Lately I see the whole cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation discussion rise up again. It is a good thing we look at what we use from a culture and how that is viewed. And it doesn’t matter which culture and which period you take inspiration of, it needs to be done respectfully.
I myself also had some difficulty on where to draw the line of appreciation and appropriation. Once you start thinking about it, you don’t stop. After a masterclass with Lidewij Edelkort, she had a very good way of formulating it:
If you really studied the culture, it’s design, it’s purpose and it’s history and you can respectfully integrate the inspiration from it in your own design, it can only mean you appreciate it. If you blindly copy/paste it for example on a polyester cloth and sell it for peanuts, you are appropriating it.
Of course there will always be the remark of ‘you are not from that culture, so you should not touch it’. I think outsiders should watch, learn, understand and tell the story again. That is how history works. We take that what inspires us and give it to the next watcher and listener. Seeing something in another’s culture, copying it for cheaper in lesser quality and make an insane amount of money from that is not okay. You are then abusing the culture and telling a different story.
Due to all this, I thought it would be a good idea to start writing down the history, inspiration and my take on certain design I make. These are the in detail posts. There is room to correct me, if you can deliver a great resource which states something else than I did.
Also, if you find something from a designer/creator and you do not feel okay with it, check out the designer/creator to see is they have something to say about it. Maybe it has a backstory and you didn’t understand it at first. And if you can’t find that, ask them why they used some cultural elements. Don’t yell appropriation right away.
I hope you all will like the posts on the background of my designs.
I would really like to thank all the people having faith in me this year to request a bespoke order. I can happily (and maybe sadly for some) tell you that my bespoke slots for 2020 are cramped, full and taken.
I do, however, take bespoke orders this year to finish next year. So if it doesn’t need to be done before January 2021, I can still make preparations for new bespoke orders.
This year has been weird. My schedule on bespoke has been different. I don’t think it will ever be normal again.
Remember: I can make Shea’s and Skjoldehamn hoods on request before the end of the year. And it never hurts to ask if I have time for other smaller projects.
How to request a bespoke order
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Already far in September and it seems the really hot days are behind us. The world turns into warm brown, orange and yellow and the air is sweet on harvest. Autumn is here.
Sadly, here in the Netherlands, we hit a second wave of Covid-19. We are still not in a new lockdown, but we do need to be careful. This is why I’m only going to the postal office twice a week now, unless you tell me you need it sooner (for inland delivery only, international I still can’t tell you how long it takes. For info on that, please check here).
I’m also making a batch of facemasks. I’m getting pretty tired of the one use facemasks that litter the street. I want to see pretty leafs there right now, not blue plastic. My facemasks will be washable at 60-90 degrees Celsius. I’ll make adult sizes in all natural fabrics (cotton mostly). A part of the profit will be saved up and donated to the Plastic Soup Foundation.
A Gelfling is also in the making and you can follow my process in my stories on instagram or facebook. I’ll collect all the stories in instagram for you to rewatch. I’ll try to document everything this time for maybe a tutorial on Jen. No promises. This project takes a lot of my time, so I have limited time to restock. You can always ask for a bespoke item.
If the weather and other circumstances allow it, I’ll be walking around on Heksia on Saturday (October 3). I always like to scout on an event I’m interested in selling at.
And on a last note: I am pretty tired lately. Somehow all the work I usually get over the whole year just dropped in my lap in the last month. No worries, I’ll get through it. I am very grateful things are picking up again. Just know that sometimes it can take a bit longer for me to work things out for you.
The shop has restocked on Iron Age, Viking Age and Medieval amulets in bronze or silver. Click on the product for an elaborate description.
This is the last of the soft and cool crashed cotton I had in stock. It is ideal for hot weather and people that hate to iron. This dress and palla can be machine washed and dries pretty quick. The fabric is a fair trade Italian cotton. It has a very lush and rich feel to it and rustles a bit when it moves.
The shoulderstraps and belt are handwoven. I made them match the embroided cotton of the palla, but contrast the dress.
Pondered a bit to keep it for myself, but for now it is up for sale. You can buy just the dress or the palla or both with a discount. When I upload it on Etsy, there will be no discount for the whole set.
I only made one of these…