(Originally posted to Facebook, January 12, 2017)
I have always tried to keep my art and politics separate. I am now failing at that. A failure for which I will not apologize for.
Those who follow my business page on Facebook have seen the hats I'm making for the Women's Marches on January 21 as part of the PussyHats Project. Each hat is made from entirely recycled materials, and each has a link of chain in the ear, to symbolize that we are all linked in the ongoing struggle for equality. The seven people I selected for this project are marching in events on both coasts, and are receiving hats as a gift ... one to wear and one to share... (the sharable version at left is based off the original knit pattern from Ravelry).
I have seen in the news recently some dissenting opinions regarding that project, from women who are concerned that we are focusing on silly hats instead of real women's issues. It's not about the hats... the hats are a tool to further the dialog. That's what art does. It prompts people to ask what you are doing, and why. It can bring issues to the forefront in a palatable format, and bring people together on common causes. Women are now joining knitting circles, making signs and puppets, finding allies, furthering the discussion and developing strategies. And its not just women.
My art is my voice. It has convinced at least one person to march who hadn't planned to, and has alerted others who weren't even aware of the marches until they asked about my hats. I sent them information about a march in their area, which they forwarded to friends. The dialog continues. A hat did that. Art did that.
For those of you who are searching my website for these hats, these are not for sale. I have in fact, been refusing money for them. Marchers who have offered to pay for their hats are being directed to make a donation to Planned Parenthood instead. I will apologize for the current lack of hats on my website, and beg your indulgence as I make other things a priority... I will get back to 'hats for sale' as soon as i can...
UPDATE: The hat at left has garnered so much positive comment that I plan to add it to my Custom Catalog for availability after January 25, with 50% of your purchase price being donated to Planned Parenthood.
The first 10 orders I receive by January 30 will ship by February 14.