Handmade Histories

The journey of Handmade Histories began with hand-crafted murals based on the lives of ordinary NewZealanders of the past.

The mural stories were made using materials I had to hand. As a sewer and collector of vintage memorabilia I had textiles, fibres, buttons, tools, old toys and tools in my "stash". I decided to use these, to have sustainability as part of my process (and to save money) while completing a Diploma in Creative Technology, Weltec 2008 - 2010.  

As an older student, after 30 years in the clothing industry, I was surprised by how little younger students knew about early life in New Zealand; how people lived, making their own clothing and reusing existing resources for new purposes.

The outcome of mural-making developed into a 4 stage Handmade Histories process. Starting with an "I wonder" question and original research, story planning and creating with simple hand-skills resulted in large mixed media murals. This lead into a sharing this passion with others in other forms of expression:

  • The murals were shown in exhibition (2010 - 2112)
  • Teachers, parents, grandparents and children visiting the exhibitions,  loved the stories and asked for printed replicas which I produced as banner books (2014)
  • From this I initiated handcraft workshops with Storylines NZ, Sustainable Coastlines and other primary schools (2014 - 2018), and toured as a Duffy Books Literacy Role Model (2018 - 2022)
  • I have identified the desire in very young students in Primary Schools in Northland to learn to handcraft. I have purposed a Ford Transit Hightop van and intend to seek funding for "Sew Your Story" crafting workshops in 2023.

Stage 1:  Murals

Stage 2:  Exhibitions

Stage 3:  Banner Books

Stage 4:  Workshops

Stage 5: "Sew Your Story"