EDITOR'S NOTE: Bags may be dropped off at the Artisan Depot during regular hours: Thursday, Friday, Sunday Noon to 5:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Meetings for this project will take place at the Artisan Depot on Wednesdays beginning in May at 10:00 am.
Something most of us probably never think about is how uncomfortable it can be for people forced to sleep outdoors. Bedding materials get wet, and people get wet and cold. In the summer, pavement gets really hot. These conditions can be dangerous for people who already struggle and may have health problems, too.
A dedicated group of ladies at the Franklin County Arts Guild have been crocheting mats that can be used by anyone who sleeps outdoors. The mats are made from “plarn,” plastic yarn made from plastic grocery bags. The mats are easy to make, are lightweight and waterproof, and provide cushioning as well.
To expand their efforts, the Franklin County Arts Guild group is starting an ongoing workshop to create more mats. The community at large is invited to participate, and there is no charge for the workshop.
Gathering Materials – During the month of April, the Artisan Depot (the gallery of the Franklin County Arts Guild) is gathering plastic grocery bags of the type given at Kroger, Walmart and Dollar General. The bags should be clean and dry, right-side out, sorted by color, folded neatly (to be as flat as possible), and placed in the yellow recycle container located under the Intake Table in the Art Supply Corner at the Artisan Depot. All who plan to participate should bring approximately 100 bags to be used for their sleep mat and, if you crochet, a size Q (15.75 mm) crochet hook, scissors or a cutting board, a straight edge and rotary cutter for construction of their sleep mat.
MAY and forward…
Beginning Wednesday, May 1, there will be a series of “mini-workshops” at the Artisan Depot to begin constructing the sleep mats. It is highly recommended that anyone who would like to participate in the project attend the first sessions in May. These sessions will run concurrent with the Guild’s “Art Wednesday” group, also open to anyone. Everyone will learn to do the following steps:
In addition to being very useful to homeless citizens, making the mats takes plastic grocery bags out of the waste stream. The odd pieces (like handles) left over from the plarn-making process will be taken back to Wal Mart for recycling.
If you’d like to participate in this project, please contact Joyce Adams at 931-962-0280, a volunteer at the Franklin County Arts Guild and The Artisan Depot Gallery & Gift Shop. There is plenty to do for everyone. Even if you don't crochet, you can collect bags, make "plarn," etc.
The Artisan Depot is located at 204 Cumberland Street East in Cowan, Tennessee. For questions about the Franklin County Arts Guild, the gallery, or this project, please click here to email us.
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