April Community Gathering

Though this isn’t specifically related to the Innisfree Art Class, it IS related to art at Innisfree so I figured I’d include this post. I’ve been thinking a lot about community art recently, and how hard it is for us to meet the larger community so it was my goal to simulate a larger project that could be done in our smaller community. I’ve been thinking about a project done by the Craftivist Collective in the UK for a while now where they asked anyone to create flowers by stitching, knitting, or any by fibers process they prefer to add to what they call their #wellMAKING ( a play on the word “wellness”) project. This project seeks to show how craft making can promote wellness and I thought it was such a great way to bring up the idea of creating as an act of community enrichment. Here’s a video on #wellmaking

Although the original project involves stitching and embroidering and piecing, I thought we could convert this idea to something the whole community could participate in since many people aren’t interested in the fiber arts. I decided to call it our Community Wellness Garden since it revolved around flowers and it’s supposed to promote community wellness.

I started out by cutting out about 30 cloth flowers from a fabric that had been backed with an iron-on adhesive as well as some leaves (to be used in a later part of the project).

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Then materials were gathered from around the village that could be used to transfer texture on fabric through fabric paint. Onion bags, jar lids, apples and celery, as well as acorns, dried flowers, and wine corks worked perfectly.

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The paints were mixed (tones of blue and green) and I set them out on styrofoam plates with the paint covered with squares of felt (to act as stamp pads). Each house gathered around their respective tables and got to stamping! The flowers and leaves turned out great, and they will be later appliquéd to a dark green backing that will act as the quilt front. Can’t wait to see it all assembled! Here are some pictures from the workshop.

At the front of the room there was an “inspiration board” with pictures of examples of the project done by the Craftivist Collective complete with examples, color swatches, and an explanation of #wellmaking. I distributed the explanation as a handout, and one of the things it listed is how the World Health Organization defines wellbeing:

The World Health Organization defines ‘wellbeing’ not as one but as three things:

– Realising our potential (not comparing ourselves to others or trying to be someone else)

– Coping with daily stress (small things that affect all of us daily)

Contributing productively to society (not just focusing on our own direct physical and mental health like you might think!)

 I truly believe that crafting contributes to wellbeing because of these three things and I hope to expand upon these ideas with more community workshops in the future!

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Thanks for reading- I’ll photograph the actual flowers we painted soon!

Here’s a photograph of some finished flowers…beautiful!

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