As a follow up article to our post about the Southside Film Festival, we attended the festivals event at Govanhill Baths.There were some upcycling projects, upcycling stalls and lots of yummy stuff on the go as well as….FILM! We asked Blanche from Rags to Riches more about the event, their past projects and what they have planned….
Hi can you tell us about your event today and how you managed to tie in with the film festival?
Abigail Howkins from Southside Film Festival got in touch with Rags to Riches with a proposal. We met and and developed the project from there. The partnership with Rags to Riches, Sew La Tea Dough, Glasgow Craftivists and Govanhill Baths was a Southside Film Festival first and the event focused on fashion, craft, making and style – past and present, local and global – with workshops, film screenings and a craft market. The emphasis was on linking films with making, sewing and crafting.
Abigail and I discussed what films to show and we wanted to make the event as accessible for people as possible. Unravel follows the Western worlds least wanted clothes, on a journey across Northern India, from sea to industrial interior. The film gives us an insight into the way that factory workers view the western world. The commentaries can be quite funny as the ridiculousness of the western world’s contemporary consuming habits are highlighted. Advanced Style, the second film, allowed for a reflection on the fashion industry and what it means to be fashionable but in your own terms. We all want planet-friendly fashion but it is often difficult not to be influenced. Advanced Styles demonstrates that it is possible to access better fashion at any age and with great result.
Abigail also found some archive footage films which were really pertinent to the event. A black & white film dated 1934 ,‘Birth of the Sewing Machine’ , showed the manufacturing processes involved in making a Singer sewing machine in Clydebank and ‘Weave Me A Rainbow’, a 1962 feature on the Scottish woollen industry for the National Association of Scottish Woollen Manufacturers , connecting the event to our locality and bringing forth Scotland’s forgotten industrious past.
We also had lots of opportunities for active making and we contacted Glasgow Craftivist with the proposal who agreed to be involved. Their embroidery workshop with a conscious was a great addition to the event as it further emphasised political elements and the power of making.
Sew La Dough was also a fantastic session .People were invited to be actively involved in making and explore new ways to engage with textiles and clothing. The morning session included clothes swapping, mending and doing a one hour upcycling project . Our Sew La Tea Dough project is on every 1st Saturday of every month at Govanhill Baths and is a great way to support each other with our eco-fashion and textile re-use goals.
Links to films:
Part of the event was ‘This is a mini craft fair’ can you tell us more about the vendors at today’s event and where to find them online or otherwise?
The stalls holders all come from various making backgrounds and previously held stalls at our craft fair events. All but one stall holder live locally too .Four of the makers are directly involved with Rags to Riches. We aim to nurture new talent and attempt to give people opportunities to grow their business and the world of upcycling as a whole.
Altronica who is also one of the Rags to Riches furniture tutor He got involved through our first ever TINACF event back in 2012 and he was creating clocks with old cameras at the time. He now creates a fabulous range of upcycled jewellery using old cameras and other bits of found objects.
Altronica; Jewelry and clock design (various materials and old camera parts)
Rafiqa and Ana make up part of our ‘Let’s Make It’ team – a project where volunteer-makers manufacture stock for Rags to Riches to sell. They gained manufacturing and upcycling skills whilst being part of this project and they are using these new skills to make better products and look at ways to use waste to create upcycled bags, toys and other items. Both women have grown in confidence and their product range has really developed. Cath from Wow Trash Treasures has been involved for many years taking courses and volunteering with Rags to Riches. She was inspired to make gorgeous ring pull jewellery after taking part in our upcycled jewellery workshops and has taken the ring pull jewellery to new heights.
Stall holders at Govanhill baths with an array of upcycled products.
We encountered Making Eleven- great name for a business- at another craft event and really loved her quirky objects made from old dolls and found lamps.
links to makers
Ana and Rafiqa can be contacted through Rags to Riches on the contact below.
Are you running any workshops or groups at the moment? Can you tell us more about them, where they are and how to get involved?
