This Long Thread by Jen Hewett is stunning collection of interviews, essays, and survey responses by a variety of makers that discusses their experiences as crafters of color. I’m delighted that this title provides a beautiful space to many voices, there were over 269 interview contributors, 19 interviews, and many commissioned essays. The result? A book that ties together the diverse threads of participants and crafts to create a common fabric of creativity.
Organized into nine sections it covers all parts of the crafting experience. Starting with why we do it, how we learn, and leading into craft as business and the political. It continues by sharing experiences of crafting history, creating one’s place within craft, representation, community, and teaching. I’ll admit that I thought I would find the variety of response formats a challenge – I’m more used to reading a group of essays – however I found that variety made this an even more approachable collection to read cover to cover. Each individual voice carries through the survey responses, the essays, and the interviews adding their own thread to the work. Hewett has worked to create a feeling of the reader conversing with each contributor.
I enjoyed reading it especially now during this continued time of limited social interactions due to the pandemic. It was nice to connect with like-minded individuals; I know that despite outward differences our childhoods and early forays into creating things were similar. It’s delightful to meet in the pages creators, many of whom I was not familiar with before opening this book. My experiences as a white woman who now resides in a middle-class suburban house mean it’s impossible for me to experience most of the challenges these crafters face every day. I found by reading this book it reiterated how much we have in common. May I learn from this and remember it. I highly recommend searching out this title and more importantly reading it.
This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection
By Jen Hewett
November 2021 | Roost Books | 376 pages
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