Workshopping the Workshops

March 2019

Mostly, my stitching has been a solo activity. For the past year, and with a three month sabbatical grant from the Louisville Institute, I’ve been researching and practicing mending. For three months in the fall 2018, I’ve spent time with the African American textile artists of Gee’s Bend, AL learning their quilting tradition. I’ve taken classes on the Japanese mending style of Sashiko. I’ve traveled to London to meet folks running “mending cafes.” But mostly, I’ve been stitching. I’ve been spending long, silent hours busy with my hands so my mind can setting. I’ve been learning as much as I can so that I can teach.

And now, I’m workshopping a workshop. I’ve figured out something of an “intro to sock darning” class. I’ve now taught it with a group of 20 and a group of 50. I’ve tried out a powerpoint presentation for a large group on the history of mending in the US. I wanted to practice this in a few places before offering it more broadly. The hope is that this workshop or retreat can be of use in communities where there had been a tear. I’m also hoping that I can begin hosting some Mending Church nights in Boston. More to come…

mending unraveling