A Crafter's Life, The Library Stack

The Library Stack and a Little Craftivism

It’s time to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.

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“Craftivism”

I’ve finished most of the stack and enjoyed flipping through the books with a couple pots of tea. I’m still finishing up one book that I wanted to spend extra time on: How to be a Craftivist: The art of gentle protest by Sarah Corbett.

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Image credit: Amazon

As the author asks in the book: “If we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair, shouldn’t our activism be beautiful, kind and fair?”

This book is by the founder of the Craftivist Collective and provides an alternative to responding to injustice with apathy or aggression – responding instead with gentle, effective protest.

The back cover summary provides as excellent overview of the book so I am going to just quote it: “Quiet action can sometimes speak as powerfully as the loudest voice. With thoughtful principles, practical examples and honest stories from her own experience as a once burnt-out activist, Corbett shows how activism through craft can produce long-lasting positive change.”

If you are interested in Craftivism (using craft as a form of activism according to the author), I highly recommend you borrow this book from your library or pick up a copy at a local bookstore (or online).

The author shares a Craftivist’s Manifesto and I’ve listed her ten (10) actions below but I refer you to the book for more details and explanations:

  1. Be the tortoise
  2. Craft is our tool
  3. Solidarity not sympathy
  4. Find comfort in contemplation
  5. Empathy never points fingers
  6. Small and beautiful
  7. Humility holds the key
  8. Provoke don’t preach
  9. Embrace positivity
  10. Make the change you wish to see

The book is peppered with powerful quotes by great thinkers and activists and below are  several examples, which are explored deeply in the book:

There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out-of-the-river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in. – Desmond Tutu

Our greatest strength lies in the gentleness and tenderness of our heart. – Rumi

An unexamined life is not worth living .- Socrates

We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove. A tough mind and tender heart. – Martin Luther King

If you want to go quickly go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African Proverb

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world,. Today and I am wise so I am changing myself. – Rumi

Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up. – Mahatma Gandhi

Handle them carefully for words have more power than atom bombs. – Pearl Stracha Hurd

Evil flourishes when good people do nothing. – Edmund Burke

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.. – Winston Churchill

UPDATE 8/6/18

There are several TED Talks by the author, here is one of her awesome TED Talks:

My Dabble with Craftivism

In my June 27, 2017 post Seeds I share how I contributed a piece/banner from the Women’s March to the national traveling exhibit called Still They Persist: Protest Art of the 2017 Women’s Marches. It is featured in a book about the exhibit by the same title.

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NOTE: Being sensitive to the fact that my American blog readers may have differing political views in regards to the current U.S. President and protest events such as the Women’s March, please be thoughtful in any comments you make in the “Thoughts”  section of this post about these topics.

My Craftivist Future

A couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation with my sister who challenged me on what direction I want to take my art.

I already plan to continue by series Stories My Father Told Me (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me ) which is focused on sharing positive stories through textile art of how my father overcame the challenges of discrimination, segregation, and racism.  However after talking to my sister, I am starting to explore other series that will have a “Craftivist” flavor.

Ultimately I would love to make art that inspires dialogue. I am still early in my artistic journey and finding my voice.

Of course I also want to make pretty/visually pleasing traditional and art quilts in the future too as well as many other types of textile crafts. Now to just plan to win the lottery so I can devote all my time to my art!  (Oh wait, do you have to play the lottery to win?)


Postscript

Speaking of “winning the lottery”, I had one of those awesome early morning walk experiences last Friday (or maybe it was Saturday) that felt like a mini-lottery win.

I’ve been trying start each morning with a 2 miles walk around 6:00 am before it gets hot.

The Balloons Over Bend Hot Air Ballon Festival was in progress (July 27 – 29) and much to my surprise during my morning walk I noticed hot air balloons floating over my neighborhood at a fairly low altitude. One of them dipped so low for a moment that I thought it was going to land in my neighborhood park!

It did not land however and took back off up into the sky.

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It was 60 degree Fahrenheit with a slight breeze and absolutely crystal clear blue skies. Seeing the hot air balloons float by was an exquisite experience and the moment made me pause and realize that life is filled with many wonderful little sweet surprising moments!

32 thoughts on “The Library Stack and a Little Craftivism”

  1. You have written another brilliant and timely and just plain enjoyable post! Thanks for the (what I call) keeper quotes, powerful “seeds” banner, and the beautiful, unexpected magic moment of nearby hot air balloons. I appreciate being reminded to notice and savor the unexpected ah-ha moments all around us. Mine yesterday was finding a tiny bird skeleton and a few feathers and knowing it had contributed to the lush soil of my flowerbed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Martha and I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. It was late night writing and this morning I had to go back and do a little bit of editing. But I’m glad overall it made sense😀

      Like

  2. Thank you for this post. I have read Sarah Corbett’s book. I have also viewed her TED talks. When I attended the Women’s March in Austin, I was filled with hope and positivism. I work each day to keep up this feeling. I, too, would love to make art that inspires dialogue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to live near a hot air balloon launch site and it was always magical to watch them go over no matter how many times I saw it.

    I like the idea of craftivism, I’ve never been much of a shouter or a marcher but believe that you should always live your values

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the message of the quilt, and it could be taken in many ways, not just political. Example, the times we can let our own worries bury our creative aspirations, but that pesky creativity always sprouts anew, doesn’t it!? Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing this interesting read, Tierney. 🙂 It’s helpful to be reminded that there are many ways to be involved, caring, and engaged. I like your idea of creating works that inspire dialogue, which is important to any situation. Recently, I’ve often thought about how one of the most radical things one can do is to continue to survive and thrive, despite the circumstances. I’ll have to check this book out! Wishing you more craftivist inspiration. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great post! And I look forward to seeing where craftivism takes you and your work… In a world that sometimes seems very “shouty”, I think we could all use a few more quiet, gentle voices. I also love the pictures of the hot air balloons… That’s a great way to start the day!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so jealous of your library! I read several of your library posts, and I think you have more art and craft books on one shelf than we do in the whole library. (Unless you count things like “Sunset Magazine Best Cross-stitch Christmas Ornaments of 1974.”)
    Another thought-provoking craftivist-type book you might like is Connecting Threads by Sharon Kallis. It has a lot about connecting with people through art, including art that is community-created and ephemeral. Not so much about how to choose and present a message, but other interesting aspects to think about.
    And I am so glad you are going to continue with your Stories My Father Told Me — I read that post too and he sounds like an exceptional person, and we all need to hear stories like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comments – I laughed very hard at “Sunset Magazine Best Cross-stitch Christmas Ornaments of 1974.” – ha! That was exceptional! Thanks for the book suggestion and thanks for stopping by 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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