Erin here. J and I have been super busy this last month stitching together tons of new clothes to sell over the winter season. It's been difficult to put the bus work on hold for the time being and invest all our energy in a different direction. We are looking forward to getting back to work on the bus plumbing in the coming weeks.
Our two-week run at the local Holiday Market was a huge learning experience for us. Learnhng to be effective craftswomen is an ongoing process and we've been lucky to receive a lot of advice and encouragement from old-timers in the Eugene craftsperson economy/community. Lately, I've been struck by the magical quality of craftswomanship and the magical prowess of my fellow craftspeople. Handmade things are a novelty these days. They are unexpected, vital little anachronisms. The main reaction I get at crafts fairs is disbelief ~ "Do you make all of this?!" or "Is this handmade?!" and then, "How long does it take you?!" and "Where do you find the patience?!" ~ which to me indicates that what craftspeople do - or what craftspeople are - somehow blurs the lines of reality for a lot of folks. We are so used to being alienated from the magic of creation ~ not knowing how our homes are made, not understanding how our cars work, not knowing the name of the person (or persons) who made our toothbrush in China, not even really knowing how they made that toothbrush in China.
It's funny to think that the basics have become magical. The hand-knit sock is the new unicorn. Yeah, maybe you can find those in darkest India but here? In Oregon?!
A plug for a good book: I was lucky enough to find a book called "Women and Craft" at my local used bookstore the other day. It's a collection of short pieces (essays and stories) by a bunch of women from the 80's in the UK edited by Gillian Elinor, Su Richardson, Sue Scott, Angharad Thomas and Kate Walker. It was awesome. Everything I've been trying to rant about in the last couple years - gendered ideas about art and craft, magical crafting, women and making stuff and how important it is, the history of women's work, what it means to sell your craft - it was all there. Good luck finding it...looks to me like it was released in the UK only. Where was this book when I was teaching my section on feminism and crafting?! The UCSC library didn't think any book like this existed.
Warm holidays to all who read this. Check back for more bus updates later this month. More new clothes will be posted at The Patchwork Underground tomorrow!
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