Why do we long for beauty? The Buddhists would reply that the world of beauty is our home and we are born with a love for home. To long for beauty, therefore, is the same as to long for home.
- Soetsu Yanagi
Welcome to the Mending as Metaphor site, which I hope grows to be a valuable resource for connection and inspiration as well as interaction.
I am hugely interested in who is out there using mending as an artform, a textile practice or a practical way to enhance and keep our clothing and textiles in circulation.
I have dreamt of a place where I could arrange an archive of interesting mending and repair work in textiles today as well as a chronicle of my own practice. Hopefully this site will be a virtual mending circle where we gather to mend and tell stories. May the circle widen to include people of all ages, races, genders, and backgrounds. Mending seems to touch on something mythic and ancient and yet very universal, practical and of this moment.
Original Call to Mending
Gathering in Mending Circles
I want to create an on-going mending circle or circles where we come together to repair our textiles but we also share stories, food and ideas. Traditionally many cultures, including our own, have worked in community to make and repair textiles, such as the boro textiles of Japan, the ralli quilts from India and the Gee’s Bend quilters. Within the community we build there will undoubtedly be many things we can learn from each other so it will be a time to absorb new skills and teach the ones you know. If you are interested in seeing what this is about, and being involved with creating community around sewing and mending, please bring in a beloved garment, small quilt, a favorite t-shirt, sweater or anything that you would like to repair, mend, embroider, patch or transform.
We will make time to share our ideas about repair and re-use and explore techniques and materials that have been used historically and some that are particular to our city and time. As we are living in an increasingly disposable culture we will focus on the idea of repair as metaphor for treasuring what we have and wasting less. I have some materials as well as a variety of needles, threads, yarns and fabric scraps. If you have particular materials you would like to work with please bring them in as well as any sewing supplies you like to use such as thimbles, small scissors etc.
I am envisioning this as an ongoing group that might initially morph and change but hopefully and eventually will become a group with a diversity of ages and experiences that supports this practice and each other.