coral home with them. Everyone should have an encounter with a coral garden I feel.
I am a craftswoman, not an artist. I am a Craftivist too. Let me tell you why…
The Personal Is Political
Words can be unexpectedly powerful. The difference between a craftswoman, needleworker, crocheter, fibre or textile artist, and artisan, etc., may be only a matter of terminology, but what you call yourself makes a real difference in both self and public perception.