2022: Year in review
2022, it wasn't so bad, and parts were really good. We are in our fourth year as a collective and our theme this year was seeking ways to work and grow sustainably. A big lesson from the pandemic (ongoing) is both to not do unnecessary work, but also to do more of what we do love and what works. We are working in a seasonal rhythm, we have been test driving alternate methods of playing with others (big love all 'round for our "work parties") and with each other (shared support and encouraging rest) We were able to grow as a collective, making connections to new community (institutional) partners as well as connect with, support and learn from new artists so what more can you ask for? Here are some photo highlights season to season from the year that was.
Images (from left to right, top to bottom, more or less): Dropping off goods at Double Take thrift store (310 Gerrard St. E., Toronto) during our residency, DoubleTake upcycling sweaters workshop, a still from the online workshop and WIP items on display in the window of Double Take. Second row: Workshop ad for Scraps Challenge at the Textile Museum; DT Spring residency announcement, Textile artist Alex Verkade delivering work to the residency via Tanya; Nancy Rawlinson's "Chickens of encouragement" for sale on the DT website,
third row: Repaired Right pamphlet from artist Jeanna Wigger, online fabric giveaway from Marnie Saskin, Marnie hosting online part of hybrid "Cutlery Wrap" workshop and the Do-it-Together invite for our Cutlery Wrap hybrid workshop,
fourth row: Banners at a climate action, then images from the in person part of the DiT workshop: participant with Alex and Leah, hands ironing, Kate Hamilton with Leah and Tanya outside the venue.
January to March: workshop and residencies while isolated
The year began with another wave of Covid causing lockdowns and shutdowns into January. We began our Double Take Thrift store artist residency at the end of 2021 and were very happy to be joined by more artists as the residency continued into March. Textile artist (Alex Verkade) joined us in the residency with her upcycled quilt pouches, and then applied to be artist in residence as a solo artist in in the Spring. We lead two successful workshops in January - an upcycling one (deconstructing a sweater) as part of our DT residency and the other a really fun "scraps challenge" online teach-in with the Textile Museum of Canada.
We also sought more ways to connect with makers and community partners: we connected with U.S. based textile artist and repair activist Jeanna Wigger to bring her wonderful "Repaired Right" booklet across the border. WiP artist Marnie Saskin used a fabric giveaway online as a way to demonstrate our philosophy of "there is enough" and kept their front yard "little art library" stocked with donations from neighbours in Hamilton. We loaned our bunting stash to support climate activists in Toronto, and WiP artist Tanya Murdoch used her video skills to document and share the event.
And we continued to roll with circumstances in the world, and as venues opened up to in person workshops we wanted to keep the benefits of online learning so when Kate Hamilton from Building Roots asked us to join her Do it Together series we did it with facilitators in person and online, with connections at the beginning and the end of the workshop. It was lightly attended but really rewarding and a model for workshops going forward.
Images (from left to right, top to bottom, more or less): Appletree's Ringing in the Spring post and images from the event in June Rowlands park and the neighbourhood swap, including Nancy at the Repair+reuse advice table, Mehtap Mertdogan with Tanya our Spring swap poster designed by Lara Boadway; second row: Marnie at hand cranked sewing machine, Heather and Margaret at their swap station, mosaics created at the event with Mehtap, Leah with flowers from Periwinke and Shams modelling her #mesew overalls plus (third row) wide look at event with bunting and kids doing activity in front of the garden sign we made in 2019.
fourth row: Leah drawings and Safiya/Tanya video in the Textile museum; images from our work party including Marnie Alex and Leah going through shams' fabric stash; Tanya holding up finished bunting and (below) Shams and Alex sewing at work party, bunting in process and then (ends of row 4 and 5) bunting loaned to local fun fun fair, collaboration of Safiya's wool knit into mittens by Nancy (and regifted to Safiya) plus Alex textile art in Niagara gallery (inclduing some fabric from work party) and Music for Climate Justice musician Cassie Norton playing violin.
April-June: in person play
We were really excited to time our Spring Swap to coincide with a new event started by our community partner Appletree Markets they called Ringing in the Spring, with eco/educational booths, crafts, music and food. We collaborated with local mosaic artist Mehtap Mertdogan to create mosaics with families in the park, we had a repair advice table with Marnie Saskin, Nancy Rawlinson and a textile activist and artist new to us, Shams el-Din Rogers- we brought upcycling samples and handcrank machines. We also had our neighbour-to-neighbour swap with ALL sizes at various yards around the park, and a team of teen volunteers to help support the hosts. It was exhausting but really satisfying. And being together in person built stronger bonds: Nancy and Safiya got to know each other, and Nancy took some of Safiya's hand spun yarn and knit her a beautiful set of mittens. Leah and Tanya took Shams' aunts purses, and the drama department got a new fur coat.
The event was all hands on deck, and with Tanya still exhausted post Covid, we decided to cancel the Hamilton version of the swap and just store/donate remains until the fall. we also filed the final report for our OAC grant, which had supported many educational/artistic events as a collective over the past year and a half.
We felt more comfortable meeting in person as the weather warmed up, and sought new ways of skill sharing- the "work party" was born, and the first was hosted by our new friend Shams. We did prep for swaps, especially bunting, using Shams' die cut tools. Our other new friend Alex was able to come help sew and also collect some fabric for an installation she was doing in Niagara, and between that, the bunting, Leah, the Textile Museum, Marnie, Tanya and Shams' school we found new homes for all of the fabric Shams didn't need.
We also loaned out the bunting again, to another community partner, for a fun fair at our local elementary school in Midtown Toronto, the first in two years, and built connections with the climate activist musicians we met in March by lending video support to a grant application: we hope to work together in the future.
Images (from left to right, top to bottom, more or less): The summer of bunting! Bunting onstage at Sunfest 2022; Marnie and Amy Brown hanging bunting, and Sandra Pascuzzi wearing one of Marnie's pod forms during her art deconstruction party at Christie Lake. Tanya and Marnie with bunting created at our second work party plus (second row x2) Anya Laskin and Susan Bakshi cutting and sewing bunting at our third work party and (below) Shams and Leah joined by textile artist Soledad Muñoz ; travelling bunting poster at the Textile Museum fabric sale, teen helpers Ursa and Taylor making bunting at the museum and cushion covers (made by Tanya from fabric from the Textile Museum and Creative Reuse sales) WiP artist and textile activist Shams el-Din guest on podcast above Leah's shoe repair.
