Green Plum Collaboratory in Spruce Pine, NC has been a hotbed of activity during my residency here. Not only do I have a show there, but it has been my studio for Germination Corps. and a Plant Backpack making hub for the last two and a half weeks. Here are some pics of the the progress and people that have come in to help cut patterns and cut up bottles for the bags and made giant vegetables. Thanks everyone for helping to make the upper street in the town of Spruce Pine so colorful.
Here are two wonderful volunteers of Dig In! Yancy Community Garden who came to Germination Corps. to help sew- Deborah and Pat. These ladies got some patterns going! Thanks you two!
Lisa Blackburn, a founder of the project Empty Bowls and a very great printer and book maker, cuts up some salvaged bottles to plant plants in for the kids backpacks.
Here are some other great Gallery Shots. Deb and Pat try on my Paper Helmets: Helmets for Telling Secrets. Part of the show this month at Green Plum Collaboratory.
And then we pose for a photo to show the kid’s sized Plant Backpack I made using fabric donated from Glen Raven Technical Fabrics and pattern pieces cut by these wonderful ladies.
Thanks to all the community members in Yancy and Mitchell counties that are helping and have helped with Germination Corps. — more photos to come!
Germination Corps. has partnered up with the elementary school in Bakersville, North Carolina. I am doing a workshop there for the 2nd and 3rd graders. The school wanted to have a backpack for each student to have to participate in the plant parade and Germination Corps. events. They have been germinating seeds this spring and we will transfer them to the plant backpacks as soon as they are ready.
Bakersville is also the home to a great manufacturing operation called Quality Plus Apparel that has been making things like limited edition Levi’s jeans and other Made in America heavy weight apparel runs. They have all the equipment and know how to take my designs and make a ton of plant backpacks for the elementary school project. Here are some photos of Lisa, of The Catalyst Collective, and me and the owners of Quality Plus making the test bags in their facility.
We took my patterns and some generously donated fabric from Glen Raven Technical Fabrics in Burnsville, NC to the folks at Quality Plus. The next day we walked in and they had three prototypes made from the pattern I had given them. We asked how fast they could make the bags and they said a week! They also said they would donate all the bags to the elemetery school for the project. WOW! That’s 120 plant backpacks! Thank You Quality Plus! That’s amazing.
These are the pattern flats
They even had a binding in a color combo that I would have used for my own work. Great minds think alike!
Placing a pocket on and basting. You can see they are set up for jean hemming and binding above.
Sewing the gusset on the bag. Quality Plus is sewing a shoulder bag pattern since we only have a week to get the 120 bags to the school. They would have loved to make the actual backpack, but my pattern was too complicated in the time frame we had. Still, this is very generous and nice of them to give back to the community they are imbedded in. I am so glad they are still making a go of it, although we talked a lot about the loss of manufacturing from cheaper overseas labor. A lot of the business that Quality Plus gets now is the job of fixing the products that come back from overseas markets to bring them up to standards for the US market. They still are the primary manufacturer of Levi’s brand jeans and produced the special edition pairs where Levi’s reproduced the first pair of Levi’s ever, that they found in a mine in California. Quality Plus made 501 pairs and they were sold for 501 dollars each.