Author Archives: Craftivist Collective

About Craftivist Collective

We are a group of people who marry activism with craft. Our Manifesto is: "To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions." We do craftivism projects as individuals and groups all over the world and would love you to join in on the fun that trys to have a positive effect on the world. All events are open to all, anyone can take on one of our projects we just ask for photo evidence and your thougths for our blog. If you feel you need more support to deliver a project just ask! :)
  1. Join our workshops at Knitting & Stitching Show in London AND Harrogate

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    K&S_LOGO_WHITE

     

    We are part of the Knitting & Stitching Shows again this year. It’s ace being surrounded by crafters excited to see how they can make the world a better place using their passion for craft. Our workshops have sold out quickly in the past feedback has been great.  We’ve met some lovely people and heard their story of how they got in to craft, how they use it and afterwards, what they are thinking to do next knowing how craft can work well will activism in some situations. Come join us this year :)  

    We are doing 4 Mini Protest Banner workshops this year. 2 at London and 2 at Harrogate. All are 1 hour long and you will learn more about how craftivism can be used and useful. Plus you will receive a craftivism kit (worth £10) & extra resources you can take home to help you in your craftivism. Book before our limited spaces sell out 

    1. Saturday 11th October 1pm-2pm,  London, North West Hall, Alexandra Palace. Workshop number C182. £12. BOOK HERE

    2. Sunday 12th October 11:45am-12:45pm, London, North West Hall, Alexandra Palace. Workshop number C222. £12. BOOK HERE 

    3. Saturday 22nd November 2:15-3:15pm,Harrogate International Centre, Kings Road Harrogate HG1 5LA. Workshop number C110 BOOK HERE

    4. Sunday 23rd November 2:15pm-3:15pm,  Harrogate International Centre, Kings Road Harrogate HG1 5LA. Workshop number C151. BOOK HERE

     

    Mini Protest Banner on theme of home
    Mini Protest Banner on theme of home

     

    You will learn how to make a Mini Protest Banner using cross-stitch & hand embroidery methods, explore & discuss the benefits of craftivism for the maker & viewers and how it can create change. All participants will receive a complete kit for you to work on during the workshop and take home in a small bag to continue your craftivism piece at home and become a craftivist
    Suitable for any level.

     

    If you can’t come to an event. Don’t let that stop you from getting your crafty activism on. Our book A Little Book of Craftivism if full of top tips and you can get our craftivism kits in our shop here

  2. Everyone wanted to stroke & hug our wellbeing soft sculpture bunting words made for decoration!

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    I love my job! In June I was asked by Now Events Live Founder Jana Stefanovska if I would ”decorate Deptford Lounge as part of the Anxiety Festival” where they were a partner. We also were booked to deliver a craftivism footprint workshop at the Deptford Lounge as part of the programme of activities throughout the festival.  I often get asked why I came up with particular ideas for craftivism projects. Here is a little peak into my brain about why and how I made wellbeing soft sculpture bunting (it fits in pretty well with our current #wellmaking project we would love you to get involved in)

     

    'Reflect' soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

    ‘Reflect’ soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

     

    A bit of background on who I was working with: 

    Anxiety 2014 was a new London-wide arts festival, curated by the Mental Health Foundation and took place throughout June. The festival explored anxiety, looking at its causes, how it affects all of our lives, and how it can act as a creative force. It brought together leading and emerging artists to address anxiety from different angles: from medical, social and historical perspectives to individual, collective and contemporary viewpoints. It presented a dynamic programme of visual art, film, performance, music, dance, theatre and talks spanning venues across London, including leading arts organisations, universities, health care institutions and community centres.

     

    Now Events Live is a wonderful organisation that create events that champion unique ways of being in the moment and enjoying what it brings. They offer an innovative blend of arts and wellbeing activities for all ages, from debates, talks and workshops to participatory installations and shared spaces. They provide opportunities to play and party, and also to reflect and be still. So it seemed like a perfect fit for us.

    'Learn' soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

    ‘Learn’ soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

     

    Decoration idea:

    Like all of our work I am determined not to create work that ends up in a landfill or cannot be reused, recycled or upcycled so that was always part of my private brief. Plus I always try and use recycled fabrics where I can, donated fabrics or scraps others might not use.  I’ve gotten to know Jana, the Founder of Now Live Events over the last few months and I knew we were going to be working at Wilderness Festival together too and she always has other events so I suggested I make resources that could be used at other events too which she was excited about. She was also happy for me to borrow the decorations too if she wasn’t using them at certain times which was great to know (did you spot some of them in our #wellmaking launch party photographs?). 