Row3/4: receiving donations from Viking Recycles, Tanya and Marnie setting up at AGB, over photo of bunting stash; WiP artists Marnie, Leah, Shams and Tanya at opening of "Parallel Economies" at the AGB; happy swappers/upcycling family at the opening, image of bunting in show from opening.
June-August: free range summer and the amazing travelling bunting
This summer was all about the bunting. We were approached by curator Suzanne Carte from the Art Gallery of Burlington to take part in a group show called Parallel Economies (one of three in a wide ranging series called the Future of Work) and in preparation we hosted two more work parties making bunting, T-shirt bags and new friends, luring in some neighbourhood friends to donate unwanted fabric and try sewing machines for the first time. We also met an amazing textile artist named Soledad Muñoz through Leah's work at the Textile museum who came to share her work and take home some fabric for her project making arpilleras.
We also took things apart: Marnie has a dream of being an art death doula and she hosted an art deconstruction afternoon at Christie Lake Conservation area with artists and friends and family, taking apart paintings, upcycling drawings and wearing/repurposing old projects, as well as eating barbeque and using Leah's paddleboard on the lake.
Members of the collective worked on their own repurposing projects: making cushion covers from fabric scraps, turning boots into garden slippers, repairing sandals and (on a higher profile) Shams spread the word on sewing podcasts about her approach/motivation to reuse textiles.
We were contacted by strangers and community partners about borrowing the bunting, which went on many adventures: an eco fair in rural Ontario called "Sunfest 2022" a few birthday parties, the popular Fabric Sale at the TMC, and finally to the AGB for our show at the end of August. Local industrial recyclers Viking Recycles contacted us with a donation to our AGB swap: a car trunk full of wool rug samples.
Finally, at the end of the summer we dropped off the bunting and then spent a wonderful day running a swap/upcycle+repair+reuse station as part of the opening party for Parallel economies at the AGB.
Images left to right, top to bottom, more or less: back to school swap events: pustering, adult clothes at midtown swap; Anne and Clara at their swap site, Tanya with husband Douglas Sanderson and Trinity-St. Paul's city councilor Josh Matlow
second row, more midtown swap: Shams demonstrating repair techniques +close up, WiP thsirt bags at both church sites
third row: swap at Moss park event: Leah setting up, swap sign by Lara Boadway; bagfs at Moss park, volunteer at kids table over Mac from Building Roots holding key, happy swap shopper holding full bag
fourth row: wide of Moss park swap, Amy holding key to her shed; dying experiment from late fall and Ursa and Safiya at AGB last week of group show.
September-December 2022: Back-to-school swaps and lessons learned
Our fall energies were directed to our annual back-to-school swap season, and it was a good one. With Marnie's daughter (another WiP member) starting at OCAD she opted out of hosting a Hamilton swap, but we found the two Toronto swaps worked well together, and frankly, it was a nice Fall so two weekends seemed enough.
We had new community partners and volunteers reach out to be part of the swap, so we included adult clothes again in a big site at one end of the swap area, and a smaller site for baby clothes at the other, with local schools, councilors and trustees spreading the word. Great weather, great turnout, for both the Midtown swap and , a week later, at the Moss Park Market with our community partners Building Roots. Full swap wrap in an earlier blog post HERE.
We are grateful to have the trust and support of friends between swaps as well: Mac from Building Roots and neighbourhood friend Amy both lend us storage and trust us with their keys as well move mountains of clothing around between swaps and after.
Again, this was a big endeavor so we took a little break as Fall 2022 came on gangbusters for all members, including new rounds of respiratory infections and Covid running through schools and families in the collective. We continued art-making/ community building experiments on our own: dying with leaves, giveaways and other art making and at the end of December paid a final visit to the group show in Burlington. Looking forward to 2023.
Craft shows- pros and cons for makers
As a collective we generally don't make things to sell or do repair work- we would rather share knowledge, lower the bar ("everyone can do this") and help people feel empowered to do their own repair and make their own things. Some exceptions were when we had a table at the Oakwood Community Summer festival in advance of our swap in 2019 (we got rained out, but neighbours helpfully loaned us a tent) and last year we were artist-in-residence (as a collective) at Double Take Thrift store- this was a great experience on the time spent selling vs. time spent making ratio as we only had to drop off goods and they were sold through the store, they tracked sales, and Double Take only took 25% Also, we didn't need to make a lot of product, as we were all contributing, so the shelves were always stocked.
As individual eco minded artists and makers, we are torn between the desire to make things and the feeling of there being enough in the world already. One solution is to use discarded textiles as material for new things. All the members in our collective look for new uses for old things, and some of our members are prolific and talented and make more than they can use themselves... enter the Capitalist model for redistribution, the craft market.
'Tis the season, so we reached out to some of our members for stories of craft markets, the experience from the maker side of the table. Overall, they said that people are learning to appreciate the work that goes into a handmade item and value unique works made by love, and the other makers are very kind, but no one is sure this is the best way to find new homes for their wares. Here are their thoughts
My first show was a trunk show at the original location of The Workroom in Toronto. I dragged my trunk, my assembled wares and my kid and we had a jolly time. I even sold some things! I have never been able to rely on my craft as a steady source of income, for many reasons. The first was that we were and are a homeschooling family, so I already have a full time job, though the kids are aging out as I write this. The second was that I was a square peg in the round sucking hole of capitalism, so I was never going to do well there ;-) The third is that generally the items in my wheelhouse that sell well are the items that I least enjoy making. I love seeing people's enthusiasm picking out their favourite colours of little heart shaped merino wool handwarmers or beanbags made from vintage fabric, but they're a bitch to make (repetitive, finicky, and huge time input). Blankets are my love. Thankfully people have gotten much more used to purchasing big ticket artisan made items these days, and even seek them out, but back in the olden days "handmade" did not have the same cachet for the average person as it does now (Yay for now!)
