This is the first of a planned series of blog posts related to our sustainability series given at our general meetings with the goal of building a guild wide conversation about this topic.
Part 1: Just what is sustainability anyway?
Dictionary.com definition is: ability to be sustained, supported, upheld or confirmed.
The Fashion for Good organization defines sustainable textiles as being made with these considerations.
Good materials, Good economy, Good energy, Good water and Good lives.
One way to look at sustainability in terms of our fibre arts is by considering the
The “R”s of Sustainability- Rethink, Research, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, Rot.
Rethinking our process with an eye to the Rs.
Some questions to ask in this process include:
Refuse- Say no to processes, practices or consequences when the answer to your questions does not satisfy you and speak with your dollars.
Reduce – Buy thoughtfully to reduce negative impacts.
Reuse Choose ways to make durable art. Meet the challenge of reuse of your waste, creations that need a new life etc.
Repair – Darn, re-knit, needlefelt , stitch, glue, sand, etc.
Recycle – Consider the recycling life of your fibres. In our local area there is no textile recycling facility but many ways to donate what you can no longer use.
Rot- At the very end of its life, fibres and dyes need to be disposed of. Will it rot & break down in the environment thus making a new beginning? Or will it remain unchanged in the soil and water of the world for hundreds or thousands of years.
Corona – who?? It initially wasn’t a problem isolating. Creatives are always working by themselves. Studio time was used and lots of felt was made.
I have a wonderful supportive felting group here in Kelowna which belong to the Ponderosa Fibre Arts Guild. We had anticipated putting on our annual Winter sale in November but even with all the extra distancing measures we had in place it couldn't happen. All items are priced and packed away for a time when we are all able to gather and to show what we had been busy doing during 2020.
We had been meeting with physical distancing in place until December. I taught a “Felt Maker’s Series-an introduction to felt”.
It always gives me pleasure to see the look of awe and wonder on people's face when the wool “magically” comes together and something is formed. I guess this why a love the process so much. It is really awe and magic!
A few pointers I would give a new felter are
This last tip is to those who just don’t have the energy right now to create. My advice would be get things ready and just make a small vessel. What better way to combat this virus then to put our hands in warm soapy water.
Denise Oyelese www.cozyup.ca
Denise Oyelese resides in Kelowna, BC and is a card carrying member of Felt:Feutre since 2016 and has been actively felting for 6 years. The process of nuno applies to most items Denise makes with all fibres suspect and vintage silk saris being her weakness. Purchasing boxes of saris from India gives an immeasurable variety and rainbows of colours to work with. With the motto of “just give it a try!” and building on the instructional courses that Denise has taken with both national and international felters- Denise continues to make shawls, vessels and larger wall hangings that challenge the limits of felt.