expansiveness before the Christmas rush

Staircase Gallery INVITATIONLingwood inviteI’ve sent most of my Christmas show work out, so I’m coasting now, for a while, and thinking about what I’m making or getting for Christmas. (Shows and stockists here, if you need them.)
 
MADE London went well, you can get a flavour of it in this video. You can see Elaine Bolt‘s work near the start (at 3.43), looking great as usual. One of the perks of these shows is getting together with other makers.
 
There’s still time to buy work before Christmas – locals can visit me in the workshop, and I’m sending some bowls to Canada today, having worked out how to get paid using PayPal – much easier than banks for international transfers. I have a competition winner coming next week, from the St Christopher’s Hospice fundraiser at Dulwich Picture Gallery, too. Any South London readers should go next year!
 
rain in shetland
November is also Wovember, a celebration of sheep and wool. It’s always a great source of pictures and stories as well as ideas, patterns and wool. I particularly liked this picture of Shetland from Old Maiden Aunt, a shop that includes hand-dyed Shetland lace-weight, my favourite wool ever (alongside Icelandic EinBand). *sigh*
 
sheep with hat There’s something very compelling about seeing the animals in the landscape that shape the wool – making this connection is one of the purposes of the Wovember project. I was particlarly struck by Shankend’s Sponsorship scheme. You sponsor a specific sheep (£15-35), and get their fleece in return. The fleeces are often discarded outside Shetland, so this saves waste, gives the farmer an income stream to support the flock. There’s something deeply satisfying about this (maybe a good idea for a Christmas present too?): I think it shows there’s more to craft and craft materials than just the commodity value. The wool from a sheep you know, wears differently…
 
I’m helping Sarah Corbett with an event tonight in Brick Lane – a WellMaking stitch-in. The idea is that making a flower – slowly – and reflecting on how we can improve wellbeing. Another project that’s challenging our ideas of consumer capitalism and the politics of change in a very profound way.

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