Slowing Down

To research Making a Life, I traveled around the United States and abroad to meet makers in their homes and studios and to talk to them about the role making by hand plays in our lives. In each chapter of the book, I tell their stories and address a different aspect of what we stand to gain when we make by hand. Along with my text are over four hundred photos taken by the extraordinary Rinne Allen. Editing the photo selection down to just a few hundred images was a challenge since Rinne delivered thousands of beautiful choices. Shown below are outtakes (images that didn’t make it into the book) for Chapter 2: Slowing Down. To see images from other chapters, click from the menu under the Making a Life tab above. The choices are Remembering, Slowing Down, Joining Hands, Making a Home, and Finding a Voice.

Quilter and natural dyer Maura Ambrose.
Maura working on a quilt for her daughter, Ada.
Maura pulls cloth dyed with homegrown madder from a dye pot.
Ada with an egg she and her mom dyed with turmeric.
“Arizona Sun” blanketflowers bloom in Maura’s front yard.
Slow fashion pioneer Natalie Chanin, creative director and founder of Alabama Chanin, stitching at company headquarters in Florence, Alabama.
An Alabama Chanin hand-stitched dress.
Alabama Chanin headquarters, called The Factory, in Florence, Alabama.
Kristine Vejar in the indoor dye studio at A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, California.
This hand-spun, handwoven cotton is made by a group of elderly women in Mali whose skills are in danger of being lost. By supporting these women and other makers like them, Kristine hopes to keep hand-making traditions alive.
Harvesting indigo in AVFKWs outdoor dye studio. “Natural dyeing makes me happy and keeps me present, says Kristine.”
Claire Wellesley-Smith mixing up a small dye bath on her back porch in Shipley in northern England, once an international hotbed of textile manufacturing.
Claire stitches in her linen “journal” nearly every day. For her, it is a form of meditation.

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