We are currently running a series of upcycling workshops including making soft toy with donated wool blankets, cable spool stool with electrical cable drums and donated fabrics , and our ‘Let’s Make It’ mini enterprise project. But they are all fully booked. We will run them again in the new year.
We are also at the planning stages for another public art project next year and details will be available on our website and social media soon.
Soft toys and Cable spool stools
Rags to Riches have done some pretty cool things in the past what are highlights for you?
Thanks. It is quite hard to choose a favourite or highlights as all our projects are highlights to us. However our bottle top mosaic projects which are situated in 5 different locations in the Southside would be our number one project. Large outdoor bottle top mosaic mural have such a visual impact, they greatly brighten and improve urban environments. Rags to Riches tutors worked with around 80 young school pupils from our 4 local schools. With these projects we aimed to use interactive visual arts works to provide a platform for transferring environmental awareness messages and complement the work of formal education. Also doing a large bottle top mosaic diverts so much waste from landfill as we used tons of tops and they are not easily recyclable.
Picture attached (Mosaic)
Our Stalled Spaces funded project would come second. We created garden planters at the back of the baths on Kingarth Street as a means to stop flytipping and dog fouling. We used old doors which we got from local door replacement businesses who are ultimately sending their replaced doors to landfill. So it’s great to find ways to re-use them. Working with local people we constructed a planter structure which included different sized planters and painted the structure in different primary colours. We planted a range of wildflowers and shade loving plants due to the garden outlook.
We did have issues with this project as people from a local Facebook group attacked the worthiness of such a project but they couldn’t argue with the benefits in the end. How can you go against gardening, flowers and a better looking site? We also had some unsavoury character(s?) stealing the plants but we kept planting thanks to wildflower kits from Kew Garden’s Grow Wild campaign. The thieving has stopped and we can’t wait for the flowers to bloom again next spring.
Picture attached (Planters)
Our This Is Not A fashion Show would be a third highlight. This project pulled the entire team of volunteers, participants and tutors together. Models of all shapes and sizes adorned innovative upcycled outfits created by volunteers and ex- participants who were invited to create something for the catwalk. The stage was used as a platform for more upcycling with a cardboard installation from Altronica. It also gave us an opportunity to invite Clyde College’s fashion students and other upcyclers to get involved. This project was extravagant and looked very professional. We hoped TINAFS was not just a fashion show but a device to make people think about the possibilities of waste and Louna Productions devised a storytelling piece which touched on fashion consumerism.
We had a packed house and Govanhill Baths’s big pool was the perfect venue. TINAFS was such a big project we decided to deliver this every 2 years rather than yearly. We are planning another event for 2016 as part of Southside Fringe again.
Picture ( Fashion )
You guys usually run a pretty cool craft fair closer to Christmas with local crafters selling everything to upcycled furniture and bow ties to soap. Do you have anything planned for this year and when is it running?
Yes our 4th edition of TINACF is schedule to take place on Saturday 28th November. It is the one stop shop for upcycled, quirky, handmade, eco and soulful Christmas gifts in Glasgow. We are really looking forward to it.
Please contact Rags to Riches if you would like us to deliver outreach one-off workshops, courses and projects or collaborate on events and projects.
Also on Saturday we ran into Southseeds at the Alison street gardens. I think we have been at ALL their harvest events this year and this was the final one! All the local kids had their dug up treasures on show which included red potatoes, radish etc
Lisa Peebles of Southseeds was also on hand to deliver another tasty BBQ. Have a look at our previous articles with what Southseeds to in the community and how to get involved in growing! It’s late in the year now but you should get in early for spring planting, it’ll be round closer than you think!
Lisa of Souithseed and Ross Wallace;Vice chairman of Arklet Housing Association, committee Battlefield Community Project, volunteer archaeologist at National Trust for Scotland. .
If you would like your community group, activity or business to have a feature article please get in touch with Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org tel; 07903152283.
For those interested I also have an independent blog if you wish to check it out;
and my photo website;