Friday, 25 September 2015

Get Crafty For DAST

The craftivism movement seeks to spread important messages through the use of handicrafts and visual arts. Throughout the world, people are getting together to knit, sew and crochet their beliefs into something tangible that can be shared with others.

Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team are always seeking new ways to get the message across about asbestos and the damage that this still ubiquitous substance does to peoples’ lives. As we read about craftivism, it was immediately obvious that we could use this as a tool to share the stories of those that have unfortunately had to make use of our services.

Luckily, we have someone who is keen on sewing on the team!  Sarah spends her evenings hand stitching all kinds of little pieces for her home and her online sewing shop.  And she is happy to turn her hobby into something that might help raise awareness and give an outlet for people to share their feelings.

DAST’s craftivism project will be a patchwork of memories and messages.  Sarah is preparing some white fabric hexagons, which can be decorated.  These will then be sewn together to form an ever-increasing patchwork.  This will then be displayed at our events, and inbetween times hung on our office wall to inspire us!

William Bear with scissors at the ready
We want you all to get involved, but we realise that not everyone likes or is good at craftwork.  So, there are three ways for you to take part in the project:

1.   For those of you that would like to have a hexagon, but are not into craft, you can buy a hexagon for £5.  Sarah will then sew on a small fabric Reflection Rose and a set of initials.  Please be aware that if a lot of people want this then there might be a waiting list.
2.   For £2.50 you can buy a hexagon and decorate it yourself.  You can put whatever you want on there, and use whatever materials you like – cotton, fabric pens, sequins – whatever suits. Just take care to decorate it with a point to the top so that it will join to the other hexagons. Send it back to us when you are ready and it will be attached to the other hexagons in the patchwork.
3.   For those keen stitchers among you that would like to help, then Sarah would appreciate support in joining the hexagons together (or sewing on roses and initials if a waiting list develops).  If you don’t live near the office, then we can mail the work out to you. 

We will be officially launching this project at our conference in November – if you are coming along to see us in Derby, then come over to the fundraising stall for a chat about the project. However, it would be good to start the project with a couple of completed hexagons so that people can see what it will look like.  So if you want to be one of our craftivism pioneers, then send a cheque to the usual address for your hexagon.