Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day.... Political crafting!


We love crafting (D'uh) we love to find other rad ladies that craft too. And we definitely love crafting that crosses boundaries whether that me into the art world, to build communities or make a political statement.

In celebration of International Women's Day here are a few of our favourites... 

The Yarn Mission


The Yarn Mission was created in October, 2014 as activism in the St. Louis area expanded showing breadth and longevity. While the community reacted to police murders of disproportionately young Black men and women (an issue that existed before the Summer of 2014), organizations that existed expanded their audience-base and new organizations emerged. The Yarn Mission was created to support and promote anti-racism/anti-sexism/anti-oppression activism.

I think I stumbled upon The Yarn Mission sometime last year in an article somewhere and I loved the whole idea.
They have four aims:
skill sharing: I am an active believer in skills sharing and something I aim to do throughout my life, The Yarn Mission hopes to share skills for economic means and promote self care.

Community engagement, bringing others who may not be aware of activism, to a place where activism is encouraged via a craft.
Also Service and fundraising, giving back to the local community.

 I love the idea of an activity that is primarily seen as something white people do, being done by POC whilst simultaneously bringing a community together.


OLEK’s art explores sexuality, feminist ideals and the evolution of
communication through colors, conceptual exploration and meticulous
detail. OLEK consistently pushes the boundaries between fashion, art, craft and public art, fluidly combining the sculptural and the fanciful. With the old fashion technique of crocheting, she has taken the ephemeral medium
of yarn to express everyday occurrences, inspirations and hopes to create a metaphor for the complexity and interconnectedness of our body and
psychological processes.

Polish born artist, Olek crocheting master, using looped yarn to create large scale pieces of art often commenting on political and cultural affairs. Creating brightly coloured installations, smaller scale pieces and taking up public spaces with a very traditional form of yarn craft.

Lisa Anne Auerbach

Lisa Anne Auerbach started using knitting as a means to ‘write’ bumper sticker style slogans directly onto woollen jumpers to create both an artwork and a wearable, topical statement. Through the process of knitting, her words form an integral part of the final structure rather than being painted or printed on to an existing support, (be it a canvas or a t-shirt), allowing the art and the words to be interwoven as one and the same.

Lisa Anne Auerbach is an artist that creates a range of work, but it's her knits that we love.

Particularly her knitted jumper series'. Creating technically skilled pieces of work, that look like traditional knitted jumpers but with political statements within them. Looking like the 'Christmas Jumper from yr nan' but bearing slogans such as 'Keep Abortion Legal'.
Her work provides an amazing display of craft whilst simultaneously a social commentary.

Craftivist Collective

Craftivist Collective was founded in 2009 when after years of marches, signing protests and working on campaigns for large charities, experienced activist Sarah Corbett had begun to doubt the effects of some conventional activism and sadly didn’t feel that she fitted in to many activist groups. The time felt right too add a slower and less aggressive approach to the activism toolkit
An urge to get back to making things with her hands at the same time of feeling like a burnt out activist led her on the journey of becoming a craftivist

I first heard about Craftivist Collective few years ago and Sarah did a feature in one of our early issues of Sugar Paper.
Back then they sent out mini banner kits, where you cross stitched something you felt strongly about and made it into a mini banner, using the cable ties provided you put it in a public place for all to see, with the intention of sparking of questioning and thinking over something.

They know do much more, from the mini banners to solidarity bunting, protest post its and alternative love letters. It's a project that has grown and grown, helping people to learn new craft skills whilst fighting and speaking out about the world's injustices! 

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