co-authored with Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd, School of Design, University of Leeds
This paper discusses the activity of making with others as a means of researching the experience of making, with a particular focus on textiles. It draws on the methods used by both authors in our doctoral research projects, relating to hand-stitching (Shercliff) and hand-knitting (Twigger Holroyd).
Making with others has a long history in textiles. Indeed, the fact that group textile making activities are so prevalent supports their potential use within research into, and for, creative textile practices. However, we both discovered a distinct lack of documented examples to refer to as we developed our own research methodologies. We have found that running workshops and making activities specifically for a research project – as we did – differs from other established and emerging methods which involve participants in research.
In documenting and discussing several group making activities which we carried out in the course of our research, we seek to draw attention to the adaptability and variability of these methods, to establish a critical dialogue around them, argue for their value, and provide examples which we hope will be of use to other researchers.