Los Angeles artist Mimi Haddon works with photography using costume as a point of departure. Through the employment of color, texture, materials and shape she creates a visual language both personal and universal. She is currently working on a long term passion project with Palace Costume, documenting the massive vintage clothing and costume collection, with dancers in disguise.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Andres Payan Estrada, Craft Contemporary and AROHA to bring this workshop to life. I strongly believe that working with our hands in a shared space (even in a zoom-space) and telling stories of our histories can be a point of personal healing and community building. It was so inspiring to see the creative risks that the participants took throughout the series. We have all learned so much from one another and will continue to do so as our interwoven stories and memories unfold. Thank you so much to Craft Contemporary and AROHA for providing this meaningful space in which to discover and create.
Crafting Memories in Fiber was an online workshop series specifically designed by Craft Contemporary and artist Mimi Haddon for adults over the age of 55. This program is made possible by funding from Aroha Philanthropies and is part of a nationwide campaign to bring thoughtful and specialized programs to a valuable population that is often underserved by arts institutions.
For this unique program participants learned a variety of basic and experimental fiber working techniques including embroidery, wrapping, natural dyeing, and soft sculpture construction. The goal of this workshop was to bring a community together to connect, share with each other, and discuss how objects, materials, and fibers can hold meaning and their memories. Through working with an extensive variety of materials and processes, participants created sculptural forms that explore who they are, their ideas, and their experiences. All participants were encouraged to use found materials, and objects that they had in their homes, questioning their meaning, importance, and how these can be elevated or changed through handmade and craft processes.
A dozen artists sharing talents acquired through years of dedication and practice. Each Friday morning, at the vaporous end of a year in lockdown, we come together to inspire and learn from each other. Beautifully hued envelopes reflect the color and beauty that will be created from the scraps within. I am a novice and am grateful for the opportunity to share in the joy of creation.
Deep gratitude to Mimi Haddon and Andres Payan Estrada who have been a deep well of love and support for craft and crafters. As a person who has worked in museums and galleries for 20 years, this has been a humbling and enlightening experience.
This class was about fibers but it was about so much more. Zooming through the space and time of the pandemic, the class allowed me to connect with women whose stories and sensitivities filled me with awe. I was inspired, provoked, and given permission to freely follow as the materials led me to a newfound understanding of the ties that bind us together.
Mimi and Andres created a space of generosity and curiosity in which each person could feel appreciated for what makes them special and within which a diverse range of expressions could feel at home. I leave filled with gratitude — and a brand new obsession!
This class has been so very interesting! It seems that practically every culture has used fiber for self-expression, and we’ve loved the opportunity to explore our own.
Researcher, planner, experimenter, improvisor, creator and collector of all things art, particularly of the hand. Logophile, sentimentalist, expresser, word-player and appreciator of the poetically succinct.
Fiber is the essence of what makes things, the finest material before it is made into a detail, that can be repeated or modified ad infinitum. I have enjoyed meditating on this and conjuring up ways of dealing with it - color-wise, texture-wise, compositionally, intellectually, and practically.
As an artist that works with fiber I’m always looking for experiences and techniques that will enhance my process and understanding of working with these materials. This class did not disappoint. Mimi Haddon was a patient instructor that came with plenty of knowledge and encouragement.
My fellow students were instrumental in helping me go beyond my own processes and piqued my curiosity about so many new things. I would recommend any class offered by the Craft Museum.
This has been a tremendously rewarding experience. As a self-taught artist, I find joy in the process of creating art. The opportunity to explore and improvise in the moment often produces unexpecting surprises that are soul satisfying.
Cheers to all my classmates and the fabulous, dynamic duo --- Andres and Mimi. The workshop series left nothing wanting but more time. A thoughtfully and brilliantly crafted program that has created indelible memories.
I was born and raised in Taiwan, earned my degree in Fashion design, then evolved into Graphic and Visual Arts design. I'm conditioned to care and have developed profound sensitivity with both fabric and paper.
Zen is my way of living, backed by the deeply engrained Chinese culture, all the poetry and folk tales I've learned growing up become the references of my arts and crafts. But with a helplessly curious nature, I'm open to new possibilities and inspirations.
The Fabric Workshop at Craft Contemporary is my source of motivation, the program is so carefully thought out and executed, it presents the fabrics in a new light and different possibilities using fabrics. It is mind-opening!
Both Andres and Mimi are resourceful, knowledgeable, and helpful. I've thoroughly taken advantage of the online classes and enjoyed the diverse creativity of everyone in the class, but most importantly is the generosity of information sharing and encouragement. I'm looking forward to continuing working with my group after the culmination.
I am surrounded by textiles, objects and memories, which belonged to people I love. The workshop has given me an opportunity to explore new techniques, materials and to challenge myself. The pieces I made during the workshop tell bits and pieces of my family story. The openness of the instructors and the women in the class instantly brought us together as a supportive creative community.
My mind is swirling with possibilities to continue on in my art making practice. I am so grateful to Craft Contemporary/Aroha for supporting me on my journey.
Although we worked privately at home, we met in Mimi's weekly zoom classes and spent hours of pandemic time stitching and stuffing, dying and painting, learning and satisfying our need to create. As we shared our projects we were rewarded with praise, suggestions, ideas, resources, and a will to keep up with the wonderful artists who made up our class. The expertise and generosity of Mimi and Andres kept our group happily progressing and I am grateful to them for this experience as I am to Craft Contemporary and AROHA for recognizing the benefits of creating and sharing among people.
BUTTONING THE BLUES
Closing, fastening, hiding.
There. They won't be seen.
No more azure, royal, teal or indigo.
Don’t look for baby, powder,
Navy, cerulean, sapphire
The suede shoes? Not blue.
Nor the moon, even once in a
And the rhapsody……perhaps some other color will do.
We're buttoning blues for a while.
But the lagoon…..no other color fits.
And how will we know who gets first place?
Do red and white feel incomplete without their partner?
We will have, as usual, exceptions.
For a while longer, stay with the program
The gloves, after the hands get washed for thirty seconds
And the masks, blue or otherwise? keep them on
Even wear two.
Then some time, some where
Out of the you-know-what
We will unbutton the blues.
Open up, unfasten, bring them all out
Greet them, welcome them, hug them
(Remember how to hug?)
You're back. Azure, Prussian, royal, teal,
Indigo, powder, cerulean.
Rosa M Echaveste Avila
My participation brought me back to the process of creating and reminded me that art is a practice...ideas and themes evolve as one goes through the process or creates. Fiber has been central to my creative development since very young. I remember cutting out doll clothes from my mother's fabric scraps, watching her make our Easter dresses (all from the same bolt of fabric) and eventually learning to sew myself.
My mother was always working on something; a quilt, bedspreads, doilies, etc. and she taught us to crochet and embroider. I recall the excitement I felt when I got older and I could select my own patterns, fabrics, yarns and/or colors. Today, when the five of us get together, it is very much like a craft gathering. Knitting, crochet, and embroidery (and a jewelry maker); each pulling out our latest project to work on!
Although I've taken numerous art classes, this was the first one with a focus on fiber/fabric and it has been an informative, challenging, fun and very rewarding experience. Huge thanks to Mimi and Andres and all the others in the group for your inspiration, camaraderie and sharing. Keep up the good work!
It is hard to put into words how much this workshop has meant to me. The community gave me refuge and renewal, and much needed respite. This may sound silly but just having something fun to look forward to every week made an enormous difference in my life. My arthritic hands even feel better!