Craft in Common

Craft in Common

a row of 7 handmade fabric medals using various patterns and colours

Medals for Everyday Courage (Photo: Alinah Azadeh)

Please complete our short survey to help us better understand our digital audiences.

Five creative online workshops

Craft in Common is a series of five creative online workshops with artist Alinah Azadeh. It has been co-commissioned by Craftspace  and Midlands Arts Centre for our forthcoming national touring exhibition ‘We Are Commoners’.

Craft in Common: Introduction

Watch the introduction to the series. Click the CC symbol on the video for subtitles.

Craft skills are commonly shared across all cultures and Alinah has created a resource for making things to get through difficult times. Making things together in solidarity as a community in our home city of Birmingham, across the nation and the world. Each workshop is themed to relate to a human value or experience such as; courage, care, connection, loss and emotional repair.

Alinah invites you to make these objects for yourself or to gift to someone else.

Courage: Making Medals for Everyday Courage

Watch the how-to video and download the activity sheet as a PDF at the bottom of the page.

The first theme in the series is Courage: Making Medals for Everyday Courage. In this time of crisis we are all trying to be more courageous. Alinah invites you to make a medal celebrating the often-unacknowledged acts of everyday courage.

“It’s courageous to:  try new things, reach out for support, feel and share difficult feelings, be strong for others, tell truth to those who you love, find joy in small things and to keep focusing on what you love and have rather than what is lacking.”

Care: Making a container for self or group care

Watch the how-to video and download the activity sheet as a PDF at the bottom of the page.

The second theme in the Craft in Common series is Care: Making a container for self or group care. Alinah invites you to make a moulded container for self-care, for yourself, as a family, or as a group of friends.

“Care is as fundamental as equality, justice and freedom. When we actively care we transform things, others and ourselves.”

Loss: Wrapping an Object as a Symbol of Loss

Watch the how-to video and download the activity sheet as a PDF at the bottom of the page.

The third theme in the series is Loss. There are different kinds of loss; death of loved ones, loss of a job, friendships or relationships, and the feeling of loss from the restrictions during the COVID crisis. Alinah invites you to create a small ‘memory object’ to help reflect and honour the things or people we may have lost in our lives.

“This idea came from an art installation ‘The Gifts’ that I did where hundreds of people contributed. After the sudden death of my mother, I began to wrap her objects and personal effects with fabric. I bound them to tell stories about her, celebrate her qualities and the things I missed about her.”

Connection: Stitching a Message to Connect with Others

Watch the how-to video and download the activity sheet as a PDF at the bottom of the page.

The fourth theme in the series is Connection: Stitching a message to connect with others. Alinah  invites you to stitch a message to reach out to people, connect with them and counter feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Your message could be about a cause or words to encourage community spirit and togetherness.

Taking inspiration from craftivism – a term used to describe the combining of craft and activism – make one for yourself, gift one to someone else or display it in a public space as an act of emotional unity.

“I chose to stitch the message ‘You Are Not Alone In This’. I was thinking about connecting with people who are feeling alone in their situations, maybe due to restrictions or injustice, as well as reminding myself when I am struggling that I am not alone.”

Repair: Mending Clothing as a way to Heal Ourselves

Watch the how-to video and download the activity sheet as a PDF at the bottom of the page.

The final theme is Repair: Mending Clothing to Heal Ourselves. Alinah invites you to do visible repairs to clothing that means something to you and give it new life.

In times of crisis we have been affected in many ways; physically, emotionally or financially. Life changes, we can feel wounded but we get through. Strength can come from others and also from our own creativity. Worn clothing bears the marks of our joyful and painful life experiences. The process of repair and skills used are symbolic of how we might renew ourselves and our community.

“By doing a visible repair to clothing we don’t hide a tear or a ‘wound’. We show what it’s been through, making it stronger and part of who we are.”

Share your makes

Share your makes and stories with Craftspace:
use the hashtag #wearecommoners
tag us Facebook: Craftspace, Instagram: @craftspace_ or Twitter: @tweetcraftspace
Send us your photo on WhatsApp 07394745865

Be part of the exhibition

If you live in the UK and are interested in showing objects you make alongside the exhibition on its tour contact Craftspace on [email protected] or 0121 608 6668.

The exhibition

There’s more information about the ‘We are Commoners’ exhibition here.

“The commons means: Things we share/ Places we share/ Systems we share/ Ideas we share/ Culture we share” Peter Barnes, On the Commons co-founder

Partners

Our partners are Midlands Arts Centre, St. Paul’s Community Development Trust and The Active Wellbeing Society’s Share Shack in Balsall Heath.

Downloads

Download the activity sheets below. This download is free, but if you are able to support us to reach more people with our work please consider making a donation to our charity here.

Where Next?

A small vase: broken pieces are covered in decorative fabric and stitched back together in the original shape.

Support our current campaigns.

A pair of hands use a knitting needle to knit blue cord.

Sign up to our newsletter.

S-_Exhibitions-&-Projects_We-Are-Commoners_Marketing,-Press-&-Media_PRESS-PACK_IMAGES_ClaudiaRodriguez_3procesión_CreditTBC

Upcoming touring exhibition.

The i pad case sits on a windowsill. They are simple in design with a black and white line drawing of the skyline and red trimmings.

Buy catalogues and craft in our online shop.