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 us in Bristol for a wellmaking craftivism workshop (only 10 places available)

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    Join our Founder Sarah Corbett, delivering a Craftivists Garden #wellmaking Workshop in Bristol:

    Tuesday 18th November, 6pm-8pm, Alterknit Universe ‘the WOOL SHOP’, 39 Main Road, Cleeve, Bristol, North Somerset, BS49 4NS

    £4 each (Ages 12 and over only). BOOK HERE. We only have 10 tickets available.

    Craftivists Garden #wellmaking logo by www.mattwithers.co.uk
    Craftivists Garden #wellmaking logo by www.mattwithers.co.uk

     

    Craftivists Garden #wellmaking workshop with Craftivist Collective Founder, Sarah Corbett 

    Join me in Bristol leading a #wellmaking Craftivists Garden project workshop that will show how craft activities can help improve wellbeing by involving participants like you and me in the fun, connected, sensory and mindful process of making things. What you will make: You will create an embroidered flower to add to a national installation of flowers in January 2015 in London.  Your flower is invited to be part of the installation, you can, if you wish, have it back after being part of the installation in January. If you don’t finish the flower in this session you can take it home to finish and post it to Craftivist Collective. The choice is yours!
    All materials will be provided.
    £4 (Ages 12 and over)

     

    Please book HERE to pay £4 per person.

    Our process for craftivism
    Our process for craftivism for this project
  2. Did you spot us in Mollie Makes (Issue 45)?

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    We are always so humbled to be covered in Mollie Makes. They cover our projects a lot!:)

     

    Did you spot our Founder Sarah Corbett in Issue 45 of Mollie Makes? The issue came on sale 22nd September. We love Mollie Makes & Mollie Makes readers. MM have been so so supportive of our work over the last few years and have featured our projects and images numerous times. Editor Lara has attended our events too and we feel very much part of the MM community so we feel very honoured to be in issue 45. What do you think of the interesting feature?

     

    Have a look at the sample issue HERE if you haven’t got a copy. Be warned – it will definitely tempt you to buy their lovely magazine!;p

     

     

     

    Cover of issue 45 or Mollie Makes which has a feature we are covered in.
    Cover of issue 45 or Mollie Makes which has a feature we are covered in.

     

    Article our Founder Sarah Corbett was interviewed for. Read what she says. Do you agree? :)
    Article our Founder Sarah Corbett was interviewed for. Read what she says. Do you agree? :)

     

     

    All images for this article in Mollie Makes are ours-  we are honoured that they chose them. What do you think?
    All images for this article in Mollie Makes are ours- we are honoured that they chose them. What do you think?

     

    Mollie Makes is a lifestyle magazine for those who live creatively. They bring you the latest crafting trends in easy-to-follow how-tos, encouraging you to adapt and share your own crafty spin on things. MM celebrate creative industries and give up-and-coming designers their first platform, discuss hot topics in the design world with lots of insider tips, and aim to inspire readers to live your best, artful life.

     

    Creative endeavors are more than a day job for the Mollie Makes team. From choosing gorgeous indie cushions and prints for their interiors pages to learning how to take beautiful photos for their website and Instagram feeds; customising  clothes to making gifts for friends, they’re crafting along with you. MM love trying new things and being inspired by what crafters are creating, wearing and blogging about too.

    The Mollie Makes community is supportive, lively and full of crafty knowledge and like-minded people.

     

    Readers can SUBSCRIBE HERE.

     

    Download the iPad VERSION

     

    And keep up-to-date with the blog and subscribe to their newsletter here: www.molliemakes.com

     

     

  3. Women’s Institute spotlight our current project: Our Craftivists Garden #wellmaking project is featured in October 2014 issue of WI Life

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    We are honored to have our current project Craftivists Garden featured in the October issue of Women’s Institute (WI) magazine ‘WI Life‘. Many of the WI groups across the UK take part in our craftivism projects and we hope they will take part in this project too.  

     

    The Women’s Institute (WI) was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation’s aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. The WI will celebrate its centenary in 2015 and currently has 212,000 members in around 6,600 WIs. Wow!

     

    The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities. You don’t want to mess with these classy campaigners. 

