Making Do and Mending
As the Selvedge World Fair 2021 approaches, we thought we'd share some of the artisans who are taking part who also use techniques and practices celebrated in our latest issue, Issue 102 Mend.
Designer and Creative Director of Studio Medium, Riddhi Jain Satija (India), will be joined by academic and designer Gönül Paksoy (Turkey) and artist Lu Mason (England) for a talk on working with repurposed fabrics during Create Day on 4 September for the Selvedge World Fair. The talk will be hosted by Pilar Navarrete of Artesanía de Chile and will form part of our 24-hour programme of talks in which hosts from around the world pass the virtual microphone to each other in celebration of cloth, culture and community.
All twelve two-hour talks are included in the price of a Selvedge World Fair ticket.
As well as creating textiles and garments using the handwoven and resist dyeing techniques of bandhani and shibori, Studio Medium specialises in using the textiles left over from these processes. Bandhani–which involves tying the cloth–leaves behind mountains of tiny cotton threads. Once untied, the bandhani yarn discards are collected, and by the end of the year there are sacks full of this material. The entangled yarns have a clay-like quality. They are extremely malleable yet they have a distinct character of their own. The process of reuse starts with segregating the threads according to their colours. This is a long process which needs careful handling of the material to keep the texture intact.
With fabrics scraps left over from cutting garments, the rule at Studio Medium is to not cut the fabrics further. This prevents further waste and at the same time lends a particular character of each textile. The scraps are placed together on a long table and slowly with each placement a composition emerges, before being hand-stitched to create a larger textile piece.
Riddhi will give us a taste of the creative and technical processes behind making a variety of objects, and provide insight into the processes of playing with shape, drape, and technique.
Lu Mason moved to York in the 1990's and soon became fascinated with the tradition of rag rug making in the North of England, and the textures, colours, and unpredictability of what “rags” you might find in rag rugs. Clothes, fabrics, and off-cuts found at local jumble sales became the source and inspiration of Lu's rag rugs, with the ambition to only use recycled materials. She has sold and exhibited her rugs all over Yorkshire.
During our ‘Scraps’ talk, Lu will speak to us about the history of rag rug making in Yorkshire and the process of rag rug making, a craft that runs in her family.
Gönül Paksoy is a Turkish academic and designer, born into a family with distinguished history. Her great-grandfather was Governor of the then Ottoman province of Mossul and one of the most prominent mathematicians and astronomers of his time. Her parents cultivated her appreciation of food, dress, architecture and history.
There are not many designers who have published academic papers on ‘the separation of Tar into its components and its definition’: still fewer hold a PhD with a doctoral thesis on root dye chemistry. Designer, collector and renowned chef, Gönül absorbs elements of old and new, east and west in an astonishingly creative compound. Transformation and the desire to create perfection, from materials both base and beautiful, is at the root of her work and her new collection: a range of intriguing rag dolls inspired by her childhood experiences.
Gönül will provide a flavour of how her academic background has shaped and directed her creative practice, as well as sharing her current projects and where her ideas for them have stemmed from.
Find out more about our 'Scraps' talk on the Selvedge World Fair Talks page.
Read more inspirational stories in Issue 102 Mend, our latest issue of Selvedge.