ReDefine FABRIC - Crafting a Conversation

Very stoked to be a part of group workshop happening at ReCreative Denver on March 22nd. I’ll be one of eight artists booths where participants will have the opportunity to work with and explore fabrics and fibers in hands on, creative ways. Should be a super fun event with yarn spinning, collage work, dyeing and screen print projects.

Three of my Denver comic artist friends, Kristina Maldonado Badhand, Dion Harris and Terra Necessary have designed paper dolls for my table that we’ll dress in vintage fabrics and scraps, in an exploration of representation in past and the current craft world. Within the comics industry there has been an conscious effort to promote artists of color, women and people who are LGBTQ. By including illustrators, colorists and writers from traditionally marginalized communities, comics are able to reach larger audiences while presenting work from authentic and talented voices. Equally important, comic readers are able to see themselves and people who look like them in stories, inspiring future generations of young creators.

Are we having a similar movement within craft? Maybe, but there is so much work ahead of us. In the blog Unfinished Object knitters Grace Anna, Korina, Ocean and Sukrita reflect on inclusivity and intersectionality with fiber artists and representation in social media. Their thoughtful and timely critique has resonated deeply and was picked up by Vox media. With these long overdue conversations about who is making craft and which voices are being listened to and supported, there is a need to examine representations in the past. Craft books, cards and merchandise - since the invention of the printing press, have been marketed to a white audience. The kitsch/retro models from the 50’s and 60’s portrayed on the cover of dress patterns are a good place to jump in, as these images have proliferated, what images were excluded? Even today, when looking at projects where vintage fabrics are re-purposed on Pintarest the images are solely of idealized white women.

For our evening at ReCreative, I asked my friends to reinterpret a doll of their choice without pre-conditions of gender, race or even that the character be human (when working with comic artists there is always the possibility of tentacles and wings), very excited to see what they’ve come up with and the collaborative work to follow.

Tickets for ReDefine FABRIC are $8 for adults, $5 for kids, it’s a drop in event from 6:30 to 10pm- 765 SantaFe Dr. in Denver - advance tickets are here