Craft, tea and feminism? What a great combination!
After popping along to the Christmas-themed Craft Club at Lydia’s in Hull, I was keen to try out more sessions in the new year. The Craft and Crochet Club is run completely by volunteers: you pay £5.00 and get to learn something new over cake and a pot of tea (or coffee if you’d prefer).
When Pru, one of the organisers, announced that Hull UK City of Culture was supporting the February event, as part of Hull’s WOW (Women of the World) Festival, I felt it was the perfect excuse to get crafting again.
WOW Hull will officially run from 10 – 12 March 2017. It’s a festival that celebrates women and girls, whilst taking a good look at what stops them from reaching their potential. There are so many events, activities, panels, shows, discussions, debates and workshops to get involved with, including Revolutionary Makers sessions like this one.
If you want to find out more about WOW Hull, please take a look at their fantastic programme. I also filmed and edited an interview with Madeleine O’Reilly, the festival programmer if you want to take a cheeky look at that. [Airs Saturday 4 March 2017]
The Revolutionary Makers workshops are all about creating wearable symbols of equality and progression. You can sit with your family and friends and meet new people, as you stitch your emblem of empowerment. The end goal is to fill Hull City Hall with beautiful badges, motifs and other wears.
Craftivism is great because it creates much-needed conversation about important topics, such as gender equality.
Artist Jess Aylen, who led the Lydia’s workshop, agreed that taking the time and making the effort to crafting something that represents an idea that you believe in, can make a huge impact.
I also think it’s a therapeutic and controlled way to show your passion for something. And as I badly stitched the words GIRL POWER into my felt circle, I did feel empowered. Partly because I’d never been able to stitch in a straight line before now.
The final installation in City Hall is bound to look absolutely amazing.
I kept my design simple because I’m not a great sewer. After deciding that cutting out a heart would be beyond my skills, I decided to go for a red circle. I like the colour red; it’s bold and makes a statement. It also represents my love of wearing red lipstick as a form of activism, something that Suffragettes would often do at rallies, as well as women’s rights protesters in the 1960s.
I then chose the over-used slogan of GIRL POWER. Although a little cliche, I quite like the phrase. For me, it represents 90s feminism and that’s what I grew up with.
There were so many fabulous designs, some really simple, yet effective and others beautifully intricate. I can’t wait to see the final result at City Hall.
Don’t worry if you missed out on this event. Lydia’s is hosting another night of craftivism on Tuesday 7 March (Please visit The Crochet Club page for more details). There’s also one on Wednesday 1 March at The Freedom Centre.
Did you know that I’ve started selling my crafts? If you loved this post you may be interested in my Suffragette-inspired garlands.