Early in January, we were delighted to have the lovely folks from Threads, a local sewing group, and friends from Spoonflower here in the Greenhouse, our classroom and community space here at our Durham HQ, to participate in a silk scarf sew-in for the Wrap Your Head Around It project. Wrap Your Head Around It is a community action project led by artist Peg Gignoux that integrates writing about the heroic journey of fighting cancer into wearable textiles.
The goal of this effort is to create 200 handmade scarves featuring the words of patients who have participated in a series of writing workshops to describe their experiences with cancer. The project has been fully funded via Kickstarter, writing workshops are complete, and Peg and her team of local textile artists, the Threads group, used the Greenhouse to start stitching the first batch of scarves.
Doris Ann Price, a participant in the Wrap Your Head Around It writing workshops led by poet Grey Brown, attended the sew-in and received a finished scarf featuring her poetry. The scarf, a collaboration between four women, embodies the spirit of this project. It also made a perfect accessory for Doris Ann's ensemble, which was topped with a button proclaiming "Cancer Sucks.
Doris Ann's poem, composed during a Wrap-sponsored writing workshop at a local cancer ward, was transcribed by textile artist Kaola Phoenix, digitally rendered by artist Brooke Heuts, printed by Spoonflower, and then sewn into a beautiful and functional scarf by Peg. The presentation of the finished scarf marked a special moment when all parties invovled in creating the finished project were together in the same room.
Videographer Brandon Yow was here to document this sew-in as part of the Wrap Your Head Around It process. He is currently working on a documentary that will not only record this community effort as it unfolds across the Triangle, but the finished film will also serve as a resource for organizers in other areas who are interested in spearheading a similar effort wherever they may be. He set up his studio in our lobby to capture the thoughts of the team involved in creating Doris Ann's scarf.
The entire morning saw the Greenhouse abuzz with creativity and color as volunteers designed and assembled one-of-a-kind scarves from hand-dyed silks. This really was an opportunity to see so many apsects of this project come together as panels were sewn and introductions were made.
Anitha, a Spoonflower employee and avid crafter-for-good, first connected Peg to the Greenhouse and suggested a collaboration after seeing the Wrap Your Head Around It Kickstarter campaign. Anitha and Peg met in person for the first time over the hum of sewing machines and volunteers chatting.
Sewing volunteers from Spoonflower and Threads stitched their own designs from the various-sized pieces of silk provided. Hand- and digitally-printed panels were incorporated into each scarf featuring text from poems composed by patients at local hospitals expressing their experiences of living with cancer.