    Anxiety forms in different ways for everyone and expressed in different ways too so I wanted to make sure no one felt overwhelmed or misrepresented with the decorations around them. I also wanted our craftivism pieces to provoke thought and discussion about the world, everyone’s wellbeing, the wellbeing of our planet and society and not just our own world. See our current project: Craftivists Garden #wellmaking for more info on wellbeing and flourishing as individuals)

    'Be Active' soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

    ‘Be Active’ soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

     

    Design decisions & execution:

    I decided to create words for people to reflect on before, during and after their different workshops to keep them focused and present. Based loosely on the NEF 5 ways of wellbeing I picked 6 elements to make into separate bunting pieces with the hope it might spark of thought and discussion. I decided to do the lettering very rounded, lower case & not too large so it wasn’t too in-your-face or shouty (you know like when your parents used to send you a text ALL IN CAPITALS and sounds like she is shouting down the phone at you?! Maybe that’s just me being over sensitive?:s). I used colours that were hopeful like yellow and calming like green as well as kitch patterns that again were not to demanding of attention but still stood out in the Deptford Lounge. I decided to stuff the lettering (even though that quadrupled the time it took to make!) so it made the venue feel safe, comfortable and cosy to everyone. They were not fully stuffed because I wanted them to still look delicate and unassuming, even a little vulnerable. For a similar reason I decided to blanket stitch around each letter with embroidery thread to make it look more handmade than machine made (it was both). I have to admit it took me days and days to finish off all the letters (on the way to meetings, travelling around the country and during late nights) but I always believe that people connect more with items that have had time spend on them than items that have been made  in 3 minutes by a machine.

     

    'Hope' soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

    ‘Hope’ soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

     

    The Bunting messages you can see on the photographs are: 

    1. Connect – connecting to your senses, connecting to other people and the planet and our impact we have.
    2. Learn – always keep learning especially learn how to help not harm others, keep empathising, keep understanding how our actions affect others and if we don’t know the answer, ask and find out. Understand what makes us tick and how we can be our best selves to be useful on this planet using our gifts and passions.
    3. Be Active – not just to get our endorphins up (even though that is so so important!) but also to help the wellbeing of our communities, to remind us that we can achieve things and we are powerful. Help us stay strong to keep fighting for a better world for us and everyone.
    4. Reflect – stop, slow down and reflect on what we are doing, feeling, thinking and why. Do we need to be more mindful and intentional in what we do to help ourselves and have a positive impact on others too. Sometimes we can go on auto-pilot and forget that other people exist too.
    5. Hope – don’t make despair convincing, have a vision for a better world and a plan on  how to get to that vision and believe that we can reach it.
    6. Breathe – don’t forget to breathe properly, to check we are focused, rested and present too.

     

    'Connect' soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

    ‘Connect’ soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

     

    The results: 

    Jana wrote:  ”Craftivism Collective is an incredible organisation with an amazing founder that aims to change the world through craft. NOW really resonated with the ethos and found that Sarah (the founder’s) approach to craft was something we really understood from the point of view of the ability of craft to focus you on the present moment. Sarah approached the workshop with incredible enthusiasm and the participants said they left feeling a sense of calm and presence having taken part in craft activities from a new angle while also discussing thought-provoking topics. The hand-stitched bunting created for the week-long festival at Deptford Lounge was absolutely beautiful and really fit the space, creating a theme focus for the week” = Pretty good aye!?;p 

     

    Since then I’ve used the bunting events and received great feedback where people went straight up to touch the letters, stroke them (!) and they’ve created great discussions on what it means to be well and live intentionally in this life of ours so we help not harm others were possible. Not only that but whilst I was making the bunting I was sharing photographs on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts and feedback was lovely: People where guessing what words I was stitching that would link to anxiety and I had some great chats with people on buses and other places were people spotted me frantically blanket stitching these little soft sculptures.

     

    'Breathe' soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

    ‘Breathe’ soft sculpture bunting photo by Tom Price

     

    We are a social enterprise providing craftivism products and services for individuals and organisations to learn how to use craft to change the world for the better one stitch at a time. We hope you like our post, maybe you would like to share the images with friends who might like them and might encourage them in their wellbeing as a global citizen on this planet :) x

  3. Ooo London Fashion Week starts today but whatever you do… Don’t Mention The Garment Workers!

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    I have to admit that I stilllove reading Vogue cover to cover once a month on a day off. It’s a little treat & distraction to help me rest & look at beautiful images of clothes, shoes & bags (ooo bags…). Anyway, today is the first day of London Fashion Week.  In many ways #LFW is a lovely reminder to all of us, wherever we are in the world, of how creative humans can be in creating stunning clothes, spectacular events and fantastical images. However, don’t you find it uncomfortable that the people who make clothes never receive a mention despite working long hours, with the majority (so sad to say) on poverty wages in unsafe conditions? I know I do. 

