Issue 54 Revive (digital only)
This issue is only available digitally
I TAKE IT FOR GRANTED THAT TEXTILES ARE A GOOD THING. I know sewing, knitting and weaving help me to relax and judging by the many emails I receive from readers proudly displaying their endeavours, it’s evident that making things enhances our self esteem. But sewing may also be good for your health. New York psychologist, Robert H. Reiner, Ph.D., recently conducted research which illustrated that people engaged in textile related activities experience a significant drop in heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration rate – three key factors in the measurement of stress. Sewing involves the muscles and the mind, promoting healthier body synergy. The study’s results appear to indicate that sewing helps women to relax while they focus on a creative activity. “The importance of a hobby or creative pursuit cannot be overemphasized,” insists Dr Reiner. “If we don’t allow our bodies to rest from the pressures of everyday life, we are placing ourselves at risk for heart disease or other illnesses.” In our article Frayed, writer Ruth Battersby Tooke illustrates how sewing has been therapeutic for those suffering from mental health issues or bereavement throughout history.
In our July issue I advised readers to begin a creative endeavour today with whatever resources they have to hand. That is exactly the approach emerging fashion designer Momo Wang, adopted. Returning to her home of Jinzhou, China, after graduating from Central St. Martins School of Art in London, Momo bought clothing from a local second-hand market and created new garments – working on her family’s dining table. Her creativity and ingenuity are impressive but she is not alone in finding motivation in the idea of giving new life to used objects. Amelia Thorpe, has discovered a host of makers for whom this is a natural way of working. Similarly the women of the towns around Boujad and Beni Mellal in Morocco used whatever was to hand to create beguiling Boucherouite rugs.
What all the artists featured in this issue have in common is a “can do attitude”. Reading about them is life-affirming and inspiring. But before you embark on a project that will see you through the longer autumn evenings, take the chance to get out and about with one of our textile inspired rambles through town and country, devised by intrepid writers Clare Lewis and Becky Jones.
I hope you enjoy our sneak preview of the work of recent graduate Gabrielle Vary, one of almost one hundred talented exhibitors who will be showing their work at our Winter Fair. I’m looking forward to welcoming you to our biggest event yet at the Chelsea Old Town Hall on 29th and 30th November 2013. We aim to revive the idea of a traditional Christmas market offering the chance to meet friends, talk to designers, enjoy fine food and find the perfect gifts. We hope to see you there.
Polly Leonard, Founder