Bailey, Rowan (2015) Crafting Stories in the Domestic Archive. Journal of Modern Craft, 8 (1). pp. 29-46. ISSN 1749-6772

The Knitting and Crochet Guild archive, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire hosts a vast array of hand-made items, including clothing, artefacts, yarns and samples, as well as tools, pattern leaflets, booklets and magazines. This article explores how the collection was used as a starting point for engaging students in new experiential encounters with the archive, as both a concept and as a container for material histories of the past. Two theoretical frameworks of investigation provide an intertwining methodology for reading the project: the first operates as a feminist narrative of intervention in the history of textile craft making, and the second considers how the ‘thought-images’ of Walter Benjamin provide a tool for thinking through student responses. It is argued that as a repository of the home-crafts, Lee Mills provides historical materialism with the experiential investigation it needs for a critical pedagogy of the present.

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