Monday, 15 December 2014


"Weaving connects women across the world" is the title of an extended reportage about SISTERS OF CRAFT in the latest issue of TAITO, a well known Finnish handcraft magazine

Six full pages and many photos! We feel very proud and delighted that our story keeps spreading. A big thank you to Camilla Granbacka for a well written text that focuses on the deeper values of handcraft. Below the full story in Finnish and a two page summary in Swedish :)

Monday, 1 December 2014

SISTERWORKS - work empowers women

Craft continues to bring people together, and we are very happy to have met an inspiring group of craft sisters here in Melbourne. SISTERWORKS is a non profit organisation helping asylum seekers, refugee and migrant woman in Melbourne to settle in the Australian society. By supporting the women's creative skills and training in language, design, business and marketing skills, the women gain knowledge and self confidence to work towards their own financial independence. As we feel like this is a project we want to support, Dieter is making a photo-documentary about their work. 

"SisterWorks builds on the traditional skill of these women, to enable them to make and sell handicrafts in Melbourne markets and ‘pop up’ shops. We encourage them to tap into their underlying business and entrepreneurial ability to change their own lives. This simple principle has allowed women to improve their income, develop their English and interact with the broader community. This has connected them to their own culture while forging bonds with their new culture, Australia. Their families see them with new respect, and they now have the confidence and motivation to leave their homes, take on new challenges and face the future with hope."

In only a couple of years SISTERWORKS have come to include 45 lovely craft sisters from different countries and a number of passionate volunteers. Their skills and dedication are truly inspiring. However their work is in serious need of funding to keep developing. Therefore support their campaign at START SOME GOOD and you help to make a difference. 

Read more about SISTERWORKS on their webpage:

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Time flies, and it sure has been a while since our last update... In the beginning of September we left Europe for Melbourne, where we've now settled for the year to come. Dieter is finishing his photography studies at CATC Design School while I continue working in my field. Melbourne is a vivid and exciting city with lots on offer when it comes to culture. We're excited to be part of it all and to see where it will take us next.

We received great feedback on the exhibition and the book, which inspires us to keep up the project next to our studies and work. Here's an update from Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre in Northern Australia, who participated in the project...

The plan is to arrange a second exhibition in Melbourne sometime next year, but more about that later. We are also planning to print a second edition of the book, but as there is still some books left, just email us if you're interested and we'll send you a copy.

Sunny spring greetings from Melbourne!
/Minna & Dieter

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


It sure feels like time is running fast right now. It's already a week since the exhibition opening and in two weeks we're heading back to Melbourne after a wonderful summer in Europe.

We hereby would like to thank all who where able to participate on the opening-night and everyone who have visited the exhibition so far. It was great sharing our experiences of the last year and getting such a positive response on the book. A sincere thank you to After Eight for hosting the exhibition as well as to Svenska Kulturfonden, Svensk Österbottniska Samfundet and Konstsamfundet for believing in the project and giving us the financial support to make it all become reality. 

The exhibition at After Eight is still going until 20th of August, where it's also possible to purchase the book. For you who can't make it to the exhibition but still wants a copy of the book, feel free to contact us and we'll send you one.

Sunday, 3 August 2014


We are very proud to present the arrival of our book: SISTERS OF CRAFT - A photographic essay about women's craft and culture. The book is dedicated to the inspiring craft sisters we have met on our journey. Their beautiful work and words of wisdom is a cultural tribute to women craftsmanship. This is our way of spreading their stories.

The book will be released at tomorrow's exhibition opening for a special opening offer of 35 € (normal price 40 €). Cash payments only. By purchasing a copy of the book you contribute to women's craftsmanship and help for the project to be continued. 

Hope to see you all tomorrow from 7 pm at After Eight, in Jakobstad.
A warm welcome! 

Minna & Dieter

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

SISTERS OF CRAFT - A photographic essay about women's craft and culture

June and July so far have been very busy but great two months, exchanging Australian winter with European summer. While visiting family and friends in Belgium and Finland, we have been working hard behind the scenes preparing for the exhibition and the book. With many hours of work and few hours of sleep we managed to complete our entire story in one book, which will be released on the day of the exhibition. 

The exhibition itself, which will open this coming Monday is all shaping up as well and we are very much looking forward to share our story about woman's craft and culture through many photographs taken on this journey as well as the baskets,  jewelry and textiles we purchased from the crafts woman we have met and worked with. The exhibition will be held in Minna's hometown Jakobstad in western Finland until the 20th of August. We hope this will be the first of several exhibitions to come. 

We welcome you all to the opening event at After Eight in Jakobstad on Monday 4th of August at 7 pm. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

SISTERS OF NGARRINDJERI - weaving lives together

After 3400 km across the Australian continent we reach Ngarrindjeri Land, a coastal community near Adelaide. Here the Ngarrindjeri people have lived along the lakes and riversides for thousands of years. The aboriginal basket weaving first started in this area and at Camp Coorong cultural traditions and ancient weaving skills are carried on. 

Auntie Ellen is a passionate Ngarrindjeri weaver running the cultural museum with the help of her family. She learned how to weave 33 years ago and never stopped since. Weaving goes like a thread through the women in her family and she is now passing on the knowledge through weaving workshops.  

The grass used for weaving is called rushes and grow near the seaside. 
Earlier rushes could be found every where in the area, but due to cultivation of the land and severe draughts some years ago, the rushes are harder to find these days. The rushes are dried for 2-3 weeks and soaked in warm water before weaving to become flexible. The rushes remind me of the grass (säv) used for weaving in my homearea in Finland and the baskets are suprisingly similar in expression. 

“Stitch by stitch, circle by circle. Weaving is like the creation of life, all things are connected" Auntie Ellen explains as she shows me how to weave. She's a patient teacher who sees teaching as her calling and as a way to keep the Ngarrindjeri culture alive. "Once people try weaving themselves, they truly appreciate the craft."

I couldn't agree more... 

I find it peculiar that I had to come all the way to the other side of the world to learn a weaving technique so similar to the one done in my home area. Maybe it's sometimes necessary to go via another culture, in order to fully appreciate your own. 

“When you are weaving you start small. Like your own family, as you weave out it’s like you are adding your grand children and then your relatives. The weaving binds them all together close to your heart. 

Auntie Eileen McHughes / Ngarrindjeri Weaver