But I've always really loved doing shows, because of the people. Craft show people are my people and I am and was delighted to find them. Also, I have exactly enough enthusiasm for two to three days of non-stop being "on", and then I need at least two weeks recovery. Being on the other side of the table is the cumulation of months of labour, so what defines a good show for me has always been complex.
a) Did I make my table fee back? Spending more on the attempt to make the money than you actually bring in is not really fun. I've been lucky over the years that no matter if the table fee was $35 (yay Leslieville Tree Festival!) or $300 (for an outdoor show that got poured on and people's tents collapsed overnight, boo Queen West Art Crawl), I've always made my fee back.
b) Did I meet nice people? Not the number of attendees, though more is generally nicer, but not always more profitable, weirdly. Attendees who get it and are interested in the process and actual goods are much more enjoyable to hang out with than a crowd of through-walkers who had nothing else to do that day. I have always met at least one nice person ;-) If there are hardly any people I count it as a work day and do hand-work.
c) Was the show/art fair/craft fair well run? This is a big one. If I was still doing shows, I would never do an outdoor one with a high table fee again, no matter how prestigious (and I really love working outdoors). Now, the organisers of the one with the thunderstorm could not help the weather but neither were they well-prepared. I have worked tiny shows with low table fees where the organisers were a delight and they were extremely well run. Those are fun. I have also worked a large show, where I was an invited artisan, with a high table fee in a prestigious location (the Distillery) that was...not great (that post is me being polite about it). How do I know? Big hype but lack of communication, super commercial, poor floor plan, low attendees compared to the hype, and I came away exhausted, sad, and never wanting to do the show again. But I also think that the bulk of my experience has been at the same time as when artisan and craft markets and shows were going through their growing pains and people are so much better at running them now. Right before covid hit was one of the most well-run shows I've worked at (Hi Handmade Hamilton!)
These days I have exactly enough energy for going for a couple of hours to see what wonders are available, meet new people, and support those I can, remembering to not just buy for the sake of buying. That kid that I dragged to my first show all those years ago recently went to the Quirky AF art fair here in Hamilton with me and it was a delight! We got to see Al of Too Bad Textiles fame (and one of the Works-in-Progress artists!) and all of her quilty goods. I also got up to shenanigans enabling another maker saying yes, there should definitely be a handspinning and handweaving regular get-together in Hamilton ;-) It was a good day.
I have only ever participated in craft fairs assisting other people, helping with set up and sales etc. In my experience craft fairs are fun to chat with other artists, but in terms of work to sales ratio not always worth it for artists. The tear down and set up can be tricky, and it can be hard to justify the time/effort put in. But getting to talk to the other artists around you tends to be the best part and makes it worth the effort!
At this time in my artistic process, I don’t make anything that’s quick, so at my hourly wage even a small object would be extremely expensive. The prices that I would charge would not be in line with the prices of other things offered at a craft show. One thing I’d like to add is that I personally am uncomfortable with charging people for textiles that otherwise would’ve been waste. I recognize that great deal of work is put into saving these textiles, but in my case its purpose is for saving the planet and for raising awareness for other people of what they can do to save textiles in a beautiful way.
What I’m hoping to do is not to get saved textiles into peoples hands, but to convince them to save their own textiles. If I was invited to a craft show I would want to give lectures or provide examples or teach people at a booth. Recently a community fair asked me to come out and provide mending services during their community fair. They offered an honorarium. I have no idea what that honorarium would’ve been but I don’t so for money. I wrote them back that if they wanted me to come and do a table where I advise people on how to mend their own close I’d be glad to, but that I was an interested in giving each person a repair. I’d like them to have knowledge and creativity to make their own.
Thus far I’ve participated in 2 markets this fall. My goal has been to try a few this holiday season to take a survey of what works/what doesn’t work, and to gauge if it’s something I’m truly interested in. I currently live in Toronto, but both of the markets I’ve done have been in Hamilton. The Toronto scene felt overwhelming, and I feared the density of people here (both in my application as well as market attendance). I grew up nearer to Hamilton, so it felt more safe and familiar, and like I’d have a “better shot”. I applied to 2 and got into both- something I was surprised about.
My first market was at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, as part of a multi-art festival. It’s the first year this event has been held, and the market took place on a Sunday night (it had previously been planned for Saturday). This combination made it less than ideal to be a vendor. It was really quiet and anyone coming in was there to view their free music programming (can’t blame ‘em, it was great!). No one was coming in ready to shop. I made a few small sales (which I counted as a big victory, given the circumstances), but it was nothing near to covering my time for the day, table fee, or travel. So the day came out a financial loss. That being said, I’m happy for the experience. I could take my time to practice my set-up, payment taking, and experiment with displays. Other makers around me were amazing. Everyone reassured me it was abnormally quiet, and it would be rare that I experience something like that again. So it was easy to not be discouraged. The community experience was priceless. When folks heard it was my first market, everyone was eager to offer advice and tips, sharing what they wish they had known. I had multiple people jump to tell me details about their experiences, in full transparency- anything I wanted to know about the money and the community. Everyone was SO nice, and I truly had a blast hanging out and getting comfortable in a very new setting. It was so cool to spend time with other makers that are passionate and excited about what they do. That was my favourite part - but it's worth noting that this is not something limited to this setting.
The second market, my most recent, was the Quirky AF Fest at Hamilton Artists Inc. Being advertised as quirky, I felt like this might be a good fit for me (in terms of other makers and products) The artist-run centre was organized, supportive, and warm- which I think also greatly added to the experience. This was such a nice a nice group of people, and again I had many folks offer up tricks of the trade when they heard I was new- things they wish they knew when they started out, things that they felt were and weren’t worth investing in. For example there’s a venue in toronto that people gave me a heads up has bad lighting, and that I should make sure I have my own, and some effective options. Something I never thought of. This makes me feel more optimistic and prepared for other markets. Both times I’ve been delighted by how readily people offer information, really without me prying much. All it seems to take is a “I’m new!”. This market felt like it had good traffic, I had time to chat with everyone one on one. With some down time to chat with neighbours and make connections. I made friends (vendors and shoppers). One person gave me their contact info: they’re starting a tea room/handmade goods shop in hamilton, and they’re looking for unique makers.
Pricing is difficult, but I’m practiced in tracking my work time thoroughly. I make sure I pay myself fully for materials and time (cutting and constructing). That’s all well and good, but there are lots of other tasks/responsibilities that quickly add up. Vendor fees and travel expenses deduct off of total income. I don’t know how/if this should be factored into pricing. Then there’s time spent sourcing supplies and materials, taking and uploading photos, and actually working the show. This is all time and energy. These are things I do genuinely love doing, and I would still do them regardless of money, it’s not about that. It’s fun and these things make me feel like me, but I acknowledge that it is Work. I’m also trying to make sure items are priced in a way that people would actually buy them. Right now, I want reassurance that people want to buy my work. I’m gaining confidence. I’m strategically trying to produce tiny items that are quick and easy for me to make, to keep pricing lower. These have happened to be my most popular items. People seem to like when they can spend just a couple bucks on something pretty. So, while they might not be things that I feel the most passionate about producing, they sell, so I’ll keep making them for the time being. I had one person at the market really want to buy something, but they were unsure about spending more money than they felt they were able. For this reason, I want to investigate more about sliding scale pricing. I feel unsure about how to navigate/advertise it/what language should be used.
