A Fascinating Recycling Weaving Project from Australia

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This is one of those posts that is so odd – and slightly confusing – that I just had to copy it here!

Indigenous artists weave their magic with Spanish designer for NGV Triennial display

A Spanish designer’s collaboration with Indigenous artists in a remote Top End community has produced an unlikely and beautiful cross-cultural artwork on display at the NGV Triennial.

The piece, which combines ancient Indigenous weaving techniques with recycled materials of the modern world, is the work of Alvaro Catalán de Ocón and Yolngu weavers from Bula’bula Arts in Ramingining.  (I had to look it up!)

Ramingining is an Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, Australia, 560 km east of Darwin. It is on the edge of the Arafura Swamp in Arnhem Land. The population is approximately 800 people, though this fluctuates and there is a significant housing shortage.More at Wikipedia

“I basically do product design, but quite recently I have been combining this way of doing it with craft, and mainly weaving,” Mr Catalán de Ocón told ABC Radio Darwin‘s Liz Trevaskis from his studio in Barcelona.

With his PET Lamp project, Mr Catalán de Ocón travelled to five art centres in as many continents, using recycled bottles and local weaving techniques to create brightly coloured lamp shades.

But learning about the kinship systems in the East Arnhem Land community prompted him to break with tradition.

Where previous collaborations had produced thousands of lamp shades, this one produced just two woven together by eight local women using native plant materials and ancient techniques.

The resulting works are large, irregularly shaped weavings in luminous, earthen tones, woven together according to the women’s relationships to one another.

Project born from mission to creatively recycle

In 2011, Mr Catalán de Ocón was travelling through Colombia and became involved in an art project about rising levels of plastic waste in the Amazon River.

“They were interested in having my perspective as a product designer, and I thought about instead of recycling, reusing, because there was no infrastructure in those areas for recycling, it was about turning the object into something else,” he said.

The object in question was a PET bottle, which Mr Catalán de Ocón noted had a short shelf life compared to the time it took to decompose.

While he could not single-handedly fix the problem of plastic waste, he thought he could use intelligent product design to make a statement about it.

Drawing inspiration from the shape of a Japanese tea whisk, Mr Catalán de Ocón recognised a similarity between certain looms and the shape of a plastic bottle that had been cut to pieces.

“You have a knot, which is the screw top, and then you have the body of the bottle, which you can cut in strips, and that becomes like a loom you can weave onto,” he said.

Taking this logic a step further, the product designer realised the issue of mounting plastic waste and the art of weaving were both somewhat universal.

There are few crafts, he said, as ancient or widely practiced as textile weaving.

“So we turned it from a container into a lamp through the use of local craft, which was very strong in Colombia,” he said.

“It’s two realities which can mix together.”

He travelled from Colombia to Chile, Ethiopia and Japan, weaving lamp shades with disfigured plastic bottles and local designs.

In 2016, after being commissioned by the NGV to bring the project to Australia, he decided the project’s next location would be Ramingining.

A cross-cultural experience

Over six weeks, Mr Catalán de Ocón became embedded in the remote community, consulting and collaborating through long working days with the Bula’bula artists.

He likened the experience of living in the remote community (about three days’ drive from Darwin) to travelling back in time.

“Little by little, we managed to get into that world.

“We know we only really arrived in the very surface of it, but you realise how deep it is and how different it is — the way of understanding the land, the way of understanding life and time.”

While the designer had produced about 15,000 lamps in previous workshops, Mr Catalán de Ocón decided this time they would work towards just two.

“They were telling us their stories, we were going out to the bush to pick up the materials, doing the whole process so we could spend a lot of time together,” he said.

“At a certain point, each weaver did an individual piece and we started joining them together according to family links and family bonds with the weavers which were doing the lamps.”

One of the pieces is now on display at the NGV Triennial.

The other hangs in the studio in Barcelona where Mr Catalán de Ocón fields calls from weaver Lynette Birriran every couple of days — an ongoing touchstone between their two very different worlds.

“She tells us what is happening in Ramingining, what the weather is like, how are things going on,” the designer said.

“We tell them how is the lamp, if it’s showing here or there.

“She enjoys it a lot — we send pictures and it’s quite an experience.”

julzcraftstore.com is now live! Go see!

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This website, with it’s accompanying blog, is NOW LIVE!

This post is a copy of the one I wrote on the new website.  It looks prettier there!

So, it’s only fitting that I write this post from julzcraftstore.com, and copy it over to my other blog – julzcrafts.com.

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This is your first order Coupon Code

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Please copy and paste it into your order on the Shopping Cart Page – if you don’t add the code exactly as it is, it won’t work!

