Amy Twigger Holroyd

Amy Twigger Holroyd is interested in sustainable knitwear, amateur activities that happen in the home such as repairing and actively seeks out ways to support amateur and small scale activities.

Like me she is keen to understand PEOPLES LIVED EXPERIENCE of these activities. will read her PhD Thesis which is about Amateur Fashion Making. I appreciate her methods of articulating this work and the distinct vehicles she is using to do this i.e. design-led, knitted garments.

She has a book coming out in 2017, called Folk Fashion it seems like it will be worth reading:

‘In Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes, Amy Twigger Holroyd explores the vibrant world of amateur creativity and unpicks the contemporary experience of making and mending clothes for ourselves to wear.

A dynamic resurgence in sewing and knitting has emerged in the last decade, supported by the connective power of the internet. Today, many people are making and mending their own garments at home, and deriving great pleasure from this creative process. However, making clothes is not a consistently positive experience: conversations with makers reveal many stories of homemade garments languishing at the back of the wardrobe. Twigger Holroyd draws on theories of fashion, culture and craft to help makers understand their mixed experiences of wearing homemade clothes in a society dominated by shop-bought garments.

Many folk fashion makers are motivated by concerns about the environmental and social impacts of mass-produced clothing, and see that creating their own clothes can lead to a slower and more satisfying experience of fashion. However, the relationship between amateur making and sustainability is more complex than it may first appear. Using an unexpected metaphor of fashion as common land and incorporating a focus on individual well-being, the book critically examines the potential contribution of domestic activity to a sustainable fashion system.

Taking an inclusive approach, Folk Fashion looks at the making and remaking of both individual garments and the wardrobe as a whole. Twigger Holroyd combines her own experience as a designer and knitter with first-hand accounts from a diverse range of folk fashion makers to provide an array of perspectives on this fascinating, yet under-examined, area of contemporary fashion culture. Examining both mainstream and emerging practices, she not only develops an understanding of what is happening now, but also suggests ways that folk fashion might continue to flourish, diversify and evolve in the future.’

http://www.keepandshare.co.uk/research/folk-fashion-understanding-homemade-clothes

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Study of ‘Hobbiest’ Craft Materials

I have realised that I need to develop a greater understanding of some of the materials that I associate with amateur craft makers who particularly rely on shops such as Hobby Craft or Magazines available in local newsagents. I am trying to engage with making as an amateur [which I believe I am] BUT, I operate professionally [in my job] within a design and craft arena in which I have access and a breadth of knowledge of textiles. As a weave tutor, I teach about professional applications of design and as such this requires a high level of engagement with contemporary yarns, dyes, equipment and methods.

I believe that switching and using those materials that we may choose to not use within a design studio but will find in abundance in a local craft’ing’ shop will expand my visual vocabulary.

I have started to tentatively explore this through stitch and am looking forward to the next phase of this research in which i will fully submerge myself in this world of wonderful materials: pom poms, scoobies, hama beads, sequins, ‘fuzzy’ felt sheets and pipe cleaners.

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Quilted [small] Banner, exploring hobby craft materials. [Perren, 2016]
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Detail of Hobby Craft Banner. [Perren, 2016]
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Study with Pom Pom’s [Perren, 2016]
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Detail of Pom Poms. [Perren, 2016]

Seattle Bad Art Museum

OBAMA – Seattle’s Official Bad Art Museum of America.

The layout of the space allows the work to be considered in a more appropriate context according to Knott (OBAMA) does revel in the otherness of amateur painting, but its methods of display – with canvases hung above cafe booths within an environment of heady Americana – might offer a more sympathetic contextual setting for such work. P40

  
  
http://officialbadartmuseumofart.com

Amateur Craft, Bloomsbury.

Exploring Cross Stitch

There are a number of things that I associate [as do others] with perhaps typical hobby outcomes. Cross stitch is one such craft and it felt appropriate that I should explore this further. Like a lot [if not all] of the textiles I make, I consider them as drawing. if not a direct observation of something I see, it is an action that takes time and consideration as it creates marks on a surface.

I have done a number of samples that include cross stitch but have not been able to find the focus or stamina to follow a pre-printed edition. Instead I tend to stitch intuitively although [as can be seen in this sample], I may draw some guidelines for shapes on the ground first.