     

    Left up on a mannequin in the shop window of Paper Dress Boutique, Curtain Road, Shoreditch London. Photo by Robin Prime

    Left up on a mannequin in the shop window of Paper Dress Boutique, Curtain Road, Shoreditch London. Photo by Robin Prime

    The British Council conveniently don’t mention the garment workers, so this morning our friends at War on Want cheekily decided to give them a helping hand by dropping a banner outside of the main event saying:

    “DON’T MENTION THE GARMENT WORKERS”

    Look for the actual image on Twitter and elsewhere online now. Pretty provocative hey? What would you think if you spotted it walking through London as a fashion industry person? 

    Mini Fashion Protest Banner hung inside the epicentre of LFW last year in Somerset House. Sadly the fact is still true. Photo by Robin Prime

    Mini Fashion Protest Banner hung inside the epicentre of LFW last year in Somerset House. Sadly the fact is still true. Photo by Robin Prime

    We love fashion but hate sweatshops, which is why we want London Fashion Week to celebrate style and creativity but also to discuss how the industry can stop exploitation. Us craftivists can help get the message out there too in 2 ways.

    1. A quick way is by sharing the image of the giant banner  (find it online now) and of yourself like the below image on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler etc, to ensure garment workers aren’t forgotten but get the respect and dignity they deserve.
    2. A craftivist way you can show solidarity with garment workers is to make one of our bespoke Mini Fashion Protest Banners  and hang it on a shopping high street or mall never you wherever you are in the world. You can also share this on social media and we can retweet it etc too.

     

    Help spread the word by taking a photo of yourself holding a homemade sign saying #dontmentionthegarmentworkers & share it social media with the hashtag

    Help spread the word by taking a photo of yourself holding a homemade sign saying #dontmentionthegarmentworkers & share it social media with the hashtag

     

    Our bespoke Mini Fashion Banner kit fits easily into bags to take out and craft with a cuppa

    Our bespoke Mini Fashion Banner kit fits easily into bags to take out and craft with a cuppa

    Your kit includes everything you need in a resealable bag including a vinyl sticker to keep

    Your kit includes everything you need in a resealable bag including a vinyl sticker to keep

     

    Thank you (in advance) for your help – we will be joining @waronwant tweeting & instagramming #dontmentionthegarmentworkers today and sharing the message that London Fashion Week should love fashion but hate sweatshops- come join us online and help get the message out…

    Just “Don’t mention the garment workers!” ;)

     

    If you want to find out more about our way of doing craftivism, our book A Little Book of Craftivism is a great starting point. Buy here. We are a social enterprise so rely on your support to exist. If you like this post (we hope you do) then do share it with a friend you think might also like it (please).

  4. 5 types of activism we think craftivism can be – visual minutes from Sarah’s Shambala Festival talk

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    When I got an email from Ed Gillespie, Co-founder of Futerra & author of ‘Only Planet‘ asking me to speak at Shambala Festival in his brilliantly titled tent: ‘The Emporium of Invaluable Insights’ on August Bank Holiday it was hard to say no plus it was on the way to do craftivism at Greenbelt Festival so I managed to go & hang out at this lovely festival for the day. 

    You might have seen the tweets, Instagram pics or posts on our Facebook Page of me in Shambala   delivering a talk to festival-goers chilling out in the warm, welcoming and whimsical tent & the response we had which was ace!

    It was a super-friendly and thoughtful audience open to hearing about our approach to craftivism plus I loved the fact that they had a bunch of illustrators and artists creating ‘visual minutes‘ on boards that where then left up for the entire festival for people to see a summary of the talks they  had missed. These images are totally shareable/pinnable/tweetable/instagrammable… online don’t you think?! (hint hint hehee;p)

    The theme for the Emporium this year was: Make. Do. Mend. And here is a little report from Ed on how it went plus the ‘visual minutes’ of my talk (higher resolution images can be found on our Flickr album here)

     

     

    The Visual Minutes board of my talk which I think was about 10foot tall

    The Visual Minutes board of my talk which I think was about 10foot tall

     

     

    “It was truly wonderful to have so many amazing and committed speakers giving so freely of their valuable time to come and share the experience and have a little adventure in utopia in that wee corner of Northamptonshire that springs into verdant and vibrant pop-up life each and every August Bank Holiday weekend… 

     

     

    The top of the 'Visual Minutes' board summarising my craftivism talk

    The top of the ‘Visual Minutes’ board summarising my craftivism talk

     

     

    “This was our third year of curating the Emporium and easily (in our modest view) the best so far, bringing something unique, provocative and profound to proceedings…

    “ Sarah inspired us to stitch and bitch with the best, urging elegant and beautiful provocations with graft that shift perceptions and behaviours, campaigning has never looked so artful”

     

    I gave a bit of background on how craft had been used throughout history for political change

    I gave a bit of background on how craft had been used throughout history for political change & my background growing up as an activist and then as a professional campaigner