So right now, I’m just trying to test out different markets during this busy season, and hopefully I’ll learn more about what might work for me. Selling online seems like a good option (no travel, no table or consignment fees, but i’m sure cost adds up in other ways). But building a following and making sales that way seems intimidating. Being in person and seeing folks connect with what I’ve made feels so good, and that gives me a huge push to keep going. I presently work a 9-5 that treats me well and pays the bills, but it’s not where my heart is. It’s difficult to find time and energy for my own projects, but that’s what makes me happiest. So, I’m trying my best to figure out how to give that to myself.
Hopefully this is a ramble in some kind of direction, and maybe it will spark some interesting/helpful discussion.
You might be sorry you asked.! Here is my treatise on crafting/craft shows.
Yes, I have some intermittent experience participating in craft shows over almost 40 years…knit, crochet, sewn, beaded, papercraft, bookmaking…I’ve made and sold a bit of everything.
Overall, it’s a love/hate relationship.
I like making things, thinking what might sell well and even packing up stuff for the show. The anticipation is all very exciting! When people buy something I’ve made and are visibly happy with what they’ve purchased, it makes my heart sing!
I dislike that the general public doesn’t understand the time/cost/energy in creating handmade items.
I’ve had friends return items they’ve bought and asked for their money back. I’ve had people counts stitches and rows on knitted items (these days they take photos), thinking they could make it themselves for less. The socially accepted discrepancy between pricing handmade items is also baffling. For example, a pair of socks that uses $30 of handyed yarn and several days of knitting should be priced accordingly, but maybe I could get $40 for them…BUT…a necklace with $5 of materials and 15 minutes to make, people will happy pay $40! Also, after several bad experiences, I don’t do custom orders anymore. It’s difficult not to become jaded.
So these days I like to give things away, or craft for charity. (I’ve recently started sewing pillowcases for https://www.comfycases.ca/ a Toronto charity.) Most people are happy to receive items with no strings attached. However, I’m grateful to be in a position to be able to do that.
For example, I made the spiders and mittens in the photo for an indie yarn dyer I met online. She’s been having a tough time of late and so I mailed these to her. She was so happy that someone made something for her and said it made her day! Of course, giving away KCOEs is always a pleasure.
Now, not everyone is so happy to get stuff I‘ve made, even it it’s a gift. So I’m more strategic these days to whom I give my creations….
I think that’s enough for now…thanks for asking my opinion on this subject.
Please use whatever words you would like.
Here's what we did: This fall we held two clothing swaps in two neighbourhoods on two Saturdays in September; one in Davisville, Midtown Toronto, and the other in Moss Park, downtown Toronto. Some special moments: the kids at the church who decked themselves out in jewels, the donor who sent in a song about socks, losing and recovering my phone at the Moss Park swap (humans are awesome) and our wonderful volunteers in both sites.
Here's what we tweaked and what we kept from the Fall and Spring swaps: people liked the gender free clothes, especially for kids. It was more confusing for adults but mostly people rolled with it, even some dudes concerned with accidently picking up ladies clothes. Advice overheard: "just choose what you like."
We dropped the Hamilton swap. This was partly from `feeling overwhelmed by three swap weekends and shuttling mountains of clothes, but also, the two Toronto communities balance each other nicely and going forward we will look instead for a partner community in Hamilton to work with Westdale in a series of swaps.
We kept adult clothes for this swap and kept them altogether on one site in midtown.
Thanks community partners Building Roots in Moss Park and Glebe Road United Church and Manor Road United Church in Davisville who stepped up to host sites for babies and for our adult clothes (new addition to the Fall swap), as well as our returning yard hosts, city councillor Josh Matlow, Trustee Shelley Laskin and Davisville School Council for sharing information about the swap. And of course we need to acknowledge the support of a Waste Reduction Community Grant we got from the City of Toronto/ Live Green TO.
WiP member Shams el Din hosted a Repair and Reuse advice table. She shared tips on machine and hand sewing and made a lot of T-shirt bags on site.
This is now an annual event and we are building on past success, with great volunteer and institutional support, and many great donations AND lots of interest in both giving and receiving. In midtown, we ended up with around $180 in donations (so at least 36 bags of clothes) AND about 40% more donated clothes than we started with... our goal is to find new homes for all the clothes.
The amount of donations can feel overwhelming, it is easy to see how clothes can quickly feel like waste. So part of our mission is making sure this work is sustainable for all humans involved. We had to empty the churches and porches of remaining clothes after a long day of set up and running the swap. So we delayed a day, and then called on extra hands to help ferry remains to our friend's shed for storage between swaps. Building Roots also let us store the remains from the second swap for a week until we had more capacity to collect.
Our ultimate goal is to have nothing left at the end of the swaps: we want all the clothes find new homes. this is why the neighbourhood partnership between Davisville (where we do redistribute a lot of clothes but end up with more than we started with) and Moss Park (where our partner Building Roots has a neighbourhood hub already in place in the Moss Park Market, and where we get less donations and more redistribution)
We were blessed with gorgeous weather both days. Moss Park market has people lined up well before they open every Saturday, so we had plenty of shoppers checking out the wares as we put them out. There was a festive mood, lots of people shopping for their families or to redistribute at home visits as well as themselves.
At the end of both swaps we brought some of the children's clothes to Jessie's place, some of the winter clothes will go back to Davisville School for newcomers to Canada and about a carload returned to Amy's shed to be a starter for our next swaps in the Spring (aiming for March Break, in collaboration with Glebe Road United Church)
The Amazing Travelling Bunting
We love bunting! It meets all our criteria: easy to make, good for using up fabric scraps, the result is joyous and beautiful, and, as a bonus, bunting flags are a great REUSABLE decoration in place of disposable décor like balloons and streamers. Bunting is amazing.
We have been making bunting flags for a few years. The ones above were made by WiP artist Marnie Saskin from vintage sheets- she loves the patterns but they are often too polyester-y for her quilts and other small batch goods, but perfect for bunting! These lived outside her local coffee shop for at least two years and held up marvelously, despite their raw edges.