It really has been an experience, setting up a new website, without knowing what I was doing – both technically, and with the constant question – will anyone actually buy from it!  I’ll find out the answer to the question very soon – smile.

The Good Stuff!

There are over 100 items for you to choose from, and lots of GIFT IDEAS.  I hope you will be able to find something useful that you like.  Go See at JULZ CRAFT STORE.

There are also a few oddities:-

please read this as it will save you some confusion!

When you come to fill in your address, either on the Shopping Cart page, or in the ‘My Account’ Page – for some reason it doesn’t give you a scroll down list of Countries to pick from.  Please start typing the country, and it should autofill – if it doesn’t, just enter the full wording.

Please note that for the UK, Great Britain or whatever you would normally use, you have to start typing United Kingdom, as it won’t accept any of the other names.

The same goes for USA – start typing United States of America – it should autofill before you get all the way thro’!

There is nothing I can do about it, and as the Shopping Cart Page is a standard fixed page, I can’t edit it to tell you to ‘Start Typing’!  I had trouble with this feature myself, and so have the friends I have asked to test the site! 

Also, there is no “Continue Shopping” prompt – but don’t worry, you can add as many items to your order without visiting the shopping cart each time!

 

Trying to help you find what you are looking for –

Because there are so many listings, it’s difficult to know how to make it easy for you to find them,  especially when you don’t know what I stock!  I have sorted them into a growing number of  CATEGORIES. 

In fact, many of the listings fit into several categories, and so they may seem to have got duplicated.  I have given you suggestions on how to find what you are looking for on THE STORE page.  If in doubt – you can always get in touch with me by clicking on the TALK TO ME page.

Trying to give you the best postage rates –

As I wrote in my previous blog post – copied here from julzcrafts.com – I have racked my brains to find a simple AND fair  way to charge for postage/shipping.

I have settled on Flat Rates for all 4 shipping zones – UK – Europe – and Royal Mail’s International Zones 1 & 2.

I have had to set them to cover postage on small parcels, so in some cases, the postage will be more than you should pay, and in others it will be less – and I will make a loss!

I don’t want to be unfair – so if you reckon that your order could fit into a large envelope, please contact me BEFORE you pay for your order.

I should be able to reduce your final total on the order, as long as you tell me your name, and country, before the order is confirmed.  If not, and you have already paid, if you let me know, I will refund you the over postage through Paypal.

Similarly, I’m sorry to say, that if your order happens to be very bulky or very heavy, and be far more expensive to post that the Flat Rate, I may contact you and ask if you are prepared to pay a little extra for the postage.

However, most of the time, you will probably find that the Flat Rate is near enough to the actual cost of the postage, or even less than it should be, and I won’t bother contacting you about it!

If you have any problems using the Site

please TALK TO ME!   

I EXPECT I HAVE MADE SOME SPELLING MISTAKES OR LEFT SOMETHING OUT OF A PRODUCT DESCRIPTION – JUST LET ME KNOW IF YOU COME ACROSS SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT SO I CAN FIX IT!

 

 

I look forward to hearing from you!

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julzcraftstore.com will be live on 28 February

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This is a copy of the email – newz from julz – that I sent out yesterday to the several hundred people on my mailing list.

If you’d like to register for the

10% off all orders coupon

and email updates on my mailing list, please see the instructions below

 

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After a really long build up – it’s taken me ages to put it together – my new website
 
will be up & running by 28 February – a year after the landslip!
 
as you are already on my mailing list, I will be sending you a coupon code for
 
10% off all orders to celebrate!
 
Anyone who isn’t already on my mailing list will get a chance to register before 28 February.
So if you know anyone who’d like to get the 10% off offer – let them know!
 
They can register thro my blog – julzcrafts.com
 
by filling in the questionnaire HERE
OR
 
If they keep an eye on the blog (julzcrafts.com) they will find a coupon code for

5% off all orders

 
when I finally take julzcraftstore.com live.
 
I look forward to seeing you there!
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Hmm – some of the spacing I put into this post hasn’t worked – sorry about that – it makes it more difficult to read!

julzcraftstore.com – a quick update…

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blackshopcardFor those of you who seem to be checking this blog out on a regular basis, to see when the new website will be live – I can only apologise!

Well, I did say it would take some time to get THE STORE up and running!  And its certainly taking a lot of time!  I never realised it was going to be so complicated, and as I am not a ‘techie’, its been a slow learning curve.

I just thought I could follow the instructions and then it would take some time to enter the 100+ listings for the stock I have in my living room!  However – its not quite that easy, and it turns out that I have been spoilt by the large selling sites that I have been using up to now.

