The Amazings are on a mission to restore the connection between generations and the age-old practice of sharing skills. And who better to teach you than over-50s with bucket-loads of flair.
Try something old; learn something new. That’s The Amazings’ motto and we’re so down with that!
We had a chat with seamstress Judith Paris, one super Amazing, to find out more about how she’s sharing knack and knowledge
How did you first learn your craft? Was it through work or did it start out as a hobby?
From my mum who was a tailor. She let me loose on her materials and sewing machine from the age of four. I have always sewn, always hoarded cloth, always made my own clothes and recycled charity shop buys.
What made you want to pass on your knowledge to other people?
Realising how few young people know how to sew, but want to be designers. I like helping older people rekindle their skills then get old and young together.
How many and what lessons have you taught so far?
With The Amazings, just three: two making wallets and purses and one making hammocks from recycled curtains and vintage chintz. I also helped my husband run a cooking workshop for The Amazings. But as Thrifty Couture, I have been running workshops for recycling clothes for two years in my own workshop and at festivals like Start. I also run master classes for local schools and colleges.
What sort of feedback did you get from the class?
For hammocks, good! For wallets lots of positive tweets.
How did you feel it went?
Really well – we always run over time, but I love it, and if the students aren’t in a rush it’s good just to amble.
What advantages do you feel a scheme like this offers people?
The Amazings is a great catalyst for getting people of all ages and backgrounds together again.
Would you recommend it to fellow and wannabe crafters?
Of course! It is a great initiative and I have referred lots of mates to The Amazings’ site to sign up as facilitators or to take part.
Have you noticed any changes in yourself as a result of taking part in The Amazings?
Not really – just fired me up to do more!
What’s next for you?
More workshops with young kids, eight or nine years old, making ‘kugis’ or dressing up suits made to look like fantastic animals (I’m calling the workshops The Animal in Me) and Splash Bike workshops for 80 kids in the summer holidays.