Leeza Doreian is a founding member of Mending Collective, along with Amanda Eicher and Liz Harvey. The current members of Mending Collective are: Leeza Doreian, Liz Harvey, Danielle Wright.
Mending Collective is a new collective of artists who wish to create a space for people to come together to learn and practice visual mending techniques. We are concerned with economic models built on burgeoning consumption and waste specifically within the garment industry, but indicative of production in general. We explore the traditional practices of mending as a means to counter this narrative.
We offer the shared sensory, economic, and social experiences of mending together. In mending, one becomes aware of the quality of the clothing one wears, skill development meets the bounty of benefits for the mender in the actions of mending, and frugality’s inherent sensuality becomes apparent. In the spirit of generosity, there is no charge for workshops or other mending actions.
Mending Circle: Make Do and Mend
Mending Collective’s first public workshop was part of 100 Days Action's Community Care-in at Southern Exposure, March 5th, 2017.
This Mending Circle was based on Make Do and Mend— a booklet published by the British ‘Board of Trade Make Do and Mend Advisory Panel’ in 1943 as part of the war effort. The workshop moved through a variety of techniques, inviting participants to bring items in need of mending. The sheer existence of such a manual points to the way the act of mending could be considered patriotic. In response, we ask what patriotism might be in our present time.
Mending for Others Project #1
For our second action, Mending Collective offered to mend an item for each of the organizers of 100 Days Action. Our mends were intended as a form of thanks for providing a platform for dialogue and resistance.
Seven people from the group trusted us with a garment, which we received in a brown paper bag. In the spirit of anonymity, we divvied the items up, mended them as we saw and returned them in the same paper bag, without any accompanying information.
Visible Mending: The Sensuality of Frugality and Conservation
Visible Mending: The Sensuality of Frugality and Conservation was held at the San Francisco School of Needlework & Design.* This workshop focused on forms of hand mending which incorporate embroidery stitches —"embroidermending." We started with a presentation of various embroidery stitches, and how to choose thread appropriate to the mend. We played with mending possibilities, and enjoyed each other's stories about ancestors’ sewing practices and the histories of the (often beloved) items to be mended.
Besides being practical and fun, visible mending will work for all skill levels. Both a beginning or experienced mender may utilize an embroidery stitch in new and experimental ways with visual and practical success.
*San Francisco School of Needlework & Design is a non-profit whose goal is to inspire the next generation of hand-embroidery artisans.