Mending

The word ‘mend’ is a shortened version of the word ‘amend’. From Latin it means to free from fault. We use the word, today, in two senses. It can mean ‘to repair’ but it can also mean ‘to cure’.

An on-going aspect of Dianne’s work is based around her philosophical mending project.

Dianne began mending in the way we are traditionally taught; to repair a textile so that it returns, as close as possible, to the original form. Invisible mending is often considered the most skillful form of mending.

Following this, Dianne developed a series of textiles that were mended in the fashion of kintsugi; drawing attention to the beauty of the repair and the new emergent form.

This led her to explore mending as ‘cure’, not ‘repair’. Dianne purchased new ‘fast fashion’ garments that were sold new but were in disrepair. Denim garments with fabricated holes are one example.

After sourcing new garments, she prepared them up in her studio, and mended them. The photograph above shows one example of denim mended with beautiful hand embroidery.

Why is this practice a cure and not a repair?

We cannot afford, environmentally, to denigrate new textiles. This is a poor use of our limited resources. If we view textiles and garments as investments, not consumables, we choose designs and techniques that prolong the productive life of the textile. We can, then, save our mending for repair.

Folding

One of the most satisfying processes in book-binding is folding.

With secret binder’s magic one simple fold can transform a piece of paper into a divided sequence.

Many binder’s do not consider the accordion book, or concertina book, to be a ‘proper’ book. To them we ask, What is a book?

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Crochet language and time travel

When you enter an art practice that has its own vocabulary you’re crossing into history. Using the words and meanings specific to crochet connects you with people across time and space.

‘Crochet’ is an old French word for small hook. If we trace the word back to the medieval period it also means ‘canine tooth’.

Like musical notation, or an editing mark-up, crochet stitches have their own symbols, their own language. Crochet symbols operate like ideographs. A slightly flattened circle represents chain stitch. A half double stitch looks like an uppercase letter ‘T’ with a sloping top stroke. The symbols, read in sequence, are a secret code that is unlocked by looping a spun fibre with a small hard hook.

We use the word ‘crochet’ when we do the activity and when we refer to the objects made by the activity. ‘Crochet’ is a verb and a noun like the word ‘echo’ and ‘dye’ and ‘fold’.

Are you hooked?

Dianne’s pattern, tips and tricks for making your own sweet bear (pictured), and learning all things crochet is scheduled to run soon. Expect luxury, good company, world-class teaching and a canine tooth of your own to take home. Message for more details.

 

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Is this the start of something big for you?

Do you like gentle conversation? Can you handle a supportive, creative environment? Have you ever wanted to learn, or re-learn, to crochet?

If so, good news! Crochet an Octopus Class is on this Thursday. All completed octopi are donated to the neo-natal unit (see our earlier blog posts for more on this).

We have everything you need to get started. Message or comment for more information.

 

What’s the point?

There’s a lot of stuff out there. We’ve reached peak stuff. In the city where Monica lives, people have so much stuff they have started to leave the excess on the kerb. Almost every second house has furniture, kitchenware, whitegoods, manchester, electricals or toys stacked on the kerb with a handwritten sign ‘For Free’.

But it is not for free. Something, someone, somewhere picked up the tab for all this stuff. Materials mined from our earth, animals displaced or species made extinct, waterways polluted with the waste from production, good air turned toxic. Our living breathing biosphere pays for all this stuff.

The point is not to stop making stuff.

  • The point is to make the stuff that we need. NEED.
  • The point is to reclaim those skills that we’re losing. SKILLS
  • The point is to relearn the real-world knowledge that we’ve forgotten. REAL WORLD

Dianne’s new weekly face-to-face classes, ‘Crochet an Octopus for a Premmie’ are about need and skills in the real world.

Prematurely born babies need additional physical comfort and a sense of tactile security to grow strong. The design of Dianne’s umbilical octopus toy fills this need.

Over the past few weeks, dozens of women have walked into Dianne’s studio never before having picked up a crochet hook. You won’t believe what they haev achieved. They are reclaiming the skills of their grandmothers and great-grandmothers. They are making something that we need. They are mending our broken world through the humble craft of crochet. Will you join us?

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