Ebay and Etsy have a very comprehensive system for costing reasonably accurate postal rates – or shipping costs – as others call them, and I thought I could do better than them!

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It turns out to be a very complicated matter, because there are 4 shipping zones to cover, all of which have different tariffs for weight and size, and even if I put in the weight and dimensions of each item, it still wouldn’t give me an accurate price per parcel!  I have done a lot of research on this, even spoken to Royal Mail themselves – and nowhere in their repertoire is there any help for websites to set up their pricing system.  The Business Section, which will happily link in with ebay to offer you cheaper postage – had never heard of a ‘plug-in’ for small businesses, and were utterly unhelpful!

When I contacted various other UK businesses and asked them how they had sorted out the problem, most of them said, they didn’t know, because they had employed a specialist to do their website – I’D NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED DOING THAT!

Having bought from various sites over the years, it seemed the best compromise would be to set flat rates for each shipping zone for the moment, and I even had trouble working out how to do that!  There are some +ve’s and -ve’s about using flat rates, and it would certainly put some of you off if I charged you parcel rate for an item that can be posted in letter form – so – head’s up for my readers – if you contact me before you put in your order for a small, flat item – like a badge or small signs etc – I will agree to refund you the extra postage that the system will charge – because I can’t find a way to be able to offer TWO FLAT RATES at the moment, and nor can the ‘Happiness Engineers’ at WordPress!

iuI aim to post WORLDWIDE, on the same basis, until I can come up with a better solution!

That said – there are a few more things I need to iron out before julzcraftstore.com – julz craft supplies – THE STORE – will go live – but it shouldn’t take too long now – cross fingers!

I hope some of you will come and visit when it does!

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The History of Weaving in India

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This is a fascinating and well researched article I found this week on “International THE NEWS”.  I have just added the links and some pictures.

It’s one of those pieces that you find out stuff you never knew, whether or not you are interested in history or weaving – smile!

Weaving history

271282_9853525_magazineJanuary 22, 2018.  By Pooja Dawani

The Indian sub-continent has a rich and ancient history of textile art and exports, with the heritage spanning almost 5,000 years. It’s been found that fabric-making was an important part of people’s lives even at the time when the Indus Valley Civilisation flourished.

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Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro, Sindh province, Pakistan, showing the Great Bath in the foreground. Mohenjo-daro, on the right bank of the Indus River, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first site in South Asia to be so declared.

The excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro reveal that the spinning wheel or the charkha was an essential part of the sub-continental household. Other than practices of resist-dyeing, hand-painting, and embroidery, the Indus Valley people were masters in the art of weaving.

The Vedic Aryans and the Buddhists who settled in this region after the Indus Valley Civilization also used the charkha. The entire cloth-making process which was done by hand, involved great skill and the sub continental textiles were unrivalled for their excellence. Foreign travellers like Marco Polo (1288) and Tavernier (1660) wrote in detail about the excellence of the subcontinent’s cotton fabrics and there are many accounts of our textiles being exported to trade centres widely separated geographically, like Rome, Zanzibar, Java, Bali and Egypt.

When the Mughals ruled the subcontinent, hand spinning and weaving continued to be an important occupation and the era brought in use of gold and silver brocades, fine-figured muslins, fabulous weaves, printed and painted fabrics, exquisite carpets, intricate embroideries and endless variety and designs being produced on a mass scale.

220px-Jahangir_investing_a_courtier_with_a_robe_of_honour_watched_by_Sir_Thomas_Roe,_English_ambassador_to_the_court_of_Jahangir_at_Agra_from_1615-18,_and_others

Jahangir investing a courtier with a robe of honour, watched by Sir Thomas Roe, English ambassador to the court of Jahangir at Agra from 1615 to 1618, and others

Emperors Akbar and Jahangir took personal interest in developing the crafts, and the fabrics from this region became even more exquisite and ornate.By the 16th century, foreign traders including the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, and the British had begun to come to India from the West and by the 17th century, the English traders had set-up the East India Trading Company with the main object of importing Indian goods including textiles. With this fascinating background, it is no wonder that modern day Pakistan, like neighbouring India and Bangladesh, still has a huge industry centred on textiles.

 

The textile sector in Pakistan contributes about 10 percent to the GDP which for 2016 is stated as about $283.70 billion. So the total size of the textile sector comes to about $28 billion. The sector contributes nearly one-fourth of industrial value-added and provides employment to about 40 percent of industrial labour force. Textile exports for Pakistan are valued at around $10.29 billion.

