Making No. 8 / FOREST
I’ve (Emily) always admired the themes of each issue here at Making. They’re very grounding, and connected to the natural world, which is one thing that’s so unique about Making. I love seeing a connection between the crafts we dedicate precious hours to, and the outside world that inspires us and provides many of the supplies we need to do our making.
The theme of our newest issue, Making No. 8, is FOREST. When I think of forests, I think of lush greenery, tall trees, and the sunlight peeking through fluttering leaves and strong branches down onto an earthy floor teaming with life. Forests are the setting for many stories; they’re a place of mystery, treasure, heritage, and inspiration.
Ashley, Carrie, and I spent some time talking about the theme of this issue and thought it would be fun to share some of the ideas and experiences that went into its creation.
Where did the idea for this theme come from; what inspired it?
When thinking of a complimentary theme to Desert, our Spring issue, Forest was a natural choice, and we both live in forested areas, so it feels like home. Plus, what feels more like fall than a forest, cozy knits, and crafting. Nature is our biggest inspiration.
Where did you shoot the projects in this issue?
We photographed this issue in multiple locations, including Mill Valley in Northern California, amongst the redwoods trees. This was the traditional homelands of the people of Coast Miwok, and the Southern Pomo, recognized today as the Graton Rancheria tribe. We also photographed tucked among the trees at Snoqualmie Falls in Washington state, along the beautiful Snoqualmie River. This was the traditional homelands and birthplace of the Snoqualmie Indian tribe, one of the largest in the Puget Sound region. To learn more about these places and the people who live here, read our Land Acknowledgement for Making No. 8 / FOREST.
Can you share a little about the experience working in those places?
When we photographed in Mill Valley, we stayed at a house on a ridge that was surrounded by redwoods, situated in a way that when you looked out the windows or stood on the deck, it was as if you’d been escalated into the middle of these trees, nearly fifty feet from the ground. Many photos within the issue were captured on this deck. It was such a surreal experience to be so immersed within the trees there. This was also one of the more challenging photo shoots considering California was experiencing an unseasonably rainy winter, and most of our time was spent dashing in and out of the house to take photos during the short breaks in torrential downpour or gusty winds. We had planned to shoot in several locations outside, but we ended up photographing all the worn pieces on the deck; it worked out perfectly.
We did a second photo shoot near Snoqualmie Falls outside Seattle in Washington state. It was absolutely gorgeous with warmth and sunshine. Another challenge when it comes to photographing outside is trying getting out into the early morning mist before the sun becomes too bright. But, we’re always game for a challenge, and so were our amazing models. We hiked a mile to different spots by the falls and found little pockets of sheltered light, allowing us to capture what we needed in the magnificent beauty that surrounded us. Ashley was nine months pregnant at the time and hiked that trail three times in one day; those are good memories, to say the least.
What about this issue is personally meaningful to you?
One thing we’ve been learning and exploring is the history of the lands where we’re photographing. It was an amazing experience to go into the photo shoots with this on our minds, that where we stood had a long and meaningful heritage. One of the essays in this issue features a master weaver named Harvest Moon, and we were fortunate enough to be able to visit her at her home in Washington while we were there. We learned about her craft and process, some history of her family and tribe, and listened to all her stories. She also took us on an adventure in her backyard to gather some cedar and shared about the other materials she collects from the land to weave her baskets. This experience brought the meaning of the forest full circle.
Is there something in this issue that makes you feel especially proud?
All of it. Truly. Every single project, photo shoot, and person involved. This has been a big year of learning for us, and we’ve made mistakes, but we’re intent on doing things differently than we have in the past. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone in our community who took the time to point out the things we’d done wrong and how they caused pain. This led us on a path of deeper self-education around what it means to be inclusive and how biases can be harmful. We’re looking at a lifetime of dismantling and learning, but we’re proud of the small steps we’ve made with FOREST.
What do you hope to convey to the Making community through this issue?
That one can find joy through all types of making. That there is a supportive and diverse community made of many different makers. Some find satisfaction and delight in creating projects and patterns for makers, and others do the projects for themselves and to share with people they love, but often, we partake in both. As we slow down, sit and thumb through these pages, we hope that everyone leaves with a sense of belonging, to this community and to the craft they love. We suppose these sentiments ring true for each issue, but it’s something we like to remind ourselves and others of, that you are not alone and that making matters.
-Ashley, Carrie, Emily, and the Making Team
A Note: Recently, one of our friends and sponsors A Verb for Keeping Warm renamed one of their yarns from Pioneer to Horizon. They did this because the original name was problematic and has negative colonialist connotations that they would like to avoid and not associate with such an amazing yarn. Though originally trying to convey the innovative spirit of the farmer, the name Pioneer can be seen as a glorification of the atrocities white settlers afflicted against Native Americans. We encourage you to read their full statement here. At the time of this change, FOREST had already completed printing, and A Verb For Keeping Warm’s sponsor ad, which features a skein of the yarn with the original name, was included in the issue. It’s unfortunate that we did not recognize the harm associated with the name before FOREST went to print. However, we are dedicated to continually educating ourselves and will be featuring the renamed yarn ad in marketing.