Woven Community

This summer I have hosted two ‘Clothing Drive and Public Potholder Rug Weaves’ which have been well received and hugely gratifying to me. The idea came about via my desire to support and participate in community events to build awareness of creative reuse and environmental stewardship with community connection.

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My friends Alan and Nancy Timmons came up with the idea of a clothing drive at the event Alan organized for Earthday at The Great Barrington Fair Grounds.

Genius! A mutually beneficial way to support and connect!

I added the rug weaving aspect to fulfill my desire to create and eye-catching way to bring people in and participate. It works out to be pretty darn magical on so many levels. Neighbors, Friends, and total strangers spend time connecting and physically weaving an amazing rug – from trash.  All the materials used are cut from discarded clothing including sweaters, sweatshirts, tshirts, and even socks.  What symbolism! In this age of violence and disconnect we connect and become greater than a sum of our parts.

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This past weekend a Clothing Drive/Public Potholder Rug Weave was hosted as part of Becket’s Hilltown Brouhaha and it was amazing! Even in the rain people came out with donated clothing and the willingness to make what turned out to be a super beautiful 2.5×3.5ft Potholder Rug.

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Now I need to buckle into the details of making these events complete by closing the circle and selling the rug – with proceeds donated to the Becket/Washington PTO (in this case). The hard part has been figured out. We collect clothing, we cut the material into weavable strips and we construct a rug – and at the end of the day there is this glorious fruit of the day’s labor that needs to be sold.

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Now there are two of these amazing rugs ready for new homes and two amazing organizations in need of support to make their missions fly. I am looking for ways to bring in the communities and organizations invested in the project to reconnect for the sale aspect of this work. I’d love to figure out a way to run an auction with bids running for a week following the event.  Does anyone know how to make that happen?  These first two charity rug sales might be a little rough but let me gather the pertinent email lists from participating organizations and then, stay tuned! I’ll let you know when/where you can place a bid and let’s see where this will take us!

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