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Making it up Cross Stitch. Cotton on Linen. [Perren, 2016]
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Trying to follow directions from a 1981, Readers digest Manual. [Perren, 2016]

Learning to make Glass Beads.

I was lucky enough to go to Berlin this month [a field trip with students] and found the time to find out about a few workshops that i could take part in. i was keen to experience something I really had no experience in and so I picked the glass bead making session. It was an organised group session however I was the only one so got a 1:1 session for an hour and then had a few hours after to work under my own steam.

I was totally transfixed with the process, it was strange to be doing something so hands on yet their was no skin to material contact while it was being made. When drawing or making textiles, the hand and touch plays such an important role – particularly in terms of having a direct understanding of how a material is responding.

Here you can see the results of this session and my notes on what to do. I am interested in perhaps developing this further if it feels appropriate. I have found, although not yet visited, a studio which offers open workshops for glass bead making in Hebdon Bridge which is quite local to me.

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Hand made glass beads. [Perren, 2016]
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Hand made glass beads. [Perren, 2016]

Josh Faught

conflated personal histories [and collective histories] in response to the history of textiles. Particular interest in ‘summer & winter’ weaves and their doublesidedness. interested in the role of craft and its relationship to political activism. CELEBRATION OF HOBBY CRAFT ASSOCIATIONS WITHOUT RIDICULE OF THE PEOPLE WHO PARTAKE IN SUCH ACTIVITIES.

This isn’t the first or last reference to identity politics in Faught’s work, and the history of the role of craft – textiles in particular – in and as political activism is clear both here and in previous works, eg, in his replication of sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

ArtReview

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Josh Faught. Triage, 2009

Hemp, nail polish, spray paint, indigo, logwood, toilet paper, pins, books, plaster, yarn, hand made wooden sign, denim, and gloves.  203.2 x 304.8 cm

MQB Development

When the case study came to an end, a few people asked if we could continue to make quilts and meet up. Although it would not run as a case study, I was keen to keep a level of engagement with communal making and, I had really enjoyed doing it. The women who wished to continue had so many interesting things to talk about and so we have continued to meet every other Monday evening. instead of paying for the village hall, we meet and work in each others houses which has bought further intimacy and friendship to the making of quilts.

We approached it a little differently in that we did decide as a group on a design and the fabric we would use. I had purchased a book called Modern Bee and we have taken inspiration from one of the designs in their, we could have followed the instructions word for word but as a group we preferred a more relaxed approach and used it as a guide.

Everyone bought in samples and leftovers we already had in our stashes and I provided a lovely length of vintage liberties fabric that had been donated by a local person when they saw my posters for the original MQB.

We worked with all that we had with the only ‘interference’ being that we dyed up a batch of fabric in a grey to pull it all together a little more.

Despite not officially documenting this particular adventure with the MQB, I have got a few photos of work in progress. In the future, we do have some thoughts of perhaps collaborating on a piece specifically for this research – but it is early days at the moment.

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Laying out the pieces on a member of MQB’s bed. [Perren, 2015]

Ref: Conner, L. Modern Bee. 2013. Lafayette, Stash Books.

Quilt Development from Painted Study

I decided it was time that I took one of my earlier painting studies of a Gee’s Bend quilt and have a go at translating it into a quilt top.

Tim Ingold talks about ‘know for yourself’ in his book Making. In order to truly understand something, from the inside out you need to be actively engaged in it i.e. just looking at pictures of the Gee’s Bend quilts will only bring a certain amount [and type] of understanding.  My thoughts are that by drawing them, painting them and making work that explores similar aspects [not copying] will bring more of the true knowing that Ingold talks of.

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Sally Bennett Jones 1944-1988 Centre medallion of triangles, surrounded by multiple borders. 1966. Cotton. 86 x 77 “

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Sally Bennett Jones Study [Perren 2015]
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Design plan for Sally Bennett Jones Study [Perren, 2015]
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Piece layout for quilt top, Sally Bennett Jones Study [Perren, 2015]
Ref: Ingold, T. (2013). Making. Oxon: Routledge.