Craft Crush #4: Barley Massey of Fabrications

22 Apr Craft Crush #4: Barley Massey of Fabrications

As the Craftivist Collective we love to showcase fellow craft-lovers who inspire us to keep crafting, teach us new craft skills & new ways of thinking and challenge us in how craft can be done and seen. These people keep me and the Craftivist Collective moving forward and growing and basically I have a big Craft Crush on them for that reason & want to celebrate their crafty brilliance with you so you can be inspired by them too.

Craft Crush #4 is…. Barley Massey!

I met Barley through a friend who took me into her Barley’s beautiful craft emporium Fabrications on Broadway Market, Hackney. My friend introduced us and said we should get to know each other. That was about 3 years ago now and since then Barley constantly inspires me every time we meet and work together. Not only is she an incredibly talented craftsperson who makes beautiful clothes, soft furnishings and can knit with giant knitting needles (!) , she also pioneered upcycling in the UK over 15 years ago and still creates some of the most beautifully innovative upcycled clothing and accessories. She also provides the wonderful service ‘Emotional Baggage Handling Service’ – genius! Barley is a social entrepreneur who has managed to create and sustain her craft business, with regular customers buying from her shop, going to her workshops and spreading the word about this beautiful haven that encourages and offers to nurture every one who comes through the doors & is constantly evolving. Barley quietly practices what she preaches, is one of the most  humble people I know and deserves to be hailed as Craft Crush this month 🙂 

Barley Massey at Fabrications counter_Bernie Keating

 Name: Barley Massey

Website & : Fabrications  

What do you do? I’m a modern day rag and bone woman, maker, shop keeper, teacher and emotional baggage handler

What are your first memories of crafting? Learning to knit with my grandmother and making squares with all her scraps of wool. I eventually finished this blanket in my teens!! Another early memory is going through tins of buttons, canadian healthcare online pharmacy reviews suitcases of fabric, off cuts, old trim, lace with my other nan who had worked in the Lancashire cotton mills so she had a great stash!

What inspires you? Everyday life and how it unfolds, but I’m especially inspired by people who encourage and support others in the face of adversity.

Who do you have a craft crush on? Lucy Orta. Her performative style of work combines architecture, fashion and social activism. I love her “Identity + Refuge” and “All in one basket / Hortirecycling Enterprise” projects.

What three things could you not live without? Good health, Family & Friends and Creativity

iamapiece_2012How has craft been a positive influence for you, your community or society at large? Craft has kept me grounded, positive and connected through some difficult times. It has given me a trade and sustains me financially and artistically. It has brought me unexpected opportunities and allows me to meet inspirational and caring people I might not ordinarily get to meet. It has enabled me to be resourceful, do more with less, be productive and to value and be valued. It has taught me the importance of patience, to learn from my mistakes, that perseverance is rewarded and good things and change can be created!

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to eliminate human corruption?

Have you got any words of encouragement for our readers about the power of crafts? Believe in yourself and your ideas, it’s important to discover your own creativity and voice. Learning new skills can be challenging, don’t give up! As you practise and progress the benefits start to magically appear! Do what you love and love what you do! And finally your contribution however small can make a difference – look at impact of the Craftivist’s Collective’s recent jigsaw project.
I'm thinking of making mistakes_02Please do support independent shop owners like Barley by buying from her shop (online or in person), recommending people to visit Fabrications nd spreading the word of her shop & services she provides!:) 

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