Next to the fact they made a pin, they wrote a personal story for the person who would buy their pin. In this way it became very personal. This written text varies from a description of the pin to a story about why they choose this drawing.
MADE IN ESSERHEEM
Exhibited at Dutch Design Week 2018
In the Dutch prison system the inmates are obligated to work, they have a job. But the job contains only out of manual work. They have no opportunity to express themselves through creativity.
‘Made in Esserheem’ changes this. It’s a chance for the inmates to show more of themselves and their character. Together with me they made an embroidery piece. What they embroidered was up to them.
With tattoos as inspiration they choose a tattoo or theme close to them, I helped them with the drawing and transformed this in a pin. I taught the inmates how to embroider. The inmates worked in color, if they didn’t finish, or made a few mistakes or skipped some parts, that’s okay, I finished this of with white, in this way you see a strong difference in who did what. It became a collaboration.
These pins are the key of connecting the inmates to Veenhuizen, they become of value to the village. The inmates should have a role inside the community, they are inhabitants after all. The embroidery pieces are souvenirs for the tourists visiting Veenhuizen. In this way, the inmates are a part of the village, a village that is all about it’s history and the prison.