Thursday, November 4, 2010
Cradle, Conway, Craftivism
Today my Craft Wisely students took it out into the yard.
One of our two class service learning projects involves Conway Cradle Care, an organization that helps teen parents finish high school by providing daycare and life skills training.
After three representatives from CCC visited our class, the students coalesced around the idea of support and education. We decided that it wasn't just the babies who needed our love; it was the parents as well. So we are planning to give the clients and their children handmade hats for the holidays.
To increase support for the organization, and to educate our campus about teen pregnancy in the local community, we spent three hours on the central courtyard outside the student center, crafting together.
A few students collected facts about teen pregnancy and sexual activity in our state and nation, and we printed those out on slips of paper and pinned them to handmade items hanging from a clothesline. Here's Kate attaching the slips to our knitted objects ...
... and Christabel helping out.
The idea was that people would be drawn to the long lines of fluttering scarves, come over to see, and read the slips to find out more about the Craft-In's cause.
This young man was clearly attracted to the colorful scarves, even if he couldn't absorb the message.
Passersby stop to look at the crafted products and read the information.
They took some literature with them as they browsed.
Meanwhile, other visitors asked for knitting lessons from the assembled crafters.
Crochet instruction was a popular offering.
Ariel (with her back to us, in the blue sweater and hat) led an impromptu crochet workshop for members of our class.
You can see from Sara's hair how windy it was. What you can't see is how cold it was. The temperature may have been in the fifties, but the windchill was brutal.
Lynn wrapped yarn around her hand to form an improvised glove. That's how cold it was.
As the crafters represented their pride and commitment, their work hung in the sun testifying to their skill.
The most frequent comment from those who stopped at our tables was: "Are those for sale?"
On a cold day, the scarves, hats, shawls, and other beautiful accessories drew both the eye and the touch. Their textures spoke eloquently of warmth, hours of pleasure in the stitching, someone special for whom they were made.
Solidarity, skilled labor, giving, support, education. I think our message was plain to everyone who witnessed it.