I don’t know if this is just a current trend linked to the recession and a need to make rather than buy (however, anyone who enters crafting for a “cheap” hobby would be bitterly disappointed, so far I’ve found it anything but cheap but then I do enjoy buying kit so I am my own worse enemy!) or, if there is a natural cycle of common activities, for example handmade and crafting were very popular in the Seventies (I have some fabulous crochet and knitting pattern books I really must share with you soon) so it could be a natural cycle that it has come back into popularity only to die again in a year or so to be resurected in another 30-40 years.
Well, whatever the reason it would appear that Crafting is bidding for world domination.
Today, I want to share with you an unusual embroidery community I recently discovered -
Fine Cell Work
Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise which has brought tapestry and needlework into the UK prison system allowing prisoners to learn new skills and earn money during their rehabilitation. 29 prisons are now running the scheme, and in 2010 there were over 400 stitchers who collectively earned over £70,000*.
Their work is stunning. It ranges from greetings cards to rugs and cushions to quilts. Tapestry kits of their original designs are even available so you can make these yourself.
Its great to see that an activity so traditional as embroidery is able to give some of societies most challenged individuals the focus to work through their demons.
If you are really interested in helping out it would appear that Fine Cell Work are looking for more volunteers across the UK.
* Source: http://www.finecellwork.co.uk/aboutus/