     

     

     

    Then I spoke a little bit about the physical, psychological & emotional benefits of using handicraft and how linking that to activism is a great fit sometimes

    Then I spoke a little bit about the physical, psychological & emotional benefits of using handicraft and how linking that to activism is a great fit in lots of ways

     

     

     

    1 focused on 5 ways craft can be useful in the activism toolkit. 1 it helps transform ourselves before we ask other to change

    1 focused on 5 ways craft can be useful in the activism toolkit. First of all I think it helps transform ourselves

     

     

     

    Craftivism is a form of respectful activism- it's about engaging people in conversation, empathising with others whether they are victims or perpetrators, listening and working together to be the change you wish to see. All common sense really if we want long term change in our hearts and minds too don't you think?

    In my opinion craftivism is a form of respectful activism- it’s about engaging people in conversation, empathising with others whether they are victims or perpetrators, listening and working together to be the change you wish to see. All common sense really if we want long term change in our hearts and minds too don’t you think?

     

     

     

    For the Craftivist Collective craftivism is about graceful activism: it's about beauty, not trying to save or help people but treating oppressed & vulnerable people with dignity, its about solidarity not charity...

    For the Craftivist Collective craftivism is about graceful activism: it’s about beauty, not trying to save or help people but treating oppressed & vulnerable people with dignity, its about solidarity not charity…

     

     

     

    Our approach is quiet- quietly engaging on social justice on our own exercising our inner monologues or quietly discussing the issues in small groups and attracting people to come over and ask us questions and see what we are doing

    Our approach is quiet- quietly engaging on social justice on our own exercising our inner monologues or quietly discussing the issues in small groups and attracting people to come over and ask us questions and see what we are doing

     

     

     

    Our final example of our craftivism methodology is that it has to be joyful: we visualise how more awesome the world can be and how to reach that beauty, activism needs a dose of joy to sustain us and attract others to MAKE the world a better place one stitch at a time...

    The final example of our craftivism methodology is that it has to be joyful: we visualise how more awesome the world can be and how to reach that beauty, activism needs a dose of joy to sustain us and attract others to MAKE the world a better place one stitch at a time…

     

     

    “I think you’ll agree that is one fantastic feast of purposeful hedonistic fun, leaving all who passed through the Emporium’s portals with actionable inspiration that will lead to ripples of change both gentle and gigantic!” says Ed Gillespie, the organiser of this event. Thanks Ed!:)

    What do you think? We would love to hear your comments below :) x

    If you couldn’t attend this event but want to find out more about the Craftivist Collective’s methodology, our book A Little Book of Craftivism is a great starting point. Buy here. We are a social enterprise so rely on your support to exist. If you like this post (we hope you do) then do share it with a friend you think might also like it (please).

     

  5. “This is when change comes about: when people stop shouting their own messages and start listening to other peoples’” says craftivist Nicky

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    “My Craftivism”  is a series: We’re always excited to hear about & spotlight craftivism projects that fellow craftivistas are involved in. It can really inspire us, challenge us and hopefully get us all thinking about what is effective craftivism. In this series we hope to offer a platform to craftivists to show and speak about their latest craftivism activities & their approach to craftivism (which may be different to ours). If you would like to share your own craftivism piece or event with us please do email us at Craftivist.Collective@gmail.com for more info :)  

     

    Craftivist Nicky, Founder of Pink Giraffe, with her first piece of craftivism

    Craftivist Nicky, Founder of Pink Giraffe, with her first piece of craftivism

     

    In her own words, Nicky is a home educating, wheelchair rolling, eco-friendly, hand crafting Mummy. Nicky came along to our craftivism talk & workshop at MS Life this year in Manchester (the biggest event for people affected by MS in Europe) with her super-cool husband and son. This lovely and thoughtful lady explains what her response to craftivism is & how she is going to use it…

    Nicky ,how did you get into craftivism?

    I recently attended an event organised by the MS Society and took part in a craftivists session run by Sarah Corbett. I hadn’t heard of craftivism before, but I’m kind of crafty and occasionally a little bit radical, so I popped along to see what it was all about. The first session wasn’t about ‘craft’ as such, but about why Sarah uses crafting as a tool for her work as an activist. 

    My first thoughts were all about how many crafters I knew and how quickly I could spread the message among them. I felt compelled to try and get everyone to become a craftivist, but I didn’t feel like this for long. Sarah explained the deeper meaning behind craftivism and this challenged me to think about the purpose of crafting to send out a message. The message is always more important than the craft.

     

    “Sarah explained the deeper meaning behind craftivism and this challenged me to think about the purpose of crafting to send out a message. The message is always more important than the craft.”

     

    In the second session we got our hands on needle and thread. I enjoyed this because I love craft, but having thought more about why I was taking part, it was also satisfying on a deeper level because I had an objective, a purpose. In my business as a textile artist I create a piece of craft for aesthetic reasons only. Does it look pretty? Yes, job done.