Even though the last decade saw the textile industry of Pakistan flounder in the face of incessant power and gas cuts, the textile industry seems to have bounced back as bank advances to the sector were record high in 2016.

Under Textile Policy 2015-19, Rs64.15 billion will be spent to increase the exports of textile and clothing items from the existing $13 billion to $26 billion by 2019. Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of cotton in the world and holds the largest spinning capacity in Asia after China and India.

A recent report issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reveals that year-on-year growth in textile sector advances has been Rs90 billion in 2016 in contrast to the net retirement of Rs30 billion in 2015.

Pakistan FashionWith this resurgence of the industry, recently a lot of interest has been shown in reviving the craft of Pakistan textile art. This year’s Fashion Pakistan Week Spring/Summer Show also focused on the revivalist trend of ethnic crafts and embroideries, and many designers retraced their steps and went back to their roots in search of design inspiration.

Focusing on reviving old art forms that are indigenous to the region and using them in modern designs, not only helps empower the craftsmen who have been trained in centuries’ old crafts by their forefathers, but also promotes the previously disappearing native crafts that are threatened by extinction otherwise.

Pakistan is home to many beautiful crafts like woven textiles and embroidered products from Swat and other regions. While weaving is carried out in many major cities, Swat in particular is a long established weaving centre whose blankets are mentioned even in early Buddhist texts. Or the embroidered textiles and leather crafts from Balochistan which are used to make shawls, caps, vests and an assortment of dresses. In Sindh, different types of woven textiles are a common sight in the cities of Hyderabad, Khairpur, Hala and Thatta.

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Sindhi ajrak

Ajrak, a unique pattern produced in Sindh is printed on shawls and caps and has become a unique symbol of Sindhi culture. Similarly, phulkari from Multan, block-printing from Lahore, chunri, and rilli work are all artful displays of the rich heritage of Pakistan.

Some local brands have invested in bringing these traditional textile designs into the mainstream.

One such revival story is that of the hand-woven khaddar, which had all but disappeared from conventional fashion.

Khaddar is a natural fibre cloth made out of cotton, silk or wool and has a long history in the sub-continent. Khaddar’s revival in India was advocated by Gandhi who envisioned the versatile fabric as a panacea to India’s poverty and the cloth became the symbol of nation’s struggle for freedom.

In Pakistan, the revival of handloom weaving can be principally credited to a local start-up, Khaadi. The brand has been chiefly responsible for ushering in the ‘khaddar culture’.

Despite being a major producer and exporter of superior quality cloth for decades, the boom of fashion in the country is a fairly recent phenomenon and Pakistani designers have caught the eye of many outside the country. Brands have played a vital role in transforming a manufacturing focused textile industry to a more holistic market that also encompasses a focus on retail and fashion. Although developing rapidly, these two areas are still in their nascent stages it promises to blossom into something befitting our splendid legacy.

I SELL WORLDWIDE + 20,100 hits – thanks!

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Whilst I have had my head down & fully immersed in setting up my new retail website – see previous post – the counter on this blog has been whirring round – and not only reached 20,000 – but added on another hundred viewings in the last week – thanks to you all – there must be something I’m doing right for once!

On the other hand – I’ve realised that I was being too coy in newz from julz and didn’t explain why I wanted you to fill out the form properly!  I also didn’t think about how to ask the questions on the form!

Part of the reason I’m investing in this new website, is to be able to

SELL WORLDWIDE

more directly to my customers.  Already, through etsy and ebay I would estimate that at least a third of my customers come from the US, and I also get quite a lot of people from Europe, Australia, and places I’d never have expected would have found me – and who must have seen this blog.

I also know, from the recent efforts I’ve made to send people who have originally bought via ebay, to my etsy shop, that you don’t like being redirected like that!

So – I am inviting all readers, from whatever part of the world, to fill in the slightly revamped form, so I can see where you come from, and whether you might consider buying craft supplies and/or gifts from me!  So far, I’ve only had responses from people in the UK!

And to thank you for giving me a bit of information, I will be sending all those who fill in the form a coupon for  10% off your first order on the new site – which is why I am asking for your email address.

Of course, if you aren’t in the slightest bit interested – don’t fill in the form – smile.  But if you are just a bit curious to see what I’m up to – it won’t take long – and you’ll be the first people I tell – when I’ve managed to work my way thro’ the shipping costings, and how to send emails confirming orders etc – that’s why its taking me so long – as well as copying my listings over from etsy, and adding in new stock etc etc……..

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So –  to the slightly altered form…….you can write a much or as little as you like – the spaces will expand if you need them to.

 

Many thanks to you if you have filled this in

 

I will send you the 10% off coupon as soon as I open the new STORE.