As a collective, we run clothing swaps and we make reusable,upcycled shopping bags from unwanted T-shirts to use at these swaps (again, like our bunting, T-shirt bags are simple, practical, easy to make, and create a new purpose for an unwanted textile.) Hung on a clothesline, bags make their own kind of bunting, and we gradually have been adding more strings of bunting flags to our stash- great for the more spread out neighbour-to-neighbour swaps we have been running since the pandemic.
Bunting is also a great way to delineate space. Spring 2021, entering another lockdown. We were invited to a barbeque that Building Roots was hosting with the Encampment Support Network and did an impromtu bunting making work-in. The idea being that good fences make good neighbours and perhaps the people living in tents could use some festive fences to mark their own space, rather than have it defined for them. Plus, pretty.
Festive distancing: 2021 as our local Appletree farmer's market reopened in midtown with Covid distancing restrictions, we loaned them some bunting from our stash to replace the plastic CAUTION tape they were using to guide shoppers. We want more people making more things from textile waste, so we ran a drop in workshop during the market, and made reusable bunting kits with Building Roots which included needle and thread, fabric scraps and some snazzy do-it-yourself pamphlets (created with artist Treya Beaulieu) to distribute at the market but, to be honest, the idea of making bunting to support the market didn't really catch on. The pamphlets live on our website on our useful things page (thanks to the Ontario Arts Council and Live Green TO for funding to support some of this.
Supporting Actions and making friends: In March 2022 we were asked if the bunting could accompany a #justtransition celebration /environmental action, you can see it in the photo above, or check out this video from the day below: This lead to further collaborations between Works-in-Progress and Music for Climate Justice over the summer.
Creating community feels: In April 2022 we brought our bunting, a clothing swap and repair table to an inaugural Spring event in Davisville called Ringing in Spring. We timed our Spring neighbour-to-neighbour clothing swap to happen at the same time, and the bunting helped visibly tie it all together.
Summer 2022 Work Parties: Bunting is easy to make but you do need to actually make it. It lends itself to communal work as there are discreet jobs for people to tackle and lots of chatting that can happen in between. Over the winter we met a couple more textile artists and activists and began hosting work parties as a way to get together and make more bunting (for upcoming swaps but for other events as well) Repair activist Shams el-Din Rogers hosted us for our first work party in May, and introduced us to some new tools and another stash of fabric. Textile artist, designer and upcycler Alex Verkade helped out and took home some fabric for a textile installation she was working on. in subsequent work parties we made more bunting, repaired and deconstructed more fabric, and met another artist Soledad and introduced some other novice sewists to the ease and joy of making bunting.
The Amazing Travelling Bunting: over this past summer, we began to get unsolicited requests to borrow the bunting. From neighbourhood groups, but then from people we didn't even know, other fellow eco travellers. The bunting went from school fairs to eco fests to backyard parties to an unmaking event to the Textile Museum fabric sale. You can see some of the travelling photos above and below:
AND NOW- bunting as objet d'arte
The Future of Work: Parallel Economies Art Gallery of Burlington curator Suzanne Carte invited Works-in-Progress to be part of a huge group show in Burlington/Hamilton. The show runs from August 27-Dec 31 2022 and has artist and activists who are seeking alternate ways of making art and change. We contributed bunting to help delineate space, our pamphlets are in the show to encourage more bunting makers, and we had a wonderful afternoon at the opening event, aptly called the HIVE. Just seeds demonstrated silkscreening in the exhibition, Clay and Paper Theatre made elements for a parade and then had a parade (great way to lure everyone outside) and we took over the lobby to host a reuse and repair swap and bunting factory, where we found homes for unwanted textiles (good clothes, textiles, partly made projects, carpet samples (donated from Viking Recycles) clothes in need of logo removal or repair to be #betterthannew.) and made bunting and met some great people and had some good conversations and made some nice things.
We are all artists or makers in this collective, and this may not have been the medium we envisioned getting us into the gallery space, but it makes sense and we are happy to be along for the ride. This is a great journey and still ongoing. Stay tuned for more adventures to come with the AMAZING TRAVELLING BUNTING!
Artist Approach- some examples
I love working with artists. It is our secret power as a collective, that most of us are artists or makers of some kind. And a common trait of artists is to embrace problems as puzzles to solve. Here's some examples:
Jakob (WiP Artist Leah's teenage son) is young, but an artist. He needed an apron in a hurry, so he cut up an old T-shirt and made one- complete with adjustable straps. It does the job.
Sandra Pazpascuzzi (artists/actor) had a muddy spot in her yard and mosaiced together a solution from her neighbour's discarded concrete basement. Plus a few bricks and stones for colour.
People are often stopped by not having the right materials or tools to do a job properly. But an artist approach is to make do with what you have on hand. In this case, I wanted to darn these cotton tights- no matching wool and no darning mushroom- but the ends of this acrylic yarn and an orange work fine, and make my heels very happy.
Another trait of artists - generousity. It may just be the ones I know, but the myth of the ego driven artist has not held up. Every artist we work with has looked for solutions, is willing to share. Graphic designer and facepainter extraordinaire Treya Beaulieu made our posters and pamphlets for the past couple of years. This year she didn't have the time to create a Spring poster for our swap, so I approached another artist, Lara Boadway, and she came up with the design on the left, playing off of Treya's "back to school" vibe on the right.
And finally, we just launched a YouTube channel and "Artist Approach" comes up a lot in our videos. For example, this video is a pretty good example of an artist approach to making things from other things... we weren't doing it for anything in particular, just though it might be useful to share. And fun.
Grateful for all these artists I get to play with.
--posted by Tanya Murdoch
One is silver, the other gold
We have lead a few workshops in the past couple of months ("workshop season") and every time we do one, we try new approaches. Ontario, for better or for worse, is welcoming in person events again, and we are cautiously on board BUT but we also like the accessibility of the online workshop. Plenty of people- whether because of distance, ability or inclination- prefer online to in person.
We did three workshops in this past couple of months. Here's a summary:
January 26 Scraps challenge! We did a quick summary of the Scraps challenge! workshop, hosted by the Textile Museum of Canada in our last blog post. The entire workshop can be viewed online at the TMC website here.
