Making Uncovered: Flextiles

shibori fat quarters1Kim Winter of Flextiles will demonstrate the techniques of resist dyeing at Making Uncovered. One of the best-known examples is tie-dye – binding the cloth with string or elastic bands to produce a ring pattern. Other types include stitching, folding, pleating and clamping. Kim will be showing how she uses stitch to create patterns when dyeing with indigo.

Tell us a bit about your work.
rust onion scarf6I’m a textile artist specialising in wet felting and dyeing with indigo and other natural dyes. I’m particularly interested in shibori, a kind of sophisticated version of tie-dye that comes from Japan. When combined with indigo it produces particularly special results.

Indigo dyeing is rather magical – when you remove the fabric from the vat, it’s actually green, and then as oxygen gets to the fabric it turns blue before your eyes!

I work a lot with upcycled and found materials, especially scarves. I love the thrill of the hunt, and there’s a real sense of achievement in cleaning a cast-off and transforming it back into a desirable item by stitching, clamping or wrapping it in the indigo vat.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
I participated last year and it was huge fun. It’s great to show people what goes into making handmade items – the time and skill involved. And to learn from other makers about how they do what they do.

For me, Making Uncovered sums up what Makerhood is all about – creating connections between different makers, businesses and the local community. And having fun at the same time!

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?
egg1I’m going to be showing people the principles of resist dyeing – using eggs and onion skins! People will be able to wrap an egg in leaves, flowers and onionskins, and then boil it to produce a lovely golden egg with the shape of the leaves and flowers on the shell. If they don’t like the results they can just eat it instead. 😉

Kim will be boiling up eggs every 30 minutes at Making Uncovered. No need to book – just turn up. Get your free ticket to Making Uncovered here.

 

 

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Mentoring month with Etsy UK: Coupon code sale 10% off

etsyThroughout July, 10 Makerhoodies worked incredibly hard as part of Etsy UK mentoring month. Using the fantastic resources provided by Etsy UK makers revisited their photography and branding, tags and titles, SEO, pricing, shipping and marketing, carried out shop critiques, brainstormed their ideal customers and planned social media strategies. And they continued making of course…

To celebrate all of this work we’re having an Etsy coupon code sale.  Until 14 August 2013 you can get 10% off all items in the makers’ Etsy shops by entering the code MMSALE when you checkout.

You can read all about mentoring month in this Etsy UK blog post. Two other Etsy teams took part, the Brighton Sellers and British Crafters. The Brighton Sellers team is participating in the coupon code sale too and you can see all the makers taking part here.

Here’s a little preview of the beautiful things the Makerhoodies have on offer:

Hunted and Stuffed

Apollo moon landing cushion by Hunted & StuffedLuxury homeware brand specialising in upcycling rare and beautiful vintage textiles.  Quirky printed tea towels from the 1950s onwards become striking bench cushions or handmade aprons. Vintage silk scarves get reborn as floor cushions. Ornate gilt brocade wedding kimonos are transformed into unique luxury wedding gifts. We hunt for unusual and rare textiles, redesign and repurpose them to create beautiful, unique pieces for the home.

Opian

Organic cotton top by OpianOPIAN is a label ready-to-wear and accessories for women run by Chloé masson. Created in 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland, we are now based in London, England. All of our items are made out of organic, recycled, retrived or re-used materials, in order to limit the negative environmental impact on the environment. Most items are handmade and manufactured in small quantities or even one of a kind which makes them more exlusive. OPIAN style fits in a modern and minimalist feel while maintaining a comfortable look. OPIAN’s brand caters to a clientele that seeks to reconcile fashion and commitment.

DreamyMeIsMe

Children's illustration by Dreamy MeNo matter how many stories have been told, no matter how many images have been drawn, there are always new stories to be told, there are always new images to draw. I create artist books where my images can be coloured or used to make other people’s stories. Unique, exclusive prints. Only limited editions. Great opportunity to purchase the lovely academic calendars and other back to school prints

Flextiles

Indigo shibori scarf by FlextilesI’m a textile artist working mainly with wet felt and indigo dyeing. I like experimenting with textiles – which I define quite loosely, so I include felt, yarn, plastic, paper, metal and more. The beauty of making items from scratch is that each one is unique. So if you see something that you quite like but would prefer a different size/colour/shape, get in touch! I’d be happy to make something to your requirements.

