Watch out, she's fierce!
Not feeling that sweet at the minute. I think it’s time for a rant, but on a Crafty theme though of course.
Here’s my issue. It may take a while to build, but bear with me.
Here I was getting all excited about the new wave of crafting. For years, knitting, sewing
A special dress made for a special granddaughter
and all things needlework and domestic crafts was considered stuff that old ladies did. It wasn’t fashionable at all. Just like drawing.
Granny square cushion
The skill of drawing too suffered similarly. In the age of Conceptualism, where the idea was king, there was no room for representation or being able to draw what was in front of you.
I’ve been through the Art School system years ago, drawing served me well but I was left well aware that if I didn’t have an idea or concept behind the drawing that I wouldn’t be taken seriously as an artist, especially a woman artist.
I would never get that chance anyhow because I became a mum.
Cutting the Cord. Welcome to the world Allegra
I’m a feminist, I know women are capable of doing all things equally given enough opportunity. But I’m also a human being and I know that juggling is best left to those people with real balls. To try and juggle an art career with motherhood would just end in tears: mine. I would be left a half hearted artist and a lacklustre mother. So I dedicated my time to bringing up my daughters and turned to craft.
I made bodies and people and heads. They were sewn by hand with fabric and it filled my creative urges.
Then I turned to entertaining children. My soft sculptures turned to puppets and Diane’s Puppets was born. My creative energies were poured into creating a business that would support my children in the years to come.
Mirror Mirror on the wall
London Children's Entertainer and Puppeteer Diane
Well fast forward a few years and I’ve now taken up crochet. I’m making kids stuff that is bright and funky.
Rainbow ball necklace
I thought because craft was now trendy again I would be able to hold my head up as a crafts person. But no. It seems like I’ve missed the boat again. Unless you are making something ironic ( crochet apple cosy anyone?) or surreal ( crocheted mustache? ) it’s not what they want.
I should’ve known. Stitch and Bitch anyone? This common term for groups of women coming together to craft and chat is really offensive to me.
As a feminist, I’m anti bitch. Women should be coming together and working together as a force to be reckoned with. Bitching is not productive, it’s mean and nasty, and yes, like many other bad things, hellishly entertaining.
So in order for craft to be cool for the modern woman, in order not to feel like a 50’s housewife we have to combine craft with an edge?
My conceptual feminist collection of breast paintings at Shh!
How very disappointing. I’d find it much edgier to say yeah it’s needlework/crochet/ knitting and WHAT? I like doing it as a woman.
I’ve taught many a man to knit and crochet. They do it with style. Why can’t us women be comfortable enough to do the same?
I suppose now I’m a granny I just have to get on with my granny squares, sit in a corner and shut up. Oh wait, I like granny squares.
Granny square blanket in my bedroom ( with graffiti)
And I love being a granny.
I could start embroidering expletives on cushions. I know that would go down a treat.
Seriously, is that what it’s come to?
Time for a cuppa.