     

    Craftivism is so much more. 

     

    Tell us about your craftivism project / event – what did you do, and how, and why? 

    I took my hanky in the kit provided by Sarah and scripted a message to my local MP asking him to step up to the mark and start treating disabled and vulnerable people more fairly. The recent campaign by the MS Society #treatmeright highlights how access to MS treatment is varied throughout the country with some people not receiving any form of treatment for their condition while others have access to all kinds of medication and even complimentary therapies.

     

    I am still working on my hanky and will be requesting a meeting with my MP once it is completed. I am not rushing this project like I might once have done. I am thinking about the message behind the hanky, what it signifies and how it might make a difference.

     

    “I am not rushing this project like I might once have done. I am thinking about the message behind the hanky, what it signifies & how it might make a difference.”

     

    Nicky spent time thinking about making her hanky message timeless & a universal message. Now she is therapeutically stitching over her handwritten message using our Don't Blow It hanky DIY Craftivism kit

    Nicky spent time thinking about making her hanky message timeless & a universal message. Now she is therapeutically stitching over her handwritten message using our Don’t Blow It hanky DIY Craftivism kit

      

    What response do you hope to get from your craftivism?

    I hope that my MP will take notice for a start and not dismiss me. I would like it to be the start of a continuing dialogue between us where I can got o him with my concerns and know that he will listen and take on board what I am saying.

     

    In the area I live in there are currently several inconsistencies regarding access to healthcare and treatment for disabled people and I would like to try and bring these issues to his attention. For example, I have access to an excellent care package from my council. It allows me to live myself as close as possible to how I would live if I wasn’t a wheelchair user.

     

    If I lived just a few miles away over in the next local authority, I would not have access to the same care plan. Without my care package I couldn’t parent the way I wish to, I couldn’t work as a self employed artist without the support it gives me and my family and I wouldn’t be able to live my life the way I choose. All because I live in the wrong area.

     

    The insides of our craftivism 'Don't Blow It' hanky DIY kit Nicky used. Get your kit through our Etsy shop

    Our craftivism ‘Don’t Blow It’ hanky DIY kit Nicky used. Get your kit through our Etsy shop

     

    What were you thinking about while you were stitching?

    While at the MS event I was obviously thinking lots about MS and how my own life is affected by it. Now I am back home and working on my hanky I am thinking about all the other people that might benefit from the little piece of craftivism I am creating. Not just people with MS, but any disabled or vulnerable person. It is important to me to distinguish between disabled and vulnerable, not all disabled people are vulnerable too. 

     

    The are times when I do feel vulnerable as a disabled person, as a woman, as a mother, but it does not define me and I don’t think my feelings of vulnerability are any greater than they would be as a woman without a disability. We are all vulnerable in different ways and it is important to me to distinguish this from my disability.

     

    I’m also thinking about the people I have already met through volunteer work with other disabled people and how I might be able to tackle the problems faced by disabled people in the first instance, rather than be reactionary once the problem already exists, particularly in my local area.

     

    The insides of our craftivism 'Don't Blow It' hanky DIY kit Nicky used. Get your kit through our Etsy shop

    The insides of our craftivism ‘Don’t Blow It’ hanky DIY kit Nicky used. Get your kit through our Etsy shop

     

    How do you think that craftivism can change the world?

    I believe that most worldwide movements start with something small. It just takes one person to stop and say: ‘Hey, that’s not right…’ and if they go about it in the right way others will slowly start to listen and perhaps join in.

     

    “Craftivism has the potential to reach out to people that might not normally view themselves as an activist. It is peaceful, yet meaningful. It sends out strong messages, yet it does not shout. Craftivism sits quietly in the corner and sooner or later someone else takes an interest. This is when change comes about. When people stop shouting their own messages and start listening to other peoples’. “

     

    Anything else we should know?

    So I guess craftivism is a win win situation for me. I love crafting and I can now use it to send out a message about any subject I feel strongly about. The MSLive session helped me find an outlet for my feelings regarding unfair treatment of disabled people. Being positive and almost introverted, it allows me to act on these frustrations without making myself ill through exhaustion and physical effort.

    I am 36 years old. I live in North Lincolnshire with my family. I’m a home educating, wheelchair rolling, eco-friendly, hand crafting Mummy. I own Pink Giraffe, Pink Giraffe Eco and Home-Ed Hoodies as well as running an eco friendly cleaning company with my husband. 

