Garment Altering & gifting project
Garment Altering & Gifting Project took place over a series of public workshops hosted at Mount Pleasant Community Centre through Vancouver Park Board's Artists in Communities Program, during a year long residency in collaboration with June Fukumura titled Meeting Places.
Community members were invited to work with textile printing and embroidery to alter garments collected from local thrift stores. After the workshops were complete, the garments were donated back to the thrift store with a meaningful handcrafted touch for it's next owner (and a tag describing the project). In this way, the intentions of sharing creativity and generosity ripple gently outwards into the larger community.
Each workshop began with a conversation about the overall intent of the project: to invite community exchange, connection, and generosity through creativity. Beauty, creativity, and experimentation ensued. In order to print on garments, we used stamps, sponge brushes, and textile block printing ink. Block printing was a new process for many of the participants, and there were a few moments of smudged designs or too much ink leading to blobs rather than clear transfers. As a facilitator I have a lot of investment in participant's feelings of success, and so it was refreshing to see the humor, patience, and willingness to keep trying and experimenting that came with these small mishaps. We had embroiderers of all experience levels and ages, so some participants chose to stick with a simple running stitch, using it to create diverse and effective designs, while others practiced new stitches they had never tried before, like the satisfying lazy daisy. We noticed that even a small and simple touch of hand embellishment can add substantial interest, beauty, and uniqueness to a garment.