Monday Mention – The Craftivist Collective

One of my plans for 2018 was to reinstate the Monday Mentions blog series that I began a couple of years ago (okay, one post is not a blog series) – I want to share with you posts about creative people or groups; people you may not have come across before or not know much about.

“The Craftivist Collective is exactly that – a collective, an inclusive group of people committed to using thoughtful, beautiful crafted works to help themselves and encourage others be the positive change they wish to see in the world.”

I stumbled across the Craftivist Collective a few weeks ago when I picked up a badge from the shop at the Millenium Gallery in Sheffield. I hadn’t heard or seen anything about the Collective before then, which surprised me – a lot of the sewing community are all crafty in other ways and on the whole pretty engaged with social causes and activism in one way or another!

Protest and activism tends to have a negative, angry image – shouting and rioting, people being arrested, taking over buildings etc, but just because you aren’t waving a banner or yelling at those who have opposing views to you doesn’t make you less engaged, or willing to engage. Craftivism is about being active, but in a smaller, more personal way:

The concept is simple – use crafts to engage with the world around you, protest, fight injustice and stand up for what you believe in. The website has a list of project suggestions but in no way is this exhaustive. There is also guidance on how you can set up your own craftivism session or group.

You can purchase a starter kit or smaller projects too – all proceeds are fed back into growing the Collective and funding bigger craftivism projects. Your own project can be big or small – a group stitch-in to promote fair wages like this group, or you could pledge to crochet your own dish cloths to reduce waste and protect the environment. My own first personal bit of craftivism is to make some re-useable shopping bags for loose fruit and veg. What will be yours?

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Renee Marciel, French designer – a Monday Mention!

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Today’s post is another Monday Mention! It’s also slightly different to normal but this is one I have had drafted for ages! As you may have seen, I really like collecting vintage patterns, although I have yet to successfully make any up – my small collection is full of gorgeous dresses but I’m more of a jeans and shirts kind of girl! I have a few gems I want to have a go at in the new year though, so I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime however, I inadver20151214_203543.jpgtently seem to have started collecting vintage fashion illustrations. Who knows where this will end?!

A few months ago I visited a local antiques fair and managed to pick up 2 original vintage 1950’s fashion illustration prints. I loved them on sight and bought 2 but there were dozens to choose from – so so hard to choose!

The designer was a woman called Renee Marciel, who I’d never heard of – however the French chap who was running the stall at the antiques fair informed me she has designed for Christian Dior which seemed dubious but didn’t stop me buying! The illustrations are so elegant and when I grow up I hope to be as lovely as these ladies! (I’m 27, there’s still time right?!)

Renee Marciel was20151214_203600.jpg a French designer who was based in Miami but unfortunately there is very little information about her online. Trained at the Beau Arts School in Lyon, she moved to the USA in 1946. Soon she began selling designs in the Fashion district in New York, and taught herself fashion cutting, draping and fitting before moving to Miami. Upon arrival she purchased several yards of fabric and began work on her first small collection of designs and eventually her work was noticed by buyers for Saks 5th Avenue who soon began to stock her designs.

The unfortunate thing is that that’s about all I can find out about her, and nothing to corroborate the Dior claim (one can dream). A Google image shows some incredibly gorgeous designs – this particular one is so striking. If I only I had an event to wear it to! During my image browsing I managed to find the actual dress for one of the design sketchesil_570xn.497459574_owa0.jpg I bought!

If anyone does have any more info about Renee and her work, please point me in the right direction! I’ve included the links and resources I used below for those who are interested! There are some gorgeous examples of her work to be found:

 

 

 

 

Joanne Potter, textile artist – a Monday Mention!

So today’s post is a little bit different as I wanted to do a quick post about a fellow stitcher that I came across online – maybe the Monday Mentions will become a regular thing. We’ll have to wait and see!

I came across Jo1anne Potter on Folksy when browsing for gift ideas, and her work is FANTASTIC!

Joanne is a 3D design graduate who has since turned her hand to stunning hand constructed textiles and accessories. So much work goes into each design, and they are great fun too! My personal favourite is the ladybird rucksack, made from green corduroy, velvet and ribbon with appliqué ladybirds. The bag straps are lady bird wings – how cute is that?!2

I also really loved this small denim bag with a pencil design – her attention to detail makes her pieces both unique and fun.

She has a Folksy page with her most recent listings along side a Facebook page so you can stay up to day. There was a very cute watermelon bag in progress on her Facebook page which I’m really looking forward to seeing!

I also think her work is extremely reasonably priced. £85 for a rucksack may seem like a lot of money but when you consider the cost of materials, plus the cost of labour per hour for both the design process and construction, this amount almost seems too little. You can check out her work in the links throughout the post.

If you know anyone that could be featured in a Monday Mention, please comment below!