Jen was inspired to become a textile artist by her grandmother who taught her crocheting and cross stitch. She was lucky enough to study textiles in high school and then Capilano College. Jen creates tapestry and garments. She works in the Soft Shop at Emily Carr, a sewing room open to all students so that they can integrate techniques and materials into their work across disciplines. (There is a design class currently working on outdoor gear.) The Soft Shop houses industrial sewing machines, sergers, and a floor loom.
I also met Louise Perrone in the gallery, a accomplished jewelry artist who also happened to be working on a project involving a honeycomb pattern. She was making a necklace out of interlocking hexagons formed by stitching pieces of reclaimed satin using traditional quilting techniques. Quilting is so hot right now! She asked me where to buy beeswax (Welk's and The Honey Shoppe on Main Street). Louise plans to make little wax forms (like the star above) which needleworkers use to wax their thread so it is less likely to catch, twist, tear, or knot.
As Louise stitched and Jen knitted we did what all good slow fashionistas do; we had a lively discussion about the politics and culture of fast fashion and tried to unpack questions we had around the entangled threads that bind class, capitalism and fashion. All in a day's lunch!