     

    Don't blow it. Let's use craftivism in an intentional, mindful and effective way to engage others in a deep and long term way to improve the world one stitch at a time :)

    Don’t blow it. Let’s use craftivism in an intentional, mindful and effective way to engage others in a deep and long term way to improve the world one stitch at a time :)

     
     A big thanks to Nicky for her time and thoughtfyl answers. If you like this post please do share it with friends you think might be inspired by it to. Don’t forget that you can join in our craftivism projects wherever you are in the world, on your own or in a groups. Plus we have craftivism kits such as our Don’t Blow It hanky kit in our Etsy shop amongst other items if you want to get stitching. Our book ‘A Little Book of Craftivism’ is also full of tips, advice and projects to help you in your craftivism. Craftivist Collective is a social enterprise that relies on your support. If you enjoyed this blog post, please comment, share & visit our shop :) x

     

  6. Sarah Corbett speaking at TEDxBEDFORD 2014 – it’s already sold out!

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    TEDx Bedford 2014

    TEDx Bedford 2014

     

    Craftivist Collective Founder Sarah Corbett will be one of the 16 speakers at this years sold out TEDxBedfordTEDxBedford 2014 is taking place on the afternoon of the 15th November 2014 at The South Bank Arts Centre, Bedford College. A diverse range of speakers will join us to share their ‘ideas worth spreading’ relating to our theme ‘by Design’. Strictly limited to 100 attendees expect an intense and engaging afternoon of big ideas, new connections and fresh inspiration. All talks will be filmed for those unlucky people who are too late to buy tickets, we will post up the video when it is online :)

    Speakers have now been announced and can be seen here . They will include of clever thinking behind objects, behaviours, businesses and services, be inspired by the higher ideals of beauty, nature and goodness, and be challenged about the way our lives impact on the planet and its people. Together we will explore how business can be beautiful, how craft can be powerful, how services can be transformed by harnessing the power of people and much, much more.

     

    Sarah will be talking about her craftivism methodology and the importance of design when it comes to creating effective craftivism that engages people and groups and provoke us all to be part of the change we wish to see in the world not the problem. This will be a unique talk Sarah hasn’t delivered before.

     

    If you cannot attend this event but want to find out more about the Craftivist Collective’s methodology, our book A Little Book of Craftivism is a great starting point. Buy here

  7. Sarah Corbett giving a free talk in Brighton

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    Poster by Brighton Etsy Team

    Poster by Brighton Etsy Team

    All are welcome :)

     

    Organised by the Etsy Brighton Group, come and hear Sarah Corbett, Founder & Director of Craftivist Collective talk about her journey into craftivism, her methodology and more. You can also buy her signed book, DIY kits and more on the night too.

     

    All info here.

     

  8. Join us for come craftivism at London’s “The Make Escape” Tuesday 29th July

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    When was the last time you fancied doing something a little bit different after work? Maybe you’re too broke for a meal out, there’s nothing on at the cinema, you don’t want to stay out too late, are not in the mood for the gym, feel bored of sitting in the pub or just want to get away from your day job, and do something creative?

    That’s what The Make Escape Craft Night is all about: letting you forget about the stresses of your day, offering a place to hang out, meet new people, catch up with friends and learn something new, all for free. Founder Momtaz Begum-Hossain explains: ‘The craft night phenomenon is historic; quilting groups, sewing circles and knitting groups have always met, but what we do at The Make Escape is ensure it’s accessible to all. That’s why our nights are completely free to attend and every single participant gets to ‘make and take’ something home, assisted by the most talented designer/makers in the UK.’

    We love The Make Escape run by the super-lovely founder Momtaz. This will be our third time we are involved in one of these crafty nights and we can’t wait to see how our new Craftivists Garden #wellmaking project goes down with everyone who goes (eek! I’m quite nervous). So please do come along to:

    The Make Escapes: Village Fair Craft Night Tuesday 29th July 2014

    7:30pm-11pm, Hackney Attic, (5th floor Hackney Picturehouse), 270 Mare Street, London, E8

     

    Village Fair Make Escape poster by The Make Escape

    Village Fair Make Escape poster by The Make Escape

     

    Each month there are themed workshops run by special guests. Over the last year guests have included fashion designer Rosie Martin from DIY Couture, Man Embroiderer Mr X Stitch, The Great British Sewing Bee contestant Tilly Walnes, Stitch London founder Lauren O’Farrell, author Perri Lewis. There’s also a regular Collage Corner, a Makers Market where artisans can sell their work without stall hire, a Knit & Knatter spot where beginners can pick up needles for the first time and learn to knit, a licensed bar, and music provided by resident DJs The Spinning Yarns.

    This month we are the special guests with our Craftivists Garden project! We will be doing a little talk on what the project is and then getting you crafting and chatting through our wellbeing questions.

    join our new project Craftivists Garden

    join our new project Craftivists Garden

    Join us for this summer spectacular bringing rural idyll to Hackney with an evening of crafty activities that celebrate the great British summer fair. As well as the usual workshops and music us craftivists will be inviting you to join in our new campaign #wellmaking.

