Sadie Greenhalgh, 43 years old, New-Zealander moved to Amsterdam 14 years ago, a dutch husband, three children, Ember, Bowie, Daisy and a passion : weaving.
Last September after her last pregnancy, Sadie thinks about her life, her desires and asks herself the right questions. What does she really like, what can she do professionally while having three children to raise? Office life, with its constraints and routine? Oh no, over and impossible for her to go back. So what?
Sadie has a longstanding passion, Sadie is interested in carrying children, she carried hers, front, back, side, and she is convinced that this was the best way for them, especially in Amsterdam where sidewalks are narrow or missing. Exit the stroller. To the question, an obvious answer has emerged: weave. Learn to weave, to weave baby slings.
It is decided, she gives herself 6 months, invests in a loom, thread, technical books, learns by herself the techniques or geeks on facebook weaver communities. Encouraged by her husband, she settled in a small room of her apartment, and with the little time she has left, she weaves the evening or at night. Sitting on a stool covered with a white sheepskin as a cushion, she begins to weave as she would play the piano, composing the music she has in her mind. A woman, mom, wonderwoman who will not remain in the mold of the housewife. She understands that having children implies her presence but she also understands that she has to be accomplished beyond the family boundaries. Difficult to deal with that but she manages and proves that when we want, we can. The result is impressive, patience she puts in it, the heart, creativity, just amazing. Using Excel files, she creates the patterns, the colors and composes over 800 lines. She needs two or three weeks just to install threads on the loom, the hardest part of the job, then, as she says, there is only one thing, weave. Modest, She doesn’t talk about her work as a job, certainly unusual, with special timetables, at home, but I can tell you that Sadie works. She is one of those new mothers who decide to stop their traditional work (often not fulfilling and lacking sense) to care for their children and have something else in mind that milk / baby diapers / milk / baby diapers. Proof that you can raise, educate your children remaining a woman, an artist, a mother, and becoming a manager.
Small streams make great rivers, isn’t it ?
A loom for her daughter Daisy, 6 years old, a successful transmission.
Mokum, is the former name of Amsterdam, in Yiddish, it means « safe haven » (the dialect of the city borrows quite Yiddish words but that’s another story). The 3 crosses are the symbol of Amsterdam (see my article) but also the number 3 as her 3 children, also the symbol of kisses in English geek writing, and also in their own design, the 3 crosses recall the pattern of the act of weaving. Lots of meaning, deep composition.
These slings have the luxury of being handmade, truly at home, in Amsterdam and cost around 90 euros per meter (Costs depend on which fibre she uses (cotton, silk, linen, wool ) and are awaiting European security legislation and American label. Once everything will be settled, I will tell you. Meanwhile, Sadie has a facebook, and for fans, less stressed by mandatory standards, you can buy it directly to her via her facebook.
Thanks Sadie for your warm welcome and for sharing with me a piece of your work in your charming place.
all the photos are ©copyright henriette simon, thanks for asking before using 😉