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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Yarns: Community, Creativity, and Craft in the Textile Arts

  • Author(s): Vaughn, Chelsea K.
  • et al.

Interviews conducted for Yarns: Community, Creativity, and Craft in the Textile Arts explore the interrelationship between feminism and craftwork. For my purposes, I use the word craftwork to describe creative efforts that contribute to the home economy, with an emphasis on jobs traditionally performed by women. While craftwork often deals with textiles, it also includes areas such as decorative or tole painting and paper craft. This series of interviews focuses particularly on the shifts that have occurred with craftwork over the proceeding forty years and the external events that caused these changes. Considerations include: the different experiences of women who learned craftwork either prior to or after the rise of second wave feminism; the role of class status—particularly how the increased availability of inexpensive readymade items changed craftwork for working class women from a financial necessity to a form of creative expression; and the position of craftwork within third wave feminism with its increased elevation to both an art form and a political statement. These interviews will be part of an ongoing venture titled the Women’s Work Project (WWP).

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