MAKING RITUALS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

February to October 2022
Every second Sunday of the month
(Help sessions every third Sunday)
12:00 to 3:00pm PST
Facilitated by Mathew Arthur

Join on Zoom

Email mathew_arthur@sfu.ca to sign up


“‘Experiment’ is laced with the idea of objectivity,
of an experimenter that remains intact while manipulating variables in a repeatable way.
But I am not outside this process. I am inside these repeatable practices. I am becoming something else. We are becoming something else. Which is why we need a ceremony.”

— Alexis Pauline Gumbs


WHAT IS IT?

REPEAT: Making Rituals at the End of the World is a free monthly series of online skill-building workshops in critical crafting and making practices, including crochet, fermentation, origami, natural perfumery, and weaving. “Critical” means that each month’s materials and techniques will generate conversations about the objects and practices that “haunt all sides of our everyday worlds” with “other stories, other accounts, other connections that we may suspect, yet that paralyze us sometimes due to their enormity” (Dumit 2014). How do fibrecrafts connect us to racialized plantation histories of cotton? Or acrylic yarns to petrochemicals? How is kombucha implicated in cultures of clean-eating “purity” that ignore messy lessons microbes might teach us? Are some technologies (weaving, for example) primitive or advanced? What futures do these technologies enable? Whose?

The title has a double meaning: repeated practices of making—but also crafting new rituals. In science and technology studies (STS), rituals are repeated patterns of relationship that make some worlds possible and not others (Singleton & Law 2013).


 

Humans, plants, animals, rocks, manmade objects, and microbes all have practices. What they do (or are prevented from doing) makes up our reality. Which is to say: our practices are loaded! What we repeat matters. “We need a ceremony,” as Alexis Pauline Gumbs says (2021). Ritual is implicated in histories of Western theology and its role in colonization, including residential schools and harm to Indigenous lands and bodies. So, the final part of the title holds us accountable to those histories and their present-day aftermath: for Indigenous peoples the apocalypse has already come—ways of life connected in webs of relationships and responsibilities to lands and waters uprooted and displaced in violent and extractive practices (Simpson 2017). Could making practices, new rituals of personal and collective care, help respond to this reality? Maybe craft can help us “resist mastery”:

Soil, plants, trees, water, skins, fire—each have their own material contingencies that require process to determine outcome. These nonhuman life forms equally determine the outcomes of our own bodies: from micro-organisms that govern our gut biome health to synthetic estrogenic material [microplastics] toxifying our water system (Potter 2019).


MOSAIC CROCHET BASICS
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN
During this meeting, we’ll learn the basics of crochet: how to make a foundation chain, single and double crochet stitches, and how to change colours or tie off. We’ll also go over mosaic crochet—a technique that uses back-loop single crochet and mosaic double crochet stitches to make motifs and repeated graphic patterns. We’ll also talk about the history of textiles and fibrecrafts, plantation and military involvement in cotton and acrylics materials, wool’s role in domestication and colonization, and string games as a way to reimagine responsibility and care (Haraway 2013).

WHAT WE’LL MAKE
A coaster

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
2 or more balls of coloured worsted weight yarn (wool, cotton, or acrylic), any 4 to 5mm crochet hook, scissors

Handout (PDF) SLIDES




TUNISIAN CROCHET BASICS
SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN
During this meeting, we’ll learn the basics of Tunisian crochet (a hybrid of crochet and knitting): how to make a foundation chain, cast on our stitches, make a return pass, Tunisian simple stitch a row, and finish and tie off. 
We’ll also talk about domestic crafts as a form of feminist activism (Pentney 2008), “fabriculture” as a way to understand power and politics (Bratich & Brush 2011), and how to start from messiness, imperfection, and complicity (rather than moral purity) when imagining an ethical life (Shotwell 2017).

WHAT WE’LL MAKE
A dishcloth

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
2 or more balls of coloured worsted weight yarn (wool, cotton, or acrylic), any 4 to 5mm tunisian crochet hook or a normal hook with no grip, a tapestry needle, scissors

HANDOUT (PDF) SLIDES


CROCHET WEARABLES
SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN
During this meeting, we’ll learn how to make and fit crochet wearables: how to read a written pattern, how to increase and decrease stitches, work in rows and rounds, and how to weave in loose ends. We’ll also talk about how crafting “forges new understandings of the political” while generating a “reparative relation to depression and alternatives to the medical model of depression” (Cvetkovich 2012, 202) and how rest can be a radical tool for community healing (Hersey 2016).

WHAT WE’LL MAKE
A pair of slippers

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
2 or more balls of coloured worsted weight yarn (wool, cotton, or acrylic), any 4 to 5mm crochet hook, a tapestry needle, scissors

HANDOUT (PDF) SLIDES




LACTO-FERMENTATION
SUNDAY, May 15, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, May 22, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN
During this meeting, we’ll learn the basics of lacto-fermentation, the fermentation process used for kimchi and sauerkraut. Thriving in salty brine, Lactobacillus bacteria convert fruit and vegetable sugars into lactic acid, which preserves flavour and nutrients. We’ll also talk about food production as a way to shift our relationship to the Earth and each other (Katz 2020) and about 
fermentation as a framework for thinking about feminism, accessibility, interspecies kinships, and harm reduction (Fournier 2020).

WHAT WE’LL MAKE
Lacto-fermented vegetables

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
A jar, root vegetables (like carrots, beets, or radishes), non-iodized salt, a napkin, paper towel, or piece of cloth to cover, and optional spices and seasonings (like garlic, peppercorns, fennel seed, or bay leaves).

HANDOUT (PDF) SLIDES


VINEGAR-MAKING
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN
During this meeting we’ll learn the basics of two-step vinegar fermentation: how to ferment fruit mash into alcohol, how to back-slop to encourage Acetobacter, how to age vinegar. We’ll also talk about fermentation as intimate relations with other species that co-constitute our food and bodies (Hey 2021), how human “metabolic engagements with the world” invite us to rethink what it means to be human (Mol 2021), and how changing understandings of microbes (like Covid-19) inform how we understand living and dying (Lowe 2017).

WHAT WE’LL MAKE
Apple scrap or other fruit vinegar

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
A jar, apples or dried fruit (like craisins or unsweetened dried mango)
, sugar or honey, optional spices and seasonings (like garlic, dried oregano, cardamom pods, or coriander seed).

HANDOUT (PDF) SLIDES




MODULAR ORIGAMI
SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN

WHAT WE’LL MAKE
Xander Perrott’s “Inca” kusadama

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
30 pieces of square origami paper or squares cut from recycled material like printer paper or a magazine. To make a pattern with multiple colours, you’ll need 6 pieces each of 5 colours.

HANDOUT (PDF) SLIDES


“SNAPOLOGY”
SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN

WHAT WE’LL MAKE

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

HANDOUT (PDF) SLIDES




NATURAL PERFUMING
SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN

WHAT WE’LL MAKE

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

HANDOUT (PDF) SLIDES


TABLET WEAVING
SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2022
12:00 to 3:00pm PST

OPTIONAL DROP-IN HELP SESSION
SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2022
12:00 to 1:00pm PST

WHAT WE’LL LEARN

WHAT WE’LL MAKE

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

HANDOUT (PDF) SLIDES