We were trying to work back and forth between the micro and the macro, techniques, materials and connection of sustainability in this way with larger ideas or sustainable practice. So I did an intro to our collective and ideas of sustainability, Marnie Saskin shared her love of experimenting and her impressive breadth of knowledge and ideas of what to do with scraps. We went a little deeper with a hands on project, making patches from scraps (as a gift to future you) with some beautiful results pictured above. Marnie also gave a studio tour to show how she organizes her scraps AND, because we don't feel there is a "right" approach, only a "right for you" approach, we included another voice via video. Educator/artist Nancy Rawlinson has a different but also compelling approach to working with scraps, check out this video below:
January 29 Upcycle yer sweater workshop As our residency at Double take wrapped up we delivered a workshop about upcycling sweaters that included a small hands on project for participants, making handwarmers. Bit of a tried and true workshop, new audience, so we gave a little profile of us as a collective, but otherwise it was a lively back and forth discussion of all things wooly- very cozy. Plus, Double Take paid us instead of our grant! Sweet. Here's some pictures from the workshop, and below that a description and links to videos
"Great advice for would be up-cyclers on turning an old sweater into useable material- some inspiration -and a simple project to make with your smaller sweater scraps. This is an online workshop hosted by Double Take store and lead by Marnie Saskin with support from Tanya Murdoch and Leah Sanchez, all from Works-in-Progress art collective. Works-in-Progress was one of the artists in residence at Double Take from November 2021-February 2022."
Part one: Intro to Double Take and Works-in-Progress
Part two: all about wool
Part three: making a hand warmer
Part four: deconstructing a sweater + Q and A and some burning
March 4 2022 Cutlery Wrap workshop with Building Roots- In person AND online
We are reunited with Kate Hamilton from Building Roots for the first "Do it Together" workshop in 2022. It is our first indoor in person workshop since the pandemic started (and it was our last as well) and we wanted to keep the workshop as an online version as well. So Marnie was our host and a new artist, Alex Verkade, joined Leah and Kate and I in person at a new location in the east end of Toronto, the Neighbourhood food Hub near Gerrard and Coxwell. The result was a bit loud for the people on zoom (we muted ourselves for much of the time, coming back together to check in, ask questions and show and tell.
I put it all together in a video below, to give an idea of the feel of it and also to hopefully give you some idea of how to make yourself a fabric wrap to carry utensils, cutlery, art supplies or tools. We brought sewing machines to the site and our online participants had their own. It was great to see the fairly new-to-sewing participants in person make their own beautiful wrap- and do a lot of troubleshooting with Leah and Alex along the way. Marnie did a great job of providing clear steps and plenty of alternatives for both people online and in person. It was a lot of fun and really great to be an in person team again.
--blog post by Tanya Murdoch
A note on sustainability: We are able to provide FREE workshops like this because of an Ontario Arts Council Artists in Communities and Schools grant that allows us to pay artist fees and develop samples for the workshops. We also have a Waste Reduction Community Grant from the City of Toronto that allows us to document and share them via video.
The residency: From November 2021-Feb 2022 Works-in-Progress Artist Collective had a spot as one of three artists in residence at Double take Thrift store, a fundraising shop that supports the work of Yonge Street Mission. It was a time of change for the store: opening a new Upcycling Studio and adding in staff to support more of an online presence and an upcycling program. For us, we have not really been interested in retail as a collective, though individual artists have run etsy stores and craft markets. So this was an opportunity to dabble, with staff support and 75% commission going to the artists on all sales. PLUS Double Take hosted (and funded) a workshop that we ran and we maintained a street presence in the big store windows of the studio. It was great for all concerned.
art of our mandate as a collective is to support artists and encourage makers, and we added new artists to our collective through this project (Profiles and links to all the artists we play with are on our website, here)
In the end, we gained new subscribers to our newsletter and on our instagram feed, we were able to reach people via the website as well, with 75-100 views a week.
And over the 4 months we were in the store we made
$300+309.75+345= $954.75 for Works-in-Progress individual artists including $18 from sales of Tshirt bags and Extember 'zines
100+103+115=$318 Profit for Double Take store.
We sold a total of 61 items + 49 items + 72 =182 upcycled items all together AND
one artist donated her 39.75 in profit to the collective
And of course, we all did a little thrifting and met some new artists along the way.. One artist who joined us in January- Alex Verkade- decided to apply to be artist in residence this Spring and is now one of three great new artists in Double take. Another artist- Anya Laskin- joined in December and made a few dozen patches that we can use in future projects. Former participant turned maker Cairine Fong joined us to make masks and beeswax wraps; Lukas Bautista displayed his hand-painted clothes, Anna Borstad had collage cards, Safiya Saskin contributed pompom earrings (a big hit and Gabrie Adair kept us supplied in masks and scrunchies throughout. Nancy Rawlinson brought her repair and upcycling passion to our swap in September and then brought us an eclectic mix of chickens of encouragement, knit socks and wine sleeves. Marnie made a backdrop of textiles and biophilic lamps for the display and a good collection of her cozy items from her stash and I tried muffs, scarves and very dense pillows. Everything found at least one home and we had fun making the sewing kits and patches. Could not have gone better.
--blog post by Tanya Murdoch
The season for workshops
Our friend Amy has been hosting a Monday morning co-working session called Creative Company... when we last met we talked about structures, structural editing in particular, finding the right form for the thing you are creating. And I realized that, especially this past year, we have really been paying attention to the best season to do things.
This season, the new year, into Spring, it is a good time for workshops. We are content to contemplate, to do the work before and after, to spend time thinking about structure and format in a way that we have NO interest in doing in the Summer.
We had TWO workshops this last week in January, and really enjoyed both of them,
It took a while to crank up into workshop mode, to shift seasons from making and regenerating to structuring and leading; the Scraps workshop was a good challenge, in the way that dealing with scraps is- how best to share joy, how to organize for future use, what the small says about the large, the stories they tell and how to honour that.
Here is a most good slideshow that Marnie Saskin put together. We will share more about the workshops- still and show and tell in a future blog but here is this for now. The whole workshop is posted on the Textile Museum site here if you missed it. The video below is an excerpt from that workshop:
Also, the most asked question during the workshop was what is the recipe for the cornstarch glue? (along with Q: can you unfelt a sweater? A: no)
Cornstarch glue aka Gaw gaw (Filipino name for this great homemade clear glue)
1 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp salt
4 cups hot water
Whisk over high heat, bring to a bubble. Starts to thicken & turn translucent within minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Dries clear, does not go mouldy. Non toxic. Can use for wallpaper paste, crafts and textile sequestration AND to undo, just soak in warm water to dissolve.
