This Long Thread Special Collab with the Asian Sewist Collective and Jen Hewett

0.75x 1x 1.25x 1.5x 2x 0:0000:54:57 This Long Thread Special Collab with the Asian Sewist Collective and Jen Hewett

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Jen Hewett

Jen Hewett is a printmaker, surface designer, and textile artist. Depending on how you look at it, artist is either Jen’s second or fifth career. With a degree in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, she started her working life in education and educational nonprofits. She then briefly ran her own stationery business and took a few detours through business operations, human resources, and consulting before becoming a full-time working artist (again). She partly credits the success of her experience running her own creative business to her non-linear (but always interesting) career path.

Jen’s first book, Print, Pattern, Sew: Block Printing Basics + Simple Sewing Projects for an Inspired Wardrobe, was published by Roost Books in May 2018. Her second book,  This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection, was published by Roost Books in November 2021. Her clients include Anthropologie, Cost Plus World Market, Moda Fabrics, Unilever, and Yelp. Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Uppercase, and MSNBC.

Lisa Woolfork

Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English, specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory, and American slavery. She is the convener and founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers on Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. #Charlottesville. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.

Insights from this episode:

  • Who Jen Hewett is and what she does
  • How Jen’s book came to be
  • How Jen got into printmaking
  • Jen’s print-making process
  • How to believe in your work and voice
  • Why Jen considers herself a textile artist
  • The inspiration behind Jen’s book
  • Creating representative work
  • What to expect from Jen Hewett

Quotes from the show:

  • “I design a lot of things for the sewing industry. So, I design primarily fabric and I have been doing that since 2018. I am on my third or fourth fabric collection at this point” —Jen Hewett in “Stitch Please”
  • “I have done a lot of textile art and didn’t call myself a textile artist. I always say I am a printmaker first and everything flows from that, but I am owning it now, that I am a person who does and likes many things” —Jen Hewett in “Stitch Please”
  • “With printmaking, you do one thing and you do it over and over again, unlike being a painter who does a one-of-a-kind one thing. A printmaker is already set up operationally, it makes sense to do the same thing over and over again” —Jen Hewett in “Stitch Please”
  • “What’s the saying like ‘walk around with the confidence of a white man and you will get what you want’?” –Nicole Angeline  in “Stitch Please”
  • “The nice thing about the work that I do is that it is replicable. So it feels in many ways, low stakes. That I am constantly putting things out there, some will stick, some won’t” —Jen Hewett in “Stitch Please”
  • “When I find books like this one, that are good and I like them, and I like to go back to them, because not every book you get that you are gonna go back to, but this one is nice and it’s very digestible” —Ada Chen in “Stitch Please”
  • “The overall consensus seems to be celebratory and gratitude, if I can put it in two words. Folks who are celebrating that this book exists and that women of color are having their voices centred and amplified, and talking to a variety of people. And then the gratitude which extends towards you for creating and pulling this together” —Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”
  • “I wanted it to be representative. Not necessarily everybody because that’s impossible, but to include people who are not included” —Jen Hewett in “Stitch Please”
  • “In many ways, writing this book didn’t feel like a race because I had this really strong sense that the community would have my back. But then I had to do everybody’s story’s justice in order for people to have my back”  —Jen Hewett in “Stitch Please”

Resources Mentioned

Asian Sewist Collective

Stay Connected:

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork

Jen Hewett

Website: Jen Hewett

Instagram: Jen Hewett

This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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