Monday, May 29, 2017

What am I making: Fashion Revolution Week (belated)

 Fashion Revolution Week was April 24-30, and I made this project during that week, but I just had not photographed it or blogged about it until now.  Only a month late!

Fashion Revolution is a movement  to raise awareness about the human and ecological impact of the clothing industry. http://fashionrevolution.org/


 Fashion Revolution Week happens on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 garment workers  in Bangladesh were killed and many more injured on 24th April 2013. more than half the victims were women.  The day before the collapse, large cracks were showing, but the next day,  garment workers were ordered to return to work or else they'd be docked a month's pay. The clothing sweatshops in the building made clothes for many  brands, including  cheap fast-fashion  brands Primark, Walmart,  and  more expensive brands like  Benetton. People often think that    more expensive brands of clothing will have better worker pay and working conditions, but it's not always true.
The hashtag #whomademyclothes  is used on twitter for consumers to ask various brands for transparency about their production.

 In addition to the poor working conditions of many garment workers around the world,  there are large ecological issues with the entire fashion industry. Even if the workers are well paid and have safe conditions,  the clothing and textile industry  produces very much chemical waste and pollution.  The entire life cycle of a garment (from  growing the cotton, milling the fabric, dyeing, cutting and sewing) consumes so much water. It takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of  jeans.
With the current sped-up fashion cycle where trends only last a few months and clothing is so cheap,  clothing is purchased  and quickly thrown away in huge quantities.  Americans alone throw away approximately 14 million tons of garments each year, and most of this does not decompose in landfills because  even if it's biodegradable (like cotton),  it is usually inside plastic bags or does not receive enough  oxygen to break down.  Clothing is not frequently recycled, and it's a difficult process when a single garment may be a blend of  different fibers. It's not like aluminum cans where you can just melt it all down.
I also  recommend the movie called "The True Cost"  , about the  fast fashion/disposable fashion problem.It's on Netflix and Youtube.

 I've  drastically cut back the amount of clothing I buy, but I do still like to make clothes,  it's a creative outlet even if I don't always need more clothes. Even though homemade clothes are not exploiting workers, there is still the issue of the fabric, where was it made, etc.  Fabric production has the same ecological issues as clothing production. So my project for  Fashion Revolution week used my own labor and used scrap fabric that I had left over from older projects.  The scraps weren't big enough to make a whole garment from, but I  combined a solid knit with a floral knit to make this top. It's a simple  cap sleeved top but the fabric splicing gives it more visual interest than a T-shirt.







Monday, May 8, 2017

What am I making

I made these tiles a couple of years ago in a ceramics class,  but I just glued them to a board and grouted them this past weekend. I'm trying to  finish incomplete projects and use up   materials from my craft hoard.

When I made the tiles,  I just glazed them random colors instead of having a set picture in mind of how they would fit together. So it is a somewhat random layout, I just tried to make a couple of sort-of continuous diagonal stripes. I don't know if I will use this for a table or just an outdoor decorative thing. It's about 18" square so it could be a small table but  I might hang it on the wall of the back patio.

I do  wish I had glazed the colors more in a planned way to make a more cohesive design.


What I'm nomming- cheese plate

 We've had some hot weather last week so I  like to make a simple, no-cook dinner like a cheese plate.
 Here is a particularly nice one I made  this past weekend.
Featured cheeses:
Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk- In the 1:00 position. This is a local California- made triple-crème, aged, cow's milk cheese with a brine-washed rind.
Aged Mimolette-  In the 6:00 position.  This  cheese  from Northern France is made in a ball shape and the rind looks so much like a cantaloupe rind , and then the cheese itself is the exact orange color of a cantaloupe.  It's really delicious and reminds me of an aged cheddar mixed with gouda.
Vintage Irish Cheddar  with Irish Porter -  In the 3:00 position. This is a nice sharp aged  white cheddar, marbled with a dark smoky porter beer flavor. I saw it in the store  and I was like, beer and cheese? Together? SOLD!
This is relevant to my interests.

Featured crackers:
 Original plain Triscuits.  In the center. Good old triscuits- still the best with so many cheeses.
Blue Diamond pecan thins- In the 10:00 position.  These are a gluten-free cracker made  with nut meal instead of flour. They have  an almond version too, but I love these pecan thins the most.
Wild California fruit and nut crisps in the 9:00 position.

Extras:
Abate Fetel pear slices
 Local California- grown  Strawberries
Marcona  Almonds- In the separate bowl. these are a Spanish almond that is blanched (skinned) and then fried in olive oil.