// fibers in activism

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Last week, I got to teach embroidery at Girls Rock! Charleston, a program of the Carolina Youth Action Project. Check out some amazing images from the showcase here. Seriously life-changing stuff!

I put together a presentation of fiber artists that are using the medium to spread ideas & present themes of resistance. I’ve had a few people ask me to share my Powerpoint, so I thought I’d share it here!

Jenny Hart

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Jenny Hart is the founder of Sublime Stitching, an amazing resource for embroidery, with tutorials, modern iron-on embroidery patterns, & embroidery tools. I first became aware of her work in BUST magazine, when there was a unicorn embroidery pattern. It inspired me to learn embroidery, & I’ve never stopped. Her own artwork is beautiful. She also highlights the work of other artists by having them design embroidery patterns with their illustrations, like my fave, Tuesday Bassen. This pattern can help you stitch up her drawings! I added them to a sleeveless white button-up.

unicorn believer

The next artist I included is Rebecca Ringquist. Her work is beautiful & layered & freeform, such a departure from dainty tablecloths that women would make to fill their hope chests. Her work also turns the antiquated notions of women embroidereding while waiting to get married on its head. She uses found hand-embroidered textiles & cuts them up & stitches on top to make rich cloths. Also check out her book & dropcloth samplers (which inspired my own teaching sampler).

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Lauren Dicioccio

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We first saw Lauren Dicioccio‘s work at SCOPE at Art Basel Miami Beach. I immediately fell for her work immortalizing disposable objects like National Geographics, & water bottles. I later saw her work in San Francisco at the Workshop Residence in the Dog Patch, where she created reusable T-shirt bags. I saw these same T-shirt bags at Context Art fair again in Miami Beach & got to meet the artist! (fan girl, much? :P)

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She started embroidering protest signs to make mini signs, called #signsofthetimes, which you can see all together at #theresistancewillbeembroidered, which is an amazing hashtag.

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She embroidered my own sign! (on the left) *wut*

She also held workshops after the election, where participants received these sewn notebook pages, & were encouraged to embroider letters to their representative. I love the idea of really expressing the gravity of one’s opinions with their elective reps.

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I read about arpilleristas in Bitch magazine. These textiles served as a way for women coping during the Pinochet regime to memorialize their family members that were jailed for dissent. These subversive textiles could be rolled up easily & concealed, & fly under the radar, while providing a meditative outlet for the atrocities committed in Chile. These gorgeous textiles also served as income for the artists, as well as historical primary sources. They are graphic, beautiful reminders of the humanity & dignity of the Chilean people in spite of the hostile dictatorship. Read more about the embroiders on POC Online Classroom.

Finally, Hannah Hill, or @Hanecdote on Instagram. She is behind the amazing embroidered Arthur Meme.

hanecdote arthur

I also love her merit badges. She is very candid about her mental health & dealing with depression, making these amazing patches that reward one’s self for doing the little things that allow us to exist in the world, like getting dressed, eating, anything that can feel insurmountable in times of depression.

merit badges

If you want to learn embroidery, I would suggest visiting Sublime Stitching‘s website for some great tutorials, or even checking out her book. Embroidery is the perfect craft to do on the couch, & makes amazing, personalized gifts. With practice & patience, anyone can do it, & it’s not limited to monograms or old-school imagery. If you need inspiration, scroll though the instagram feeds of @hanecdote, @embroidery (run by Jenny Hart), @ffembroidery, @eradura, @sarahkbenning, & so many more. Thanks for letting me share my passion for fibers! -Camela

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