KPictures

Brixton Market print by KPicturesI am a freelance illustrator living and working in the wilds of South London. I am a displaced (misplaced) Canadian, having found a home and inspiration in jolly ole’ Blighty. I love to draw ideas to life and am open to any and all illustrative projects. I welcome commissions so please contact me if you have any questions.

Prickle press

Stationery by Prickle pressI hand-print cards, prints and various stationery on my vintage LETTERPRESS in Brixton, London using luxurious and environmentally friendly papers and inks. Each piece of card is fed through the press, piled, cut and enveloped by hand. The result is something you will instantly want to stroke, collect, frame or gift away.

Rags&Tatters

Embroidered gift tag by Rags & TattersDelight in texture, in the age of objects and in making them. I hope you enjoy browsing my individually designed and handmade items. Made in my loft studio in London, UK.

 

 

If you’re a member of Makerhood’s Makers’ Club you can see all of the resources we used for mentoring month in the forums.

If you’re interested in taking part in future mentoring events let us know at hello@makerhood.com

Meet the makers: Kim Winter

By Maya Kar

Kim is the creator of the eye-catching felts and indigo fabrics at Flextiles, as well as one of the three directors of Makerhood . Here she talks of the magical properties of felt and why she became involved in Makerhood.


1. What are Flextiles?
The name Flextiles reflects my flexible approach to the definition of textiles, as I use not just fabric but also paper, plastic and other unusual materials. At present I have two main strands to my work, wet felting and indigo dyeing. Wet felting feels an almost magical process… hot water, salt, and a lot of hard work transforms a light, fluffy substance into a very strong and durable but light fabric, with which I can create either two-dimensional  scarves or three-dimensional practical or sculptural items such as iPad covers and vessels. I particularly enjoy producing 3D work, as I am interested in form and texture. I use indigo to dye items such as silk scarves and also combine it with my love of wet-felting by using it to dye small felt vessels. These play on the tradition of blue and white porcelain and through this I feel there is a connection with my Chinese heritage.

2. How did your interest in textiles develop?
I used to be a journalist with Which?, and when I went freelance I had more time for
creative activities. I used to knit, and then I discovered a course in creative and experimental textiles at Morley College and I loved it! I still do one day a week there. Morley is a great college and the course is a combination of taught sessions and working on your own projects. It allows access to facilities which are beyond the reach of many makers. It also enables you to spend time with other makers, developing ideas, and there is an exhibition to work towards.

3. What are your sources of inspiration?
Almost anything! I can just be walking along and see a plastic sign, curling at the edges, or the colour of a flower … it has made me see things in a different light. I’m particularly inspired by forms from nature, but living in Brixton, I have to be open to other influences.

4. So why do you live in Brixton?
I moved to Brixton 25 years ago, initially because it was cheap and on the tube, but I loved
it here. Brixton doesn’t care what anyone thinks of it! It’s multicultural and has
good transport links, and there’s always something going on. Waves of people of different
cultures come in and out of the area, so it’s constantly changing, yet it also has a great sense of community.

5. How did you get involved in Makerhood, and what do you like about it?
I happened to take part in an online survey about the proposal, and thought it seemed a
good idea as I had recently started creating my textiles. So I offered to help out with
interviewing makers and writing blog posts. It kind of sucked me in – and now I do all sorts of things along with Kristina, Karen, Andy and our core team of volunteers! Makerhood is all about trying to create links: links between makers, between makers and local residents, between makers and local businesses. One of the unexpected but exciting results of the initiative is the strong physical (offline) community which has developed. The website provides a focus (eg for discussions, organising events etc) and a showcase, so the online side feeds into the offline. Since I got involved with Makerhood I have felt encouraged to go out and sell my work, and we have a stall at Brixton market. In the past I used to use Brixton as a place to sleep between going to work, but nowadays I often see people I know when I’m out and about here – it has really made me feel part of the community.

You can buy Kim’s unique experimental textile items including dramatic indigo-dyed silk
scarves and colourful felt vessels at http://brixton.makerhood.com/flextiles.