Craft Punks doing it their own way


‘Craft Punk’ is a series of craft weekends at the Powerhouse Museum that have taken these sentiments of making it yourself and your own way, to a crowd of keen crafties.

The first weekend saw members of the Lace Guild and lace-making Museum Volunteers show punk partakers the techniques of Bobbin lace making and tatting. Younger crafties, from the age of four, learnt the craft of paper weaving, knitting and helped to create a giant plastic bag tapestry at the Big Punk Tapestry.

The atmosphere was buoyant as craft fanatics worked away to the beat of Leslie Hall’s ‘Craft Talk’ music video, projected on large screens behind tables of self-proclaimed and wannabe craft punks.

Highlights of the weekend, held April 30 to May 1, included a recycled jewellery workshop with Liesl Hazelton, (recipient of the NSW Design Travelling Scholarship, 2009), who showed enthusiastic creators how to make bangles and neckpieces using discarded computer printer cables.

‘I’m surprised how many people cannot crochet nowadays!’ Hazelton exclaimed. ‘I think handicraft and craft in general will come back as a form of expression, it’s always good to be creative with your own resources, whether it’s making a pair of socks this winter just because you can; it’s good to be active!’

On the next table, highly regarded embroidery expert and cross-stitch queen, Tamara Maynes hosted a tremendously popular embroidery workshop called ‘Diabolical Doilies.’

‘I think the future of craft is going to be really big and really strong,’ said Maynes. ‘I guess it’s a trend just like any other, like everything, it comes and it goes, and I know as a kid in the seventies and eighties it was really strong then and it laid low for a while, now it seems to be back in a big way.’

Meanwhile making was happening in another room in the Museum with beading expert, Karen Torrisi, encouraging her workshop participants to play with found objects, shapes and techniques anyway they like.

Torrisi is proud to be a craft punk: ‘Anywhere you can do something original and different and create your own feeling and use your own hand in your work is important,’ Torrisi said.

The next Craft Punk weekend will be in October.

The fantastic music video “Craft Talk” by Leslie Hall, starring Leslie Hall, Ramona Muse, and Laura Dewaal can be heard in full on Youtube