Earlier this month I hosted a workshop with Funday Friday from City of Sanctuary. The workshop was a way for me to share information about this art exhibition project and to help people learn a new skill (or give them the space to practice a skill they already had). I gave a brief presentation (see slides at the end of this post) talking about this project, and how it connects to crochet and other forms of artwork.
Crochet, knitting, weaving, and other textile/threadwork can and should be seen as artwork (I'll make a full post on this in the future), and can also often be practical. For example, one can make clothing items, religious or spiritual artefacts, or even items that communicate messages. Being able to create practical and artistic items at the same time is very powerful and the techniques manifest differently depending on the type of creation or cultural background (for example, an ancestral technique might be weaving, rather than crochet or embroidery). In my case, crochet is something I was first exposed to as a child and learned from books at the library. For me, creating a crochet creation for the prompt for the art exhibition (see previous post to see the prompt) would answer the prompt two-fold: I learned to crochet from resources at the public library, and I can crochet something that also represents why I use the public library. The goal of the crochet workshop was to help help people learn or practice a practical skill that also allows for artistic expression.
I am pleased to say that the workshop seemed to go well (and a second hour has also been scheduled for today), and I hope to be able to run additional workshops to help people learn, and give people a place to practice, the skill of crochet.
Rachel Salzano is a PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University. In her spare time she enjoys crocheting, drawing, reading, and collecting public library memberships. She hopes that her research will help bring together public library providers and their communities to enhance public library service provision.