I’d like to share with you a craftivist project my sister Luisa recently completed. Luisa is new to craftivism. She was formally introduced to it at my first craftivism related workshop, “Stitching with Purpose,” that I delivered at Vancouver’s Mini Maker Faire in June. She had no idea what she wanted to stitch—to help with this I had brought several magazines to help participants “jog their memories”. We all have something we care about but sometimes we can come up blank at a workshop. Luisa was immediately drawn to National Geographic—she loves animals—and flipping through the pages she found some sentences that spoke to her and with Donna (my friend and helper at the event) they distilled one of the sentences down to two powerful words:
These two words are full of meaning, feeling, and heartbreak as the mistreatment of cattle in one of Canada’s largest dairy farms (in Chilliwack, very close to Vancouver) had recently hit the news. You can read about it here, but I warn you, it is pretty depressing to hear (and see) the despicable acts that human beings are capable of.
Craftivist piece by Luisa Bucci.
Luisa combined her cross-stitched piece with her skills in quilting and appliqué to create a small hanging. The piece is about 7 by 9 inches and has a slot through which you can place a dowel for hanging.
What makes a craft piece a craftivist piece also?
This is an important question. Had Luisa hung her piece at home, it would simply be a craft piece. What she did instead is mail the piece to the owner of the dairy farm in Chilliwack. This is now a craftivist piece. The message is the most important thing and the tool (craft) acts as a mediator that gets you to look at the piece for it’s beauty but is really trying to communicate a message and change something in you.
If you took the Stitching with Purpose workshop I led at Artful Sundays on August 24th and have finished your piece, please send me a picture so I can share it on my blog. Email me at laura [at] laurabucci [dot] com.
The workshop I delivered this past Sunday (Stitching with Purpose) at Artful Sundays in Vancouver was a great activity for community members to come together and think about a personal craftivist message and do some stitching. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people decided to give this a try considering that this is a time intensive activity. Participants stayed for an hour or more to work on their text messages. Here are some pictures from the event. There is one more event next Sunday, August 31st where Magpie’s Nest will facilitate a free rag basket making workshop. More information about Artful Sundays here.
If you were one of the participants, thank you for participating and I would love to see your project and share it on this blog. Send me your picture at laura[at] laurabucci [dot] com.
Stitching with Purpose at Artful Sundays. Here I am communicating with participants, bottom right is my sister who kindly assisted during the event.
Participants at Stitching with Purpose at Artful Sundays.
Participants at Stitching with Purpose at Artful Sundays.
Finally had a chance to enjoy the summer here in British Columbia. A respite from art and especially from city life is always welcome. We took 5 days and explored the Sunshine Coast and had a great time camping in camp grounds reached by bumpy backroads, out of the beaten track.
Rickety wharf at Lois Lake
Transitioning from tad pole to frog
Lots of swimming at Dodd Lake
I was recently working on some personal work and was inspired to use some of the screens & stencils to create some new journals. So there’s now four new one-off journals on the topic of ‘escape.’ What this means is open to interpretation but I hope you’ll consider escaping by writing in these journals.
Specs: Eco perfect bound notebook with 13pt soft cover and 72 ivory lined sheets made from 100% recycled material. Journals are made in Canada and hand-screenprinted by me.
These lined journals can be purchased through Bird on a Wire in Vancouver while quantities last. There’s only one available in each design.
I’m on the road in Southern California. It’s been busy getting down here but we’re finally slowing down at Joshua Tree National Park. I’m hoping to do some drawing during this trip–drawing the environment around me. I find drawing really helps you focus on the details . It’s a study of what’s in front of you.
There is no reception at the park ( that’s where we’re camping ) so I’m writing this note while we’re parked at Big 5 as I wait for my partner (in the town of Joshua Tree). The desert is beautiful here!
I am super happy to announce that I am leading a different kind of workshop this coming June! While all previous workshops have been craft based, this one is art based.
I’ll be leading a 2-hour drop-in drawing activity at Thunderbird Community Centre. Here are the details:
Discover the multitude of textures available to you in your neighbourhood. With paper and drawing materials you will explore the textures you can make from different surfaces, then cut them into shapes to create a collaborative image of your neighbourhood. Facilitated by artist Laura Bucci. Free drop-in.
When: Saturday, June 14 2014, 11:30 – 1:30, Draw Down workshop page
Where: Thunderbird Community Centre, 2311 Cassiar Street, Vancouver, map
Who is this for? Anyone, any age.
What is Vancouver Draw Down?
Now in its 5th year, Vancouver Draw Down is an annual celebration of drawing in everyday life that challenges preconceptions about drawing and works to reconnect everyone with the power and creative pleasure of making marks
As I continue to work with birds (after a big pause), I am noticing a change in how the project is going. There is something unsatisfying in just drawing pretty birds. I need depth. Or I need to say something.
In my most recent exercise, I re-used a bird I had drawn before. The leg of the collage paper accidentally tore off and I decided to go with it. Using the bird this way, with one leg, opened up the possibility of saying something about the environment. The bird leans over to look for food in a pretty field with flowers. But above it is a big X, as in do not use, do not eat, do not drink. But the warning is lost on the bird as it does not speak our language.
People are changing nature, the victims are not only us and our future generations but also all that makes up nature.
Sad story. Mixed-media on paper.
Part of what makes it to my daily visual journal are things that other artists have said that resonate with me. I often watch artist interviews or art programs online while I work on my art. Sometimes I’ll quickly jot what I hear in my journal and later or the next day I’ll ponder the words further sometimes writing and rewriting the words in order to process their significance.
In the page above, I was thinking about something that Kiki Smith said:
I don’t try to set my work on any path or any direction. I really try to follow it. . . I don’t question my impetus. I just do it and see what happens.
And in the page above, I liked what one of the Boyd Family artists said (I think it was the guy), he said:
To be totally immersed in something is glorious.
Yes, I agree. Visual journaling for me is not about making art, it is instead where I massage my brain to help me process thoughts and life. There are visual elements yes, but these function as writing. Visual elements in my journal are like a vocabulary of states of feeling.