2021: year in Review
Looking back on 2021, there are seasons to our activities as a collective and if there was a theme for us as a collective and as individuals this year, it was to not do anything we didn't want to, let go of the difficult and make space for doing more of what we want to do. 2021 was hard enough, we rolled with it and did what we could to enjoy the ride. We were able to grow as a collective, making connections to new community (institutional) partners as well as connect with, support and learn from new artists so what more can you ask for? Here are some photo highlights season to season.
photos from left to right, top to bottom: Leah models her fancy patched knee, Tanya models her fancy pieced scarf, Anna leads a "Repair as revolutionary act" workshop for her neighbours, with our support, Marnie models a pompom earring. Next row: Textile Artist Marina Dempster joins us for a series of classes with SAL group, Otis models patched snowpants, a T-SHIRT BAG pamphlet designed by Treya, Foofy the rabbit and cloth rabbits from an online kindergarten class. Third row: Helene Frank at a Tshirt online workshop at the Textile Msueum, Building Roots volunteers at Moss Park, Leah and Ursa making upcycle kits at Moss Park, Fourth row: Columbus the cat with issue of Extember zine, Tanya with Tshirt yarn weaving, Leah with Tshirt yarn macrame and T shirt bag Final row: Workshop ad for Do it Together online workshop, with Marnie leading demo and BR host Tooba
January to March: playing with educators
Fresh from our group coaching sessions with Amy Brown, Works-in-Progress exec (?) Leah Sanchez, Marnie Saskin and Tanya Murdoch began to meet regularly to plan and to connect with educators to move our (Ontario Arts Council funded) creative curriculum experiments forward. Marnie and Tanya lead a second online kindergarten class with Leona Breslaw, making bunnies with cloth and learning about a real angora rabbit- kids used handkerchiefs, dishcloths, bandanas and even paper towels to make their own pet rabbit. We worked with older learners as well: after the Eco Fair in Fall 2020, an educator with the Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL) program worked with us and their 14-18 year old learners on a 6 week series; we alternated artist lead techniques/talks with collaborative work sessions and looped in textile artist Marina Dempster and WIP artists Leah Sanchez to give artist talks as part of the series. The students helped us workshop our bunting pamphlet and were inspired to create some for the halls of their school.
We put out a second issue of our 'zine Extember- Sticks + Stones, featuring buy nothing stores, making useless things and wasps, as well as profiling artist Gomo George (one of his paintings is part of the Fragments of Epic Memory show at the AGO until late February.)
Our friends from Building Roots started up an online version of the Do it Together workshop series, and we lead a workshop with them on T-shirt bags + Clothing Swaps. The workshop is intended to drum up community support for an Earth Week clothing swap but the pandemic has other plans...
photos from left to right, top to bottom: CANCELLED! poster for Earth week clothing swap, Leslie (from NEST) + Tanya and friends make bunting for Encampment dwellers at a Building Roots BarBQ, Rewild logo designed by Tanya for NEST as part of an online Earth/eco action, We supply silk ties to Isabelle, who shows us how to make silk dyed eggs. Row two: Greg Chambers from video still "Artist approach to Repair" Make your own kite pamphlet designed by WiP artist Treya Beaulieu Ursa and Tanya at Moss Park Market, silk dyed eggs Third row: retro amp repaired by Greg Chambers, Delivering Kite kits to Tooba at Moss Park Market, Images from Gomo and Abby leading online Kite workshop as part of the Do it together series. with Building Roots. Next Row: WiP artist Safitya Saskin launches yarn.af to sell her hand spun Merino wool. , ., Next Row: Helen Frank (@helenmends) leads repair workshop with Sharon from Double Take, and a happy kite-maker. Final row is a montage from our patterning workshop at the Textile Museum of Canada , with Leah, Tanya, Gabrie Adair, Jiyoon Moon, Marnie and demo table., followed by Gabrie's work in progress and another issue of Extember.
April + May: Pandemic Third Wave:
By early April it was obvious that the pandemic was far from over and any in person face to face events we had planned ran up against the Third Wave of Covid-19 (remember when Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised to arrest people loitering?) After multiple discussions, we decide to not rework the Earth week swap but instead cancel until September. What a relief!
When you close one door, another opens: we received our official notice of the Waste Reduction Community Grant from the City of Toronto, to begin March 2021, which gave us a broader funding mandate. And, we got back to first love of making things... videos, logos, bunting, experiments with wallpaper and scraps, supporting artists and building a maker community.
Workshops continued online. In April we lead an online workshop at the Textile Museum of Canada called Sustainable Textile Teach-In: DIY Patterning with Works-In-Progress This was a group lead discussion on approaches to pattern making and design with WiP artists Jiyoon Moon, Leah Sanchez, Tanya Murdoch, Marnie Saskin and Gabrie Adair (with Futuristic Ruins) In May, Artist Gomo George and his daughter Abeyomi lead us through a kite-making workshop in May as part of the Building Roots Do it Together series. This was all hands on deck, supported by workshop kits for participants (assembled for high school volunteer hours by artist Jakob Bautista) delivered through Moss Park Market. The workshop was hosted by Kate Hamilton.
Community building: We were contacted by local maker Isabelle to source silk from our stash to do egg dying- she shares the results in an upcoming issue of our 'zine, Extember. We are excited to share the work of artist in the collective, including a new side hustle for Spinner Safiya Saskin @yarn.af And with our new funding we reached out to offer video support to an institution offering online workshops: Double Take thrift store.
As the weather heats up, we are more interested in finding (pandemic safe) ways to work with other outside. Building Roots invites us to take part in a Barbeque they are hosting for a an Encampment support network event, so Leslie Solomonian and Tanya take down some bunting materials and we do some socially distanced making while taking in the speeches and tunes, and leave them for the tent community. This gives us an idea for more art support, via bunting.
photos from left to right, top to bottom: Marnie Saskin and Tanya Murdoch hold up bunting kits, bunting kit, Appletree Farmer's market with bunting, Chris Trussell from Appletree holding up donated bunting, Beata and Kuba at our drop in bunting workshop. Row two: flags at half mast, two pairs of shoes artwork by Jiyoon Moon, tiny harvested cuke, bunting pamphlet designed by Treya Beaulieu, Leah Sanchez with bunting kits at Appletree Farmer's market min row: brushes and materials donated to building roots for banner project lead by Building Roots. Third row: Safiya Saskin spinning angora yarn, refinishing project, Marnie with painted fabric, shoes donated from Davisville school, Cia Prior with her composter at Davisville Community garden, Extember plants issue 2 Final mini row: little free library in progress, sweet grass harvest Tie dyed Tshirts at Moss park Market (part of a WIP donation to Building Roots.)
