ONN/OF Festival! Register here for my workshops!

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**ALL WORKSHOPS FULL**  but keep your eyes out for more workshops hosted in my studio, due to the overwhelming demand!  Join my mailing list or Facebook page

This January 28th and 29th a new festival pops up in Seattle’s Ballard Industrial district, ONN/OF -A Light Festival, created by writer/walker Jim Demetre, post-medium artist Susan Robb and curator Sierra Stinson.  Each of these folks, in their own generative practices delve into and illuminate what it means to bring people to place to art to community.  As a triumvirate, they are boldly challenging the deep gray of Seattle’s somewhat depressing winters, and boosting morale through art, food, music, artist-made goods and workshops, all wrapped into one weekend “of illumination, warmth, and gloom-banishing engagement.”

Most exciting for me is these lovely people have asked me to create  workshops for the festival!  Inspired by history of the site for the festival and the people who once worked there — an 11,000 sq. foot warehouse that was once a family-owned Knitting factory Jim Demetre grew up in —  I wanted to create a project that could at once engage people in the pleasure of making with their hands but also probe some of the issues of production/labor/waste/over-consumption/debt we all need to grapple with in contemporary life.

So I’ll be facilitating a project called “Gleaning, Redeeming, Surviving and Thriving: “ and be leading 14 people through the process of taking discarded cheap materials, investing them with one’s time and creating an amazing wearable piece.

Each workshop, one on Saturday 28th from 4-7pm and one on Sunday 29th from 1-4pm, can only take 7 people each, since we’ll be working on handmade lap looms.

So register now to make sure you have a spot!  The cost is only $18 per person, with 3 hours with me and use of the studio during the whole day of the festival!  You’ll be gathering your own materials, engaging with a site of contemporary gleaning: the bins at the Goodwill Outlet.

Register with me through Paypal, and ***please include in the “message to the merchant” your name, email and phone number AND which day you are registering for, either Sat. from 4-7pm or Sun. 1-4pm.***

Now read my Magna Carta below about the WHY and HOW we’ll be doing with  “Gleaning, Redeeming, Surviving and Thriving”!

**FULL** on Sat. 28th,  4-7pm…

**FULL**  on Sun 29th, 1-4pm…


“Gleaning, Redeeming, Surviving and Thriving:  
A project facilitated by multi-disciplinary artist Mandy Greer, engaging the participant in site history, slow process, re-thinking use, and re-examining self-esteem via self-sufficiency rather than purchasing power.
The making of a ‘highly prized’ fashionable object out of the discards of the fashion machine of psychological obsolescence.
Despite the transition away from the slow process of harvesting, hand spinning, hand weaving and hand-sewing of cottage industry textile making to the mass produced textiles that so marked the age of the Industrial Revolution, a long-surviving culture of inventive hand-making of usable goods continued, particularly among the textile workers of these massive mechanized factories.   To survive, to cloth their own family, warm their own floors, to have pride in their own resourceful creativity, these workers gleaned the wool scraps and selvedge edges, the cigar wrappers, the broken buttons, the extra thread, the used burlap bags, to create remarkable works of art.

This project asks the participant to engage in a contemporary site of gleaning: The Goodwill Outlet.  “The Bins” are an overwhelming striking visual scene of our contemporary way of life of intense consumption, of using goods for a very short time, discarding them before they are worn out, and the massive amount of energy spent on just what to do with this constant flow of fabric.

The site itself begs the question “why are we producing this much? Do we need it?”

Entrenched in the garment industry today is waste (despite the “greening’ of  production in some small pockets of the industry).  Things are not made to last and not made of quality materials, embedded with the planned obsolescence of ever-changing ‘style’.

Before we became “wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals”, as cultural critic Vance Packard warned us, ‘esteem’ from clothing came not from being able to buy the ever-shifting newest thing, but from the pride one felt in making the elaborate hand-made and individuated garments defined now as ‘folk-costume’.
Our cultural critics today tell us we have moved from being people who can produce to people who only consume.  During the course of this project, step back and examine this, examine the art of ‘gleaning’ and slowly making something from the leftovers of our over-buying and over-production. Participants are asked to spend an afternoon at “The Bins” before attending the workshop, picking through the mountains of discarded fabrics, choosing about 5-8 garments made of  ‘t-shirt’ knit material.
Using handmade looms that are adaptations of a childhood craft called spool knitting — rake looms from Germany date back to 1535 –  the project facilitator Mandy Greer will lead the participant through the gleaning process to creating yarn to creating a dramatic handmade wearable work,  a giant cowl scarf.  So fashionable ..so au currant…but Monks have been wearing them for centuries!
Will you get rid of something that took hours to make the same as you might  a $12 t-shirt from Old Navy?  Reinvest these discarded materials with ‘specialness’ through time, your time with the materials…by making choices as you make, your own choices..In this Era of economic recession, stress, depression, a climate in which we are constantly told we don’t have enough and don’t have enough to buy it, lets celebrate new ideas (that are actually old) of finding pride in making-do, re-investing in what we have, inventing and creating something that makes you feel good by being self-reliant.
Much like the site of the knitting factory itself, transitioning from one use to another, no longer part of one form of fashionable production, but renewed by the collective energy of ONN/OF, a site for optimistically gathering to inspire each other!!$18 to participate in a 3 hours session, and use of the studio and tools the rest of the day during the ONN/OF Festival, 7 participants per session.
Sign up ahead of time! Then collect and wash materials from the Goodwill Outlet:
1765 6th Ave S
(between Holgate St & Massachusetts St)
Seattle, WA 98134
Neighborhood: SODO
(206) 957-5516
Mon-Sun 8am-6pm
For the non-experienced hand-worker, just the desire to go through the myriad of steps to taking what is discarded into something highly valued (i.e. ‘fashionable”). “
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2 thoughts on “ONN/OF Festival! Register here for my workshops!

  1. Mandy, I’ve registered just this minute via PayPal, for the Sunday afternoon session. Regularly shop at Goodwill stores (and other local charitable thrift stores) to acquire many of my own wardrobe pieces, love finding still-stylish garments while saving $ and recycling to boot. Looking forward to meeting you and creating!

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