     

    See there feature here:

     

    WI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women's Institute members in the UK

    WI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women’s Institute members in the UK

     

    WI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women's Institute members in the UK

    WI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women’s Institute members in the UK

     

    WI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women's Institute members in the UKWI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women's Institute members in the UK

    WI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women’s Institute members in the UK

     

    WI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women's Institute members in the UK

    WI Life magazine Oct 2014 issue. This magazine is for all Women’s Institute members in the UK

     

  4. Come join in our London workshop for our Craftivists Garden project :) 13th Nov

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    Come to our London Craftivists Garden workshop! :)

    Thursday 13th November. Book your ticket for  £4 here

    Starting 7:30pm with a short introduction and then crafting in groups, 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.

     

    Our process for craftivism
     

    wellmaking craft groups

     

    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.

     

    3 elements of wellbeing crafted into a flower

     

     

    Join our London workshop to 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. We want as many people here as possible. Please arrive just before 7:30pm to start at 7:30pm with a short talk and then crafting in groups around tables.

     

    £4 ticket pays for the craft resources.

    You can also buy tea and cake from the ethical cafe to have whilst crafting.

     

    Kahaila cafe where our workshop will be including tea and cake

     

    More about the project:

    See our video here

    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.

     

    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 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.

     

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

     

    So let’s craft, connect, reflect, challenge so we can grow as individuals in society.  Come join  this unique project to  think beyondcraft 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

  5. My journey as a DOer: from reluctant doer to… (hopefully!) a helpful doer. A filmed talk for The Do Lectures 2014

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    Image by Nick Hands of www. slow

     

     

    I’ve been a fan of the Do Lectures for the last few years so when I was asked to speak at this years Wales event I was super-excited but also terrified. The event is an intimate affair for around 100 people in a farm in Cardigan, Wales for 3 days. They hand pick 20 speakers from around the world to attend the 3 day event and talk about their journey of doing with the hope that they will inspire the attendees and people who watch the film online to DO good in our world using whatever talents and passions you have.  I often watch their filmed talks online whilst I’m making our craftivism kits because the talks are so honest, show people’s journeys, passions, learning from mistakes, their fears & vulnerabilities but their stubbornness to keep striving to make the world a better place for everyone.

    The Do Lectures was asked to give a talk in I’ve never done before so I decided to talk through my steps as a doer to show that anyone can make a difference.

     

    You don’t have to be super-human, perfect, extrovert etc. If I can do it, you can too!:) My journey in the video here goes through my stages in doing in this order:

     

    1. A reluctant doer - nervous to take hold of to the opportunity put in my way to represent my fellow school students as Head Girl but rising to the challenge. 
    2. An angry doer – angry that Primark was opening a massive store in Liverpool one summer but no one was going to be outside to remind people of the harm Primark do to the planet through fast fashion, not paying their garment workers a living wage etc so I felt I had to do something.
    3. A busy doer – campaigning in my job as a professional campaigner and support activists, joining lots of activist groups in my spare time… 
    4. A doubting doer - doubting traditional campaign methods and new forms labelled as  clicktivism and slacktivism.  
    5. Stubborn doer - not wanting to give up on fighting injustice and striving to help make the world a better place but not knowing what to do. 
    6. A quiet & gentle doer - quietly figuring out how I could use the meditative and aesthetic qualities of craft in activism and create activism methods that could be more engaging to people where traditional forms didn’t seem to work.
    7. A accidental doer – lots of people wanted to join in my craftivism projects so I accidentally ended up creating and leading the Craftivist Collective.  
    8. A helpful doer –   trying to be a person on this planet making the world better in my small way and trying to support other people to be helpful doers too 

     

    So here it is… I hope you find it useful to help you think about your own in your journey as a doer and how we are all human beings so all have the power to do good (and harm if we aren’t careful) so go on, do it, do what you can to remake this world into an awesome place, you know you can ;)  

     

    My Do Lecture 2014 talk - I was soooo scared!

    My Do Lecture 2014 talk – I was soooo scared!

     

    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 this post, if you do please share it with people you think might also like it and do check out our little shop here to see what we offer and how you can help support us to continue to exist :) x

     

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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).

     

  10. “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

     

  • @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.