A crazy few months and now finally I can breathe a sigh of relief. After the last few months spent at the British Library and then in Pakistan to wrap up research work, I have finished writing my doctorate and wait for the viva.
Things in Pakistan are not in a good way yet, seeing the artisans in the villages, with their beaming faces and skilled hands, always gives me hope. Not least because it provides income but because I believe as they do in the agency of making. As I remember (artisan) Marvi once put it, 'now we feel almost addicted (to making) and keeping our hands busy, we can't sit idle without it'.
It was simply a matter of building a trusting relationship, encouragement, respect for their knowledge and providing a space for creativity. The women were able to interpret this creativity in their own way and it provided insight for the research. If this model of work was purely profit driven, we would never have discovered what the women could offer themselves as creators and makers. As a maker I understand this myself, the most honest and original work comes from within - perhaps through emotion. However, the demands of commercial business often limits owners and designers from exploring possibilities with artisans and rural makers through co-creativity and co-design and their role remains that of mere workers. This is because a collaborative model requires a significant stream of investment of finance and time.
For rural communities practicing craft, making, can be a very powerful medium towards social change and as empowerment strategy. I certainly found this to be true. I will write and share aspects of my methods, research and experiences in the field over the coming months in more detail.
Below, I have included a sneak peak at the new 2015 collections. For 2015 it's all about playing with colour; graduations, tones and blocking. Yet, of course keeping true to signature S jo style.
Three of the key trends for Spring 2015 are about colour; yellow, all red ensembles and, black and white. Keep tuned for style updates and how to style your S jo. Please do keep sending us pictures of how you styled your unique S jo piece to feature on our website and Facebook page.
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