Chinatown Gets Crafty
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20 Oct

Over the summer, China Exchange has run Made in Chinatown, a pilot project working with community groups to create unique souvenirs for London’s Chinatown. All items will be sold to raise money for the groups involved, including Chinese National Healthy Living Centre, Newham Chinese Association and the London Chinese Community Centre.

Through six workshops, participants have learned embroidery, applique, painting and printing techniques and produced a small collection of items that will be sold during markets in the autumn. Some people taking part in the project have a variety of different needs including dementia, mobility issues and learning difficulties. The feedback so far has been that the workshop sessions gave everyone taking part the chance to learn something new, to be creative and to spend time in a social situation to which they may not have otherwise been able to access.

Sessions were supported by a dedicated group of volunteers. They assisted participants in making items, offered translations for our multi-lingual groups and helped create a supportive and welcoming atmosphere. The pilot project would not have been possible without them or the generosity of China Exchange supporters who donated materials and craft supplies to allow the workshops to take place.

Following this successful pilot and the number of requests to run further sessions, China Exchange will be seeking funding to cover the costs of Made in Chinatown. If you think you can help, please get in touch.

Here are some samples of the items that our community groups have produced:

Colourful embroidery cards stitched with rich emotions. Makers used different threads to represent their feelings about Chinatown.

Playful potato prints turned blank fabric into cheerful canvas bags.

Rocking pebbles making a statement – Chinatown rocks!

Cute greeting cards made of scrap fabric, threads and beads from donation