    The Make Escape’s resident woolley experts will show you how to knit or crochet your own flower while textile artist Purple Claire will be leading a session on embroidering flowers alongside craftivist volunteers (if you would like to help us on the night please get in touch here) . Flowers created on the night will form part of The Craftivists Garden Project and will go on display next year. If you don’t have time to finish your flowers you can take it hope to carry on contemplating whilst crafting.

     

    Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING project small flowerbed that will hopefully grow into a large flowerbed by January 2015. Photo by www.tomalprice.com

    Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING project small flowerbed that will hopefully grow into a large flowerbed by January 2015. Photo by www.tomalprice.com

     

    On the night there will also be:

    Prize winning corsages

    Sadly we are not having a cake contest but you can still make and wear your own corsage with help from sewing expert Katie Farrell who runs creative workshops and sewing parties at The Sewing Circle.

     

    Corsages. Image by The Make Escape

    Corsages. Image by The Make Escape

     

    Collage corner

     

     

    Paper Bunting image by The Make Escape

    Paper Bunting image by The Make Escape

     

    A fair wouldn’t be the same without bunting – make your own themed paper bunting to take home with you or colour, cut and paste to your hearts content – we have a host of inspiration including vegetables and cakes to create and colour.
    Tuck in!
    You can now order food at the bar which will be delivered to you in your own lunchbox which you can munch into as you craft.
    Entertainment!
    Resident DJs The Spinning Yarns will be on the decks but we’ll also be joined by some actual, real, Morris Dancers! Expect some country games too and possibly a tombola….
    As ever doors open at 7.30 and we craft through to 11pm. All activities are drop in. The Craftivists will be giving a talk at 8.30pm about their #wellmaking campaign so make sure you get there before then!
    If you cannot attend this event, don’t forget that you can still get involved 0n  your own or in a group using our craftivism kits anywhere in the world, blogging about your activities for this website, commenting and sharing what we do. We are a small social enterprise relying on your support to continue to exist to support you. 

     

     

  9. Introducing the #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden!

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    *DRUMROLL* 

     Ladies and gentlecrafters, we are thrilled to finally be able to share with you our new project… 

     

    The #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden!

     

    This exciting collaborative venture will show how craft activities can help improve wellbeing by involving participants like me and you in the fun, connected, sensory and mindful process of making things.

     

    Craft. Connect. Reflect. Challenge. Grow.

    This is a unique project that goes beyond seeing  craft as a relaxing tool but seeing craft as an incredible tool to help us connect, challenge ourselves and help us grow and flourish in our lives in different ways and help us see how we can change the world one stitch at a time.

     

    If you’re based in the UK, we’d love you to join in and hand-embroider, knit or crochet a flower for our #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden, while reflecting on the importance of wellbeing and what we need in order to flourish as individuals and as a society. 

     

    Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING project small flowerbed that will hopefully grow into a large flowerbed by January 2015. Photo by www.tomalprice.com

    Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING project small flowerbed that will hopefully grow into a large flowerbed by January 2015. Photo by www.tomalprice.com

     

    The World Health Organisation defines ‘wellbeing’ not as one but as three things:

     

    1. Realising our potential (not comparing ourselves to others or trying to be someone else)
    2. Coping with daily stress (small things that affect all of us daily)
    3. Contributing productively to society (not just focusing on our own direct physical and mental health like you might think!)

     

    the 3 elements of wellbeing hand-embroidered onto a fabric flower

    the 3 elements of wellbeing hand-embroidered onto a fabric flower. Photo by www.tomalprice.com

     

    Many of us have read about or experienced first hand how craft helps people’s wellbeing, and we believe it is also a beautiful tool for us to reflect on how we can improve the wellbeing of those around us in our communities and in society. 

     

    Craft is a lovely way to keep us optimistic and striving for better things; it’s a great tool to think about challenging and sometime uncomfortable thoughts (like how we all impact each other and planet) with the comfort of craft to help us not go into despair or feel disempowered.

     

    The project: 

     

    We want each flower to represent you as a flourishing flower in our garden (which itself represents society, obvs!) and the time you have taken to deeply think about wellbeing for you and others. We’ve also created an app to collect your private answers to our questions for us to then present to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Arts & Health in January 2015, to provide evidence of the power craft has to improve our society. And we’d love you to join our #wellMAKING Garden Party in January when it is confirmed.

     

    All you need to get involved can be found here &  at www.craftivist-collective.com/wellMAKING :

     

    Download our app to take part in this project on your iphone or android phone

    Download our app to take part in this project on your iphone or android phone

     

    We are really excited that we will have a virtual garden map thanks to an app that will allow you and other participants  across the UK to upload photos of your work and location (you can keep this vague if you like) to show your crafted flower blossoming alongside others in our garden. 

