Yokoo: Artist Cottage Industry as Safe Space


Fiber artist Yokoo and her safe space: Silence. Quiet Bike Paths. Secretive, enveloping mist. Sunrise. Water. Solitary, early morning excursion to a beautiful location. Water. Trees. A private world carved from the quietest time of day, and a home-sanctuary where she crafts beautiful artworks. Fiber artist Yokoo has created a cottage industry that is also a profoundly safe space  that reflects, supports and ensconces her personality, her craft and her philosophy of life.

Silence is very important. Most of my ideas come out of complete silence. We all need to allow the silence. There is so much noise. You need to take the time to realize why you’re here. You are here to create. ~Yokoo

Thank you Yokoo for sharing your process, sacred spaces, and your activities with us. The glimpse into your home studio, your philosophy, your style, and your private world inspires me. It is no wonder that your artworks are beautiful and sumptuous, as you revel in the beauty of your life, every, single, day.

Massive hand-crocheted scarf by Yokoo, for sale in her etsy shop

The Snow Leopard (Massive hand-crocheted scarf) in Navy, Crocheted by Yokoo, available on Etsy.com

It’s important for people to create their own worlds…you have this world in which you live in, but I think we should create a sub-world to protect us. When the idea hits you that you are in control of your life, it’s like a window opening in a stuffy room. And if I could just say anything to anybody, it would be that you are given this life to live, and not to just exist.

This “Handmade Portrait” prompted me to think deeply about my home studio, my creative practices and intermittent productivity. I found it to enriching to hear just how many hours Yokoo devotes to her craft every single day, and I admire the spartan order to her belongings. Her crochet and knit items are so plush, textural, richly colored and generously sized that I couldn’t help but wonder at which brand and how much yarn she used per object (the Snow Leopard pictured above is 10 feet long and 8 inches wide!!!). This line of thought prompted me to ponder yarn the source of her yarn and the amounts she must use to create each piece, which prompted me to schedule spinning lessons to learn how to spin yarn. Months later, I now spin yarn on a Drop Spindle. Yokoo’s work and Etsy’s handmade portrait nudged me on the path to realize that I can make the perfect yarns for the projects I envision for my crochet and knit work.

Sliver, 1st ply of the yarn and drop spindle

My Drop Spindle featured with 1st single strand of what will become 3-ply yarn, and the original sliver that I spin from.

As for Yokoo’s last message to live one’s life instead of simply existing, well I say in response: “I appreciate you, Yokoo, for living YOUR life to the fullest. In addition to the lovely garments and accessories that you envision and carefully craft for strangers, you present the image of a creative, self-assured woman who contributes to the beautiful tapestry of the life simply by following your bliss. That said, I add your bliss to my life list of inspirations.”

thinking, feeling and growing toward my goals,

Shawndel

Two tone green yarn on Drop spindle

My Drop Spindle featured with first ply of a two-toned green wool yarn

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Future Fashion: 3D Fabric from Your Printer and Multi-style Clothes


I perused Pinterest looking for inspirations, new DIY crafting projects, and future design. My click-fest eventually led me to Ecouterre and this 3-D printed coin necklace. You can order one pre-assembled or buy the DIY pattern from Shapeways, the 3D print items web store.

Michiel Cornelissen's 3D printed copper coin necklace

Is this the future of fabric? What then of the future of fashion? Slow Fashion? DIY?   Convertible Clothes? Cottage Industry Handmade? Upcycled?

Zoe Grace Fletcher  imagines core items decorate-able with interchangeable knit accent pieces. One blouse 12 ways, each niftier than the rest.

Then there is the portable closet by Renée Lacroix and Zahra Ash-Harper. It features 10-durable, stylish, eco-friendly pieces that do quintuple duty (wear each piece 5-different ways!). The entire collection fits into a carry-on for GreenPeeps on the Go, so that the fashion forward, eco-conscious, cosmopolitan sophisticate can travel with hundreds of outfit options in one carry-on bag.

I am excited to see what future fashion emerges victorious. The current ideas are numerous, innovative, interesting and very different from our disposable fashion culture. Who would have imagined that environmental consciousness in fashion would produce new aesthetics, new fabrics, new colors, new levels of durability, portability and add an ethical conversation factor…(wink, wink! that’s the point!)

Fashion and technology are courting, and may one day soon unite to form widely available and affordable Future Fashion: thrifty, stylish, accessible and low-impact.