Something old, something new

Stained glass stories, part one

I’ll never forget the first time I was genuinely impressed by a stained glass window. I travelled alone to France in 2003 on a sort of soul-searching mission, and while in Paris, I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to see the Notre-Dame cathedral. I went in on a quiet Sunday morning, and although there were a lot of people in line outside and walking around inside, visitors seemed quiet and respectful of the worshipping parishioners. All I really heard was a tap-tapping of shoes on the floor and the soothing sound of voices singing.

I will never forget how I gasped when I first stepped into the nave of the Notre Dame. It’s the one time I can remember being instantly moved to tears, apart from the moment I first laid eyes on my newborn daughter. By that time in my life, I hadn’t really seen a lot outside my hometown bubble, and I hadn’t gone many places. I was very impressionable. And boy did it leave an impression.

In my early travels, I took photos of stained glass windows whenever I saw them. I’ve always thought it would be cool to take a class and make my own piece in a style that I love. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it before, but I’m going to do it now. In my next post, I’ll write about my recent meeting with Eelco Stoffers and Roxana Stoffers-Popescu at the Gekleurd Glas studio in Groningen. They generously spent time with me talking about their experiences and work, and I look forward to sharing it with you. To be continued!

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Handcraeft Collective

I’m so excited about the launch of the Handcraeft Collective, a slow craft practice here in Groningen. Together we will share resources, knowledge and skills, sometimes working independently on our own projects, as in the monthly Slow Stitch Gathering, and sometimes working on specific projects, techniques or skills in classes and workshops.

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The focus will remain on the process over the project. It’s always great to start and finish a project. Of course! I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I finish something I’ve been working on, especially if it turns out the way I’d envisioned it. But what I want to focus on, specifically, is our approach to working on these projects. Slowing down, enjoying the work, receiving the benefits of that work. Unplugging from technology for a few precious minutes and enjoying the simple tactile stimulation of handling a needle and thread and a piece of fabric. Nurturing relationships, community and your own well being. We’ll talk about ways to be resourceful and use what you already have, sometimes repurposing tools or materials. I want to inspire your own slow craft practice in the company of others.

We’ll explore various handcrafts from from all over the world, including the historical significance of these crafts to place our work in context. I hope to also facilitate workshops by artists and craft practitioners to further enrich your practice.

Our first Slow Stitch Gathering will be next week on Monday, September 10th, and will continue on the second Monday evening of each month. Sign up here!
You are most welcome. 🖤

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