June-August: summer of connection and play
At the end of May, 215 graves were found at the site of a former residential school in BC, and flags were lowered across the country. Individual artists in the collective looked for ways to process this fresh grief (blog post here). We also received a donation of hundreds of shoes, 2 years worth of abandoned or unclaimed shoes from the lost and found at Davisville school as they relocated, especially poignant in the timing. Two bags were immediately taken for Afghan families relocating in Toronto.
web of relations: The summer was full of things falling into our laps. Retiring educator and friend of the collective Nancy Rawlinson donated her collection of wonderful objects and art supplies to use or redistribute, and immediately were asked by Building Roots for some art/textile supplies as they tried to reopen Saturday fun in the park days. We donated 25+ gently used T-shirts to be repurposed into Tie dye tees and some of our old art supplies (+ some from Nancy) and sheets went to programmer Amy Rumbolt, also from Building Roots, to make a banner at a creativity workshop at West Lodge in Parkdale at the end of June.
community support: The pandemic restrictions were hard on everyone, and we were happy to see Appletree Market return after a year hiatus, albeit with limited access to the market. They had to build temporary fences every week to control flow of visitors, using yellow plastic caution tape, so we loaned them some of our bunting, had a work bee to make pay-what-you-can bunting kits to support the market (donations were to be split 50/50 with WiP and Appletree) plus lead a drop in workshop to make bunting for the market to replace the tape. It was good to be (cautiously) around humans again, and making things collectively. It felt like 2019 again, being back by the Davisville Community garden doing a workshop, and we got to know gardener Cia Prior: she and other gardeners and foragers contributed to TWO plant based issues of Extember.
ad hoc play: we also did a lot of being outside, as individuals- camping, gardening, experimenting with friends, restoring old junk, harvesting and gifting. A lot of soul restoring goodness to store up reserves for winter. Also, Vaccines were becoming available across the country to everyone over 12, it began to seem as if we could actually spend time inside with people again, just in time for Fall.
photos from left to right, top to bottom: Clothing Swap donations in Amy's shed (above) plus sample shoes (below) Otis printing (gender free) signs, Zenadine putting up posters in Westdale (Hamilton), WiP clothespins at Westdale Swap, Amy (and shadows of Amy and Tanya) putting up posters, posters and map on the little free art library in Hamilton. Row 2: Anna holding up her finds, the Back to school swap poster designed by Treya, 3 volunteer hosts at the Davisville (Toronto) swap, clothing swap bunting sign (photo by Delphine) Third Row: tanya at Double Take store, Tanya, Leah, Tooba and MAxc at Moss PArk market, Moss park swap clothing, Marnie and Nancy at the repair site of the Davisville swap #stitchitdontditchit Leah setting up Marnie's pod lamps at Double Take, Cairine Fong and her masks, Susan with her repair project, Double take studio window reveal in November, with Leah, Tanya and Marnie album cover style outside the store mural; bottom row: some other artists contributing to the residency: Lukas Bautista, Anya Laskin, Nancy Rawlinson, Gabrie Adair, and a sample tag from the shop.
September-December: recruitment and sharing
The two big events of the fall through the end of the year were our series of Back-to-School, Neighbour to neighbour clothing swaps in the Westdale neighbourhood of Hamilton, the Davisville and Moss Park neighbourhoods in Toronto AND the artist residency in the storefront Double Take from mid November, a thrift store that supports the work of Yonge Street Mission as well as their expanding up-cycling efforts.
The Swaps: We wrote about the swaps extensively in our earlier blog but they were the next step following on our first pandemic swap in 2020; we find this style of swap the best to manage, most rewarding for the hosts and volunteers and safest during a pandemic. Each yard hosts one-2 sizes, and are responsible for their shop set up and take down, no central organizing, and all sizes come to one place (ideally, the size that the host is seeking) We plan to do this again in the Spring of 2022, around mid April, again as a series of swaps, with one feeding the next, ending at Moss Park. We will include adult sizes in the next swap, and hope to connect with like minded grassroots organizations at each site to make it even better.
The residency: In October, we applied to be (collectively) one of three artists in residence at the Double Take thrift store at 310 Gerrard Street east in downtown Toronto, and our application was accepted. We have been longtime fans of the programs at the store and the use they have made of their institution to steward used clothing and textiles away from the garbage, and generate income and jobs and programs en route. It meant that we would be decorating one of the three windows in front of the newly created Double take studio (housing affordable up-cycled materials and in person workshops) AND selling up-cycled items (with 75% going to the artists) in the store AND running a workshop (or two) ... we are planning an online workshop with the shop on January 29th, 2022. The shop meant that we could recruit artists who have not done retail/marketplaces before to contribute and make items for the store, or sell off extra stock (Artist are all on our website, here)
Other end of year connections: we have recently connected with other up-cyclers through social media, including a young maker with a fashion/science background who is interested in doing workshops with us in Toronto and another education focused maker in Idaho about distributing her repair manifesto/manual- we will keep you posted! We are looking for new institutional partners in Hamilton, and building on our current connections, and continue to dream of a shared space to play. Despite the current lockdown across Canada and much of the world, we continue to seek connections, play and share the joy of re-imagining and making new things from old. Happy New year from Works -in-Progress.
So another experiment in this collective- we applied for an artist in residency and got it! So, as a collective, as of early November, we are taking one of three residencies in the Double Take thrift store, which supports Yonge Street Mission and Evergreen Mission, as well as other programs and of course, serves the local Cabbagetown community (and beyond) by running an awesome and affordable second hand clothing/ housewares store.
We have long been fans of the store, donating our swap remains over the years to their intake centre in the back (always stopping in to peruse the goods in the front as well, of course) Over the summer, repair activist Helen Frank @helenmends was one of the artists in residence here and in June I (Tanya) attended one of the online workshops she ran, hosted by @doubletakeysm (worth following on the 'gram!) They make good use of their shop, looking to highlight vintage goods for extra money for those who can afford it, running interesting programs (like @jubileeworkroom) and creating an upcycling centre with torn clothes available at low cost for would be makers and repairers. We went down to check out the store on October 8, meet our contact, Sharon, and had a serendipitous run in with one of the other artist in residence, @economydrygoods
The residency includes decorating a storefront display AND having items for sale in the store AND opportunity to co-host workshops with Double Take. So a great gateway for a bunch of the artists in our collective (or proximal) to stick our toes into making things for sale, into making public art for display, into running workshops with a new community. All very exciting. Our minds are filled with joyful possibilities and our hands with art making experiments.
art experiments turning waste into beauty