mending by making
I'm not sure it's ever about the quilts or the clothing, the finished object. It's about the soul exhaling, about finding a place to put myself, about being an artist all along, about the softness of fabric against the softness of skin. Ultimately, it might be all about being soft.
I'm Amy Bornman, and I’m an artist, maker, designer, writer, and teacher. I began sewing with gusto (!) in 2016. Before that I was a theater artist and writer and before that I was a child. All my work feels like it can be called mending. My work is to mend. Cutting fabric and sewing it back up again. Opening myself and putting myself back together. Making clothes to wear out in the sharp world. Letting ideas blossom and then be seen. Communities trying to find the torn places and tend them a while. When I found sewing, I knew it could be a home for me so I stayed. Here I am, making quilts, making clothes, so often unsure of the “right” way, trying to tear and mend in equal measure, trying to say what I mean with humility and honesty, trying to tell you how you could do it too if you wanted. To dare to spend time making anything in this world at this point sort of feels like a crazy act of courage. But we can make quilts. We can make songs and stories and gardens and clothes and drawings and quilts and we can show them to each other and spend our time on them and fight for the space to make them in. Making things is an act of hope, which is why I intend to spend my life doing it. I'd rather spend my life on hope than on anything else. Hope in the form of quilts, torn pieces of fabric put back together again, something new where once there was nothing. A pile of tattered cloth made gorgeous. Warmth where before there was just, perhaps, air. Word made flesh.
I'm a self-taught sewist. I go by guessing and also seek out resources for learning all over the place. I'd be thrilled to teach you out of my self-taught methodologies, my cobbled-together knowledge base, my hours of figuring it out with my fingers. We can figure it out together, we can do it the way that makes sense to us, we can join the tradition of folks making blankets and all sorts of other things by making it up as they go along. I've found that to be the most exciting way forward.
I am always open to collaborations of all shapes and sizes. I love to teach, I love to learn. If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, check out my “Classes + Events” tab to see if we can hang out and make things in person. Please reach out with any idea, any question, any greeting. It is my goal to share as much of myself as I can in this space, since that is the project of making art, it seems to me. Thank you, always, for seeing me.