A Clariscia Gill Story …

A client was telling me about a nursery school she was running and how there were not enough resources to provide materials for the kids to fuel their creativity and match their limitless inventive imaginations. She was looking for items that could be given to her nursery school kids that they could use to create things.

This prompted the thought that I had loads of materials and fabric, some were ‘Off Cuts’ and some were larger pieces of cloth, that I could donate to the school for the kids, to see what they could create with them.

Sustainability is an important aspect of what I do. I hate unnecessary waste and so where possible, I seek to recycle fabrics and trimmings. I often use recycled antique buttons, so this request was close to my heart.

My client said it was a great idea and she was grateful for the support.

There and then, I prepared a bag of fabric ‘Off Cuts’ and pieces of cloth for her. My client felt that these larger fabric pieces I had included were far too valuable, but my gut told me that I would like to donate these pieces of material to her new venture. Even though I could find other uses for these items, nothing else appealed to me more at that time than donating them to the kids.

To my surprise and delight, my client made a return visit to me a few months later and showed me photographs of what the kids had done with the donated pieces of materials. I was amazed to see the creativity and beauty of what they had produced. It was just wonderful to see what the power of a child’s unrestrained imagination could release.

But it did not stop there, whilst I was happy to see what they had done, she had much more to tell me.

My client then described a little boy in her school who was not very talkative, he was shy and did not really play with the other children much either, he was slightly withdrawn. However, she said when he saw a certain piece of ‘Gold Lamé’, a shiny lustrous fabric, he was immediately drawn to it, walked over, picked it up and placed it across his shoulders tucking two of the ends into his collar. With this action his mood instantly changed, he started to walk in an ‘upright, determined way’, declaring “I am the king, I am the king!”. He had completely come out of his shell.

My client added, that ever since that day, the little boy never retreated back into his shell, he remained talkative and engaged more with the other children.

This knowledge of how a mere piece of fabric had touched the little boy, also touched my heart and spirit, giving me back more than I could have imagined, it was like the fabric was a conduit for him being refuelled and re-energised. I can tell you, I am also often similarly stirred too, when finding an exciting new fabric to work with!

It dawned on me, that beyond the power of textiles to influence adults creativity through fashion and fabrics, is also how textiles and fabrics can inspire the human child in all of us, just like what was instinctively displayed by this little boy.

It reminds me that the inspiration for creativity which allows us to express ourselves and that also can ‘bring us out of our shells’, comes in so many forms. Creativity through textiles and fabrics is one of those inspirational forms that I happen to love and work in.

How we wear textiles, fabrics and fashion, plus how it inspires us, is a wonderful expression of creative art within us. Allowing our childlike imagination to be freely on display, with all its expression, is something vital for our spirits, mental health, physicality, psychology and general well being. Textiles, fabrics and design is one of the doorways and pathways to expressing, developing and identifying ourselves, mental health, physicality, psychology and general well being. Textiles, fabrics and design is one of the doorways and pathways to expressing, developing and identifying ourselves.

One of the many aspects of the Clariscia Gill Atelier Academy charity, is to help kids have the means to express their creativity without constraints. Through a shared love of fashion, we can make a difference in the lives of many kids.

More to come on this exciting project from the Clariscia Gill Atelier Academy.