     

    The #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden UK project is being run in partnership with Falmouth University, Voluntary Arts and Arts for Health Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, and is a Connected Communities project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

     

    To find out what each of our partners has to say about the project & updates on our progress do keep checking www.craftivist-collective.com/wellMAKING

     

    our Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING  kit includes, fabric flower (all unique), coloured thread, needles,  double-sided colour instructions sheet & facilitators sheet all in a little ziplock bag. Find it on Etsy

    our Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING kit includes, fabric flower (all unique), coloured thread, needles, double-sided colour instructions sheet & facilitators sheet all in a little ziplock bag. Find it on Etsy

     

    So let’s craft, connect, reflect, challenge so we can grow as individuals in society.  Come join  this unique project to  think beyond craft as a relaxing tool into a tool to help us strive and flourish in our lives in different ways and change the world one stitch at a time…. x

     

     

    PS If you are not a UK resident don’t be upset; we have lots of other projects you can take part in on your own or in a group on our Project Page here and you can buy a kit for help in our Etsy online shop. We hope to make a Craftivists app for worldwide use in 2015, so watch this space! :) x

  10. ##sewinspeakout Schools craftivism project with World Aims in Methodist Schools

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    Late last year (2013) I delivered a talk and workshop at World AIMS annual residential weekend with Methodist School students & teachers from across the UK. There were approximately 70 students and teachers in the session and feedback from all ages was really positive. Teachers spoke about how they could use craftivism in their Global Citizenship classes as well as art and textile classes. All teachers received a copy of our A Little Book of Craftivism to take back to school with them for inspiration. World AIMS, students and teachers enjoyed the session so much they asked us to create a national schools project with them. 

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

     

    The craftivism Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops #sewinspeakout project with World AIMS launched March 2014 to engage students and others on the issue of sweatshops and support War on Want’s campaign: Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops. We provided instruction sheets, case studies & questions for students to read and reflect on whilst they stitch their message as well as suggested content for their patch such as facts, quotes and slogans to provoke themselves and viewers to engage in this issue.

     

    World AIMS is a charity that provides a range of teaching resources and sources of inspiration for helping learners find out more about the world around them. It’s vision is: “A world where poverty and injustice are always challenged, in order that people may exercise their rights and live with dignity”. 

    Students and teachers have been asked to stitch patches (that look like our Mini Protest Banners) for a large banner that is now on display at Methodist Conference. 

     

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

     

     
    World AIMS Manager Sarah Corris wrote that schools have “chosen to express their voice through stitching.”

    “It acts as a reminder that the small action of an individual has caused a much bigger reaction to a wider audience, posing a question, forcing us to stop, think and reflect, perhaps motivating us to take action with those in a position to change these conditions.”

    “The variety in the messages stitched in our banners is vast, yet we all united behind the same general principle, that we need our government to change their policies to demand that fashion companies respect the rights of their workers.  We know that this will only come about by as many people as possible speaking out and putting pressure on those in a position to change laws.”
    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

    “The campaign is still going and what has been really inspiring to see is how the campaign has spread from beyond the schools to members of Methodist Women in Britain as well as children from Methodist Churches.”

    We have now exceeded over two hundred banners, from at least eight of our schools.  There are currently some of the mini banners on display at the Methodist Conference and the aim is to do a hand-in to Downing Street in mid September and we look forward to inviting some of our students and staff to attend this event.  It is also fantastic to see the campaign continue to grow in strength via twitter, so please keep the campaign alive by tweeting about it using the hashtag #SewInSpeakOut, It is also not too late to produce some banners over the summer that we could also hand in to Downing Street!

     

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

     

    “I have been astounded by the strength of feeling behind this campaign from the students involved.  This only seeks to highlight how young people have a voice and also have the power to use it.”

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

    Tweets from participants on this craftivism project

     

     

    Craftivist Collective is a social enterprise that relies on your support! If you enjoyed this blog post, please comment or share.

    Do visit our shop too, where all profits support the work of Craftivist Collective. You can also donate via Paypal. 

    If you would like to write a guest post for the Craftivist Collective blog, email us at hello@craftivist-collective.com

     

     

     

  • @NorthWestNosh: #craftivism encourages craftsters to engage with activism in our own quiet way. Sometimes the quieter the revolution, the louder it is heard.

  • @PrickYourfinga: At tonight’s #craftivist stitch-in we talked about what it must be like to be a politician, and how to activate change in our busy lives.

  • @Rin Simpson: My small act of craftivism will, hopefully, go some small way towards changing the world. But more importantly, it has changed me.

  • @storyofmum: I love the project – it’s really inspiring&creative & has really got me excited about activism again in a way I haven’t been since my teens!

  • @tomofholland: @Craftivists shows, inspires and facilitates craftsters to unite their individual creative powers to raise awareness of social issues.