reap what you sew

this is one of the best urban interactive art projects i've heard of in a long time ~
michael swaine sets up his portable sewing machine in san francisco's tenderloin 'hood on the 15th of every month to be a street tailor for the afternoon. he makes repairs to whatever garments people bring him. . . . for free.
this began as part of "the generosity project: strategies for exchange in contemporary art," held in 2001 at the california college of arts. originally titled "reap what you sew," the performance consisted of swaine pushing his cart around the city on a predetermined route for an entire week. afterwards, he turned it into an ongoing project. swaine considers the project a collaboration between himself and those whose clothes he patches, mends, hems and darns ~ an opportunity to create social interaction where there would otherwise be none.
a little piece of hope & generosity amidst a lot of urban turmoil ~ and boy that feels good!

{found out about this, & borrowed photos from, here and here and here}


paris parfait said...

Oh this is fantastic! Good for him! And thank you for photographing him and sharing the good news! Stories like this warm the heart, particularly when surrounded by so much angst. xoxox

Red Shoes said...

How gorgeous!

A few weeks ago, TB and I were walking together and we both stopped short at a sewing machine shop's window display of antique machines. They're so elegant...I don't know how to use the antique Singer that lives with me, but I'm committed to learning. Someday.

tangobaby said...

What an awesome story! Thanks for finding that to share.

I am totally smiling about Red Shoes and the sewing machine comment. I thought of the photos immediately when I read about this guy. I have some photos somewhere that turned out pretty cool if I can find them...

Uncle Beefy said...

Well, you just keep feeding me the inspiration don't you? What a heart-warming story! Joyous!

Relyn said...

Oh, how cool is this!! The more I hear from you and TB, the more I am convinced that you live in the coolest city in America. Love it! Loved the picture, too.

studio wellspring said...

dear tara, i didn't take the pictures, i just borrowed them from people who did. sorry if there was some confusion there on that. just i'm glad you enjoyed them all the same.

hello darling red shoes! when i was little my mom had a singer from early 1900's and i got to use it every once in a while. so i'd be more than happy to help you get the hang of it whenever you're ready.

oh yes tb ~ please do share those photos. vintage sewing machines are so awesome and i'd love to see how your beautiful eye captured them.

hello mr.fabulous.beefy ~ i think we have a very mutual inspiration sharing going on here because you certainly do the same for me, continually.

well, relyn, san francisco is certainly one of the best. it's no secret. but, know what would make it even better? to have you visit! i know you have summer break soon, and probably have it all planned out by now, but if you can swing an adventure to the west coast it would thrill me to no end!