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Political Felt?


Constructivist Scarves
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.

Recent political shenannigans have been stimulating my socialist roots. I didn't even realise it properly until last weekend in the studio. I mean, what's one of Thatcher's 3 million to do when it seems like no one's learned anything from recent history? Join in?

Back in the 1980s I tried to be a self employed knitter and jewellery maker. Among other things I was part of a loose collective of designer-makers in Edinburgh at the time. I made less than I'd have received in benefits over the same two and a half years even though I worked every hour I could and loved what I was doing. Don't be fooled by the folk who tell you the key to a successful business is hard work and passion - you need to be lucky and your "face needs to fit" and you need bucketloads of cash to ride out the bad times. I had none of these so the business wound up in 1986.

The urge to make things and the urge to work on collaborative projects never left me. Now I have a "proper job" I can afford to rent a studio and pay to attend courses. But the work silts up and so getting back into business on a small scale is looming - in the middle of an even worse recession this time!

On Saturday I made two felt scarves that harked back to the sort of work I was knitting back in the 80s without realising what was doing. I guess the zietgeist is calling again!

[more on this stuff and on the craft collective for the 21st century, Craft Reactor, next time.]

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