“You know the best part of doing this?’ asks Ian Beasley as he folds white fabric in narrow, even parts; “That each one of the creations we made today is a one-off piece, they are handmade and can’t be replicated.”
Andria Vezzas and Ian Beasley at a Humble Creatives Shibori workshop.
Mr Beasley is a job seeker taking part in a Shibori workshop organised by the SSI employment program.
“It is nice to be taught such a cool technique that offers so many possibilities,” he said. “Anything can be created; it’s just up to you and your imagination.”
Mr Beasley’s excitement was shared by other participants, who bustled around the Campsie warehouse carrying soaked pieces of fabric with their indigo-stained disposable gloves. They are taking part in the Shibori workshop organised by Humble Creatives, one of the initiatives created by the CoAct/SSI Work for the Dole (WFD) program.
Shibori is an ancient Japanese tie-dying technique. This workshop was taught by Karen David of Shibori Stanmore, who has more than 10 years’ experience in the industry through the boutique textile agency she co-owns.
“I have delivered Shibori workshops to more than 5,000 people, and I can tell you that this is such a creative group, they came up with very good ideas,” Ms David said.
The idea of teaching Shibori as part of the Work for the Dole program came from the program’s Arts & Crafts supervisor, Sarah Webber and Cynara Moorhouse, SSI’s Employment Project Officer. After developing a successful project making and selling a range of hand-poured soy candles, they decided to increase the Humble Creatives product line as a way to provide job-seekers with a larger variety of workshops and skills to learn.
“We are getting more and more job-seekers interested in our Work for the Dole activities, so we are trying to expand Humble Creatives into a broader range of homewares,” Ms Webber explained. “Shibori offers the possibility to create different visually impressive products for sale, such as pillow cushions, tablecloths, curtains or napkins.”
“We are currently selling Humble Creative products at different markets, including the Entertainment Quarter Village Markets, as well as in pop-up stores and soon also through our website.
“Workshops like the one today help jobseekers build their confidence, feel proud of their creations and also feel part of a team,’ Ms Webber said.
The two sessions of Shibori workshops attracted about 30 attendees and the Arts & Crafts supervisor said they would develop the Humble Creatives Shibori product line over the coming weeks.
Joyce, a long-term job-seeker, found the activities organised by the SSI Humble Creative group so engagingshe has continued attending as a volunteer even though she completed her placement program in October last year.
“I get up at 6am to come here three days a week and learn new things,” she said. “I like coming here because it gets me out of the house, plus we do something different every time.”