14 Feb Our Valentines Craft Crush is…
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, seen & have a positive mark on the world. 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 #13 is…. Deirdre Nelson!
I’ve had a few people independently tell me to look up Deirdre Nelson’s work as an example of thoughtful craft work that engages in social and environmental issues personally and within community engagement work. I particularly love Deirdre’s Bird Yarns Project as a clever way of engaging people in environmental issues through knitted birds across Scotland (Deirdre will be sharing this project as part of our ‘My Craftivism‘ blog series soon. Once you’ve read Deirdre’s answers and explored her work you will soon see why we have a crush on this inspiring crafter.
Name: Deirdre Nelson aka: @dstitch
What do you do? I am an artist creating work mainly in textiles . My nomadic nature and interest in communities have allowed me to develop work for exhibition and on residencies both in UK and Australia . Research, humour and craft technique contribute to projects dealing with relevant social and environmental issues whilst engaging communities in the process.
What are your first memories of crafting? I suppose I must have been making and crafting from a very age as I have little memory of learning skills such as sewing and knitting. It seems like I have always being doing it ! I grew up with making around me in a time as a child when clothes were handmade and jumpers knitted
What inspires you? I am inspired by contemporary culture and social/craft history. Inspiration comes from many sources but much of the everyday in life provides a great inspirational resource for me. I am also inspired by people I meet in a variety of situations. Observations and human stories provide much food for thought in beginning a project.
Who do you have a craft crush on? My crushes are more in the area of design with makers who are interested in materials, making skills and ideas. Artist and designer Dominic Wilcox creates work which combines humour, making , invention and observation of human behaviour. Dutch Designer Christien Meindertsma explores the life of products and raw materials and makes comment on producers, products and consumers in a globalised world. I admire how both artists/designers observe both human aspects and materiality of life around them.
What three things could you not live without? Friends, music + humour
How has craft been a positive influence for you, your community or society at large? Personally craft and making has allowed me to create a career out of something I love doing. It has allowed me to explore and comment on social / environmental issues with communities and engaged makers of different levels in the process. Such craft projects connect communities, enhance skills and wellbeing and are great fun too!
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? BIG question but if I was to choose one thing…it would be Distribution of wealth
Have you got any words of encouragement for our readers about the power of crafts? Try new things, get lost in making and when you emerge look around you constantly for inspiration in all places !
See our other Craft Crushes here. Who’s your Craft Crush? Let us know in the comments section
Are you getting itchy fingers after reading this and fancy doing a bit of craftivism? Why not head to our Etsy Store to pick up our book or DIY Craftivism kits