Notes For Home

Three Projects, An Experiment and Big Learning

It's a been a busy few weeks. We finished work on the Fishcake Projects. We started making custom aprons for our peers in the Punahou Master Chef class. And we've begun work on our final project involving recrafting garments from home and from Goodwill.


-Class Products on Display at Fishcake on Kamani St.-


We've also begun our experiment turning kombucha SCOBY into leather. We're really grateful to Oahu's Sky Kombucha for contributing the SCOBY. We'll begin drying some of the leather soon and at the end of class we hope to drink some fo the Kombucha.


-Hoping for something flower shaped from this great jar that Hugh and Melissa Mosher, members of the Punahou 'ohana, lent to the class.-


None of these projects and experiements would have been possible without our great community partners. This has been part of a big lesson for us in community building. What community are we designing through the prodcuts we create, sell and purchase? We've been thinking about this a lot lately and examining the shopping community on Oahu and the supply chain that brings those products to us here. We started this examination by watching the new documentary The True Cost of Fashion. We followed this up with a field trip to analyze different shopping environments, from the Ala Moana Center and JAMS WORLD to Patagonia and Goodwill. Students crafted reflections on these activities. We'll continue to discuss the impact of our purchasing descisions and how we produce and consume (and if we should use the word consume - to destroy or use up) as we delve deeper into our final project remaking used clothes.


Putting Inspiration into Practice


We were out and about last Friday drawing inspiration from the Powwow murals. We also visited Fishcake and stopped by Hawaii Fashion Incubator's Co-op space to hear about the fashion initiatives in Hawaii and to learn from innovative designers working on a collaborative collection - much like we will do! Students also get pretty hands-on learning sewing techniques and practicing their patterning and cutting skills.


-We Quickly Found Out Sewing Is Not As Easy As Some Of Us Thought It Might Be-


-Hearing About Turning Inspiration Into Design From Henry Navarro-


-Fishcakes' Awesome Designs-


-Powwow, Where Imagination Meets The Walls Of Reality -


This week we've been working on three projects to submit to the Fishcake Wanted Design competition. Designs include a useful and playful twist on the Barf Bag, a better in-flight blanket and an interactive postcard dress. Check them out on display at Fishcake from Monday the 29th through August 16th and wish us luck in the competition!


-Product Design in Progress-

We're up and running

We've started the class with two busy days. On monday we introduced ourselves and learned about textiles. We ginned cotton and learned about the history of the cotton industry. Did you know that our dollar bills are made form cotton? We learned that it takes over 700 gallons of water to produce enough cotton for one t-shirt. That's a lot. In fact, cotton is the world's thirstiest crop. We also learned about how silk is produced. We boiled silk cacoons until we could brush away silk threads with tooth brushes and find the one true thread. After we made cotton and silk threads, we looked at the difference between weaving and knitting. In addition to cotton and silk, we learned about wool and synthetic fibers. We tested the fabrics that we will use in class over the next few weeks by burning them and noting how they burned in order to determine which fabrics were made from which fibers. We also made yarn by cutting up used clothing and decorated our scetchbooks that were made by for our class from recycled cardboard.


-Ginning Cotton-


-The Silk Cacoon and The Worm Inside-


-Burn Tests (This One Was Polyester)-


-Our Recycled Sketchbooks-


Today, Tuesday, June 16th, we learned about dyeing clothes. Did you know that dyeing in the fashion indstry is one of the world's largest water pollutants? It doesn't need to involve toxic pollutans though. We made purple and red dye with cochineal, which is a bug. We practiced different techniques to apply dye to the fabric, including using batik wax to make fun designs. We made a bunch of swatches, or small test strips of fabric. We experimented with some dyes that react in different ways to the sun. We also made dye out of food scraps from community businesses, such as Serg's and Andy's Sandwich's in Manoa, and we peeled grapes and oranges (and ate them) to make dyes. So many colors from food!


-Getting Messy with Cochineal and Things We Found Outside-


-A Little Bit of Everything-