Friday, 5 April 2013

Fine Cell Work

Don't know how many of you have heard of this?  It tends to be quite controversial, with strong feelings on both sides: some take the view that it's a great thing for the prisoners to be occupied and earn money, whilst others feel that its inappropriate for them to profit from their incarceration.

You can see their work at http://www.finecellwork.co.uk/

Also there is a short movie (link below) called Stitched Stories by young director Rachel Tavernor which weaves the interlocking narratives of the Craftivist Collective founder, Sarah Corbett and ex-prisoner Neil who continues to sew for Fine Cell Work. It showcases the power and potential of needlecraft on the lives of those involved with FCW.


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Craftfail - a showcase for our failures!

One of my pet annoyances is the huge ruse that 'professional' designers and artists seem intent on practicing on the general public at large.  En masse they seem to manage to convey the impression that they never have disasters or failures when they are working on something and that whatever they attempt always, but always, turns out just fine and dandy and ready to go into their latest book or magazine shoot. I think every time I pick up a book on, for example, wonderful sketchbooks which give the impression of their totally casual assembly done on the spur of the moment that they are jesting with me! Blood, sweat and tears went into the finished product, but the authors aren't sharing this with us as they are concerned it may make them a little too fallible, a little too human and open to failure like the rest of us.
This lack on candor has the (perhaps unintended) effect of totally demoralizing anyone (all of us!) who do have failures, unfinished objects, total disasters and stuff that just doesn't turn out the way we'd hoped when we started on it.  The truth is we all have off days or days that we just don't take the time to plan something as carefully as we should - hence the ensuing problems.  No-one, designer or not, just sits down and produces a masterpiece.  The trick to coping with the inevitable problems which ensue from all original design and craftwork is to learn from the experience and then carry straight on with the project and correcting the mistake BEFORE putting it away.  If you walk away at the lowest point, you'll never return to it.
This said, I had to smile when I saw the site Craftfail - someone is finally showcasing all the projects that didn't work rather than showing us all the ones that did.  Check it out - hopefully it will make you smile if your project hasn't turned out quite the way you intended!