Friday, May 23, 2014

Craft is Art

En Garde ! Bunny Rebellion defending the craft = art movement

It’s been almost a week since the amazing handknitters guild yarn and wool show at the Coburg Town hall ! I had a great time seeing so many friends and their finished fibre projects and making the most of snaffling as much as they possibly could ! Thank you all for making the day so awesome !

People are amazing, but ....every now and again some actions make me cringe. Im sure that some of you who are selling at markets or trying to market and sell their lovingly made handmade things , have at one point or another gone through what I am about to tell you, but , for all of you who are not selling their lovingly handmade items or their skills teaching classes, here are some doozies that happened this week: Enjoy!

The Handknitters guild show day was almost at an end and the packing up of all the yarn and fluffy fibre was in full swing. A lady started to march towards the stall and started rummaging around. Nothing against that. Next thing you know, she is holding up two hand dyed Lush bunny tops and hands me $10 and started to walk away! I quickly put a halt to that and said very politely “ Eh..miss?’s more than $10, please look at the label on the fibre and you will see the price on there”…Then she mumbled in a huff and a puff “ Well!! I thought everything was $5 dollars! “ and THREW the two tops back on the table and walked away without blinking an eyelid…Tell me…has anybody else been through that kind of thing? Don't tell me it is normal practice..

At the arts centre market I had handwoven maya wraps for sale and next to them I had a little stand with photographs of our farm and bunnies: “3 for $10” it said on the photographs/cards….Next thing you know: A guy is holding three handspun, handwoven wraps up , throws them on the table and hands me $10…”eh no! you get three cards not three handwoven wraps that took me a week each to weave not counting the spinning SSSSir!! “…I mean!....What do you do??? Do people think? Do their brains ever compute facts like: it is handmade , takes a long time, ergo: I will just offend somebody terribly and offer them nothing for their work??? What’s up with that attitude?...

Society obviously does not see handmade items or craft as worthful elements and yet, sometimes craft items become highly sought after and huge money investment opportunities. Just look at what has happened to Navajo hand spun and dyed and woven rugs. They have become highly priced and sought after and ..rightfully so! It takes months of spinning, dyeing, weaving and finishing of the rug and it tells a story. It holds a mirror to the society it comes from and the society it goes is is art..and I do not necessarily see a difference between the two. When does craft become art? And why is Art more highly admired and priced than some craft that takes longer to make with heaps more technical know how?

 Also, how come that society will pay loads of money for a machine made garment with a famous label and reluctantly parts with haredly any money at all for something that is lovingly made without a label? All very relevant questions worth asking ourselves I think, especially for those of us who have to survive on what we can make with our hands and our spirits. It’s interesting isn’t it?

Another example of the difference between craft and “normal” society this time in regards to teaching. Now again, I love people and this is just one example, but nevertheless it is one example too many and something that really , well, makes me angry. Here it goes: I give workshops and classes all the time. They can range from beginner spinning classes to weaving to spindling to designing. This week I had a group of people here at my studio to learn how to spin. I lovingly create brochures, fibres and provide everything they need to make it a fun day, even baked a banana cake and bread to provide lunch. I spend days preparing everything. I lovingly give my time teaching. The majority of the students are absolutely fantastic, but there was one incident that on having to pay the tuition, one of them, after being given even more fibre because she would love to try plant fibres etc, says proudly “ I did not have time to go to the bank, sorry and I don’t think I will be back next week because I think I may be allergic to ???? “    WHAT?  Allergic to what? Being polite? 
So, let me get this straight, you go into a class, take the class, take the freebies and the brochures, text books, get as much info as you want out of the whole thing and then brazenly walk off ? I mean, you don’t go shopping without money do you? It’s not like you go and take something you want from a store, get at the check out and say “ Oh I will pay later when I find time to go to a bank” ….. It is baffling and well, honestly, rude, especially because you are not dealing with some faceless multinational, you are dealing with a person face to face.

 Blame me for being idealistic, but it does correlate to the whole of society looking down at people involved in “craft”… Or is this assumption totally wrong? I know I am making a big thing about something that is not even happening 0.1% of the time, but it is typically human, that that 0.1% takes up 80% of my thoughts when this kind of thing happens. Maybe because this kind of behaviour is so foreign to me and I would not dream of treating a fellow human being that way. I don’t know. This very small percentage of negative experiences should not take up a lot of my time..I know and still.. I am sure these are not isolated cases. I would love to hear what you think about it all.

And so, I keep smiling and I keep loving what I do and I keep loving people and….karma….lol

There are very exciting things happening here with an amazing new blend hopefully ready in time for the Bendigo show! A new blend that is so amazing it will make your hair curl and lift you up in the air …Not divulging yet…ofcourse !

Now, before I forget, I have some yummy things on offer on todays update ! I am very proud to offer you my handspun and hand dyed 3ply bunny mink yarn. It is honestly the softest most amazing yarn ever and with an awesome yardage ! : 300meters per 50 grams.

Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!

IxCHeL Bunny Mink 3ply yarn  

A blend of angora bunny and mink (30/70)
50grams+ (+/-1.75oz) …. AU$25
 300 meters per 50 gram skein !
Absolute heaven to knit with and wear !!
Blue Skies -4 available-

Dolphin Party -4 available-

Pebbles-3 available-

Minty-4 available-

Soft Green-8 available-

Natural Mid grey-8 available-

Natural Light grey-8 available-

Natural Fawn in the foreground and white in the back-8 each available-

Zen (dyed with black walnut pigments)-2 available-

Rose (dyed with mushrooms)-4 available-

Plum & Berries -3 available-

Pretty in Pink-2 available-

Woodland Mystery-2 available-

Autumn Forest-2 available-

Heather-2 available-

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Thank you so much for your help and support !

IxCHeL Events to put in your Calendar!

Sunday May 25th

Lang Lang Wool Show Day

10-3pm Lang Lang Town Hall IxCHeL Fibres & Yarns and spindle heaven with Emma Gerring from Spun Out !!

Friday 18th July-Sunday 20th of July
Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show
Bendigo Show Grounds
Flower Power Bunny Shed
THE event of the year with heaps of fun and super special fibre happenings!!
Exciting news !!!!!! more info on that later next month !!!

Friday 15th of August-Sunday 17th of August
39th Annual Country Conference
Camp Manyung Sunnyside Rd,
Mount Eliza
Im doing a talk there about the Navajo Churro Sheep project, Navajo Rug making, Navajo style spinning and more !
Lots of extremely special and hard to find fibres and yarns and SPINDLES will be available there !
Not to be missed!
There will also be a Special Navajo rug display and I will also have a stall there with lots of fluffy stuff to hug..enabling galore!!
To participate in the Country Conference please contact : Dot Vallence , email:





1 comment:

Creative Artists in Touch said...

Yay! Craft is art. It is vernacular art, art of the people, particularly women and children but also of the ordinary person. Baskets, wooden spoons, the everyday items for 1000s of years beautifully recreating the environment we live in generation after generation.