Whew. What a week. Sydney Craft Week is over for another year. I didn’t get to as much as I would have liked but what I did see and participate in and teach was exhilarating, inspiring and full of a wonderful, vibrant energy. I met lots of new people and made new friends and my head is full of ideas for projects, future events and collaborations. I even got a radio gig with Eggpicnic on ABC Radio Sydney (we start at about the 29 min mark if you want to listen!), talking about Sydney Craft Week and Shared Threads. Whilst wandering through the Makers Market on Sunday morning, it occurred to me how much my life has changed since we started Shared Threads and how satisfying and fulfilling a journey it has been thus far.
Over 200 events took place over the 10 days of Sydney Craft Week with many exhibitions ongoing. Just think of the number of makers and admirers of making that represents! This city is buzzing with makers!
I popped into the Happenstore on Friday and met a lovely group of knitters and crocheters who had similarly popped in for a cup of tea and slice or two of Flour and Stone cake. None of them had heard of Sydney Craft Week. Similarly, on Saturday afternoon, I was teaching one of my regular knitting and crochet classes at The Bronte Sewing Room and none of them had heard of it either. That means that there a whole lot of other people out there who are yet to tap into this source of energy and inspiration (and a bit of work to do on expanding the publicity).
Our Making it Better workshop was a big hit if we say so ourselves. We welcomed a lovely new bunch of people – and even a bloke who came with his two flatmates. Jessie had never sewed before, although he had recently learned to knit and was really finding it relaxing. He loved the process of stitching and at the end of the afternoon said that his fingers were ‘itching to get back to it’.
Understandably, given the theme, many people came to the class with some emotional baggage – whether stress, illness, grief or trauma and we were concerned that we not open up old wounds without providing some bandaids. There were some tears but there were also tissues and opportunities to talk, or not to talk, to socialise or sit alone and Deanne and I had a number of moving conversations with participants about the role of craft in coping with some very confronting issues. Everyone seemed to enjoy the simplicity but potential for complexity that simple running stitch offers and many expressed their surprise at the effect it had on them. Some couldn’t believe how fast the afternoon had passed, others spoke of how peaceful they felt when stitching and how their thoughts became clearer. All agreed that it felt good and that they were keen to do some more.
So we have organised another stitching workshop – called ‘Making It Better Again’. It will take place on Sunday November 18th from 1-5 at the Bronte Sewing Room in Macpherson St Bronte. The format will be similar but we will introduce some more practical techniques such as Boro mending and invite you to bring along a garment to mend if you wish, using the simple stitching we focused on last time.
If you didn’t get to our last workshop, please feel free to come to this one. We hope to see you there.