The Yarn School is a community based textile studio in Goldenbridge Dublin 8, founded by me, Marja Almqvist in 2012. The school is inspired by the principle is that personal and community empowerment is facilitated through creative learning.
The mission of The Yarn School is to educate, entertain and inspire through the medium of textiles.
The name can be understood in several ways that reflect the many strands of my work:
At The Yarn School good conversation and sharing a ‘good yarn’ is at the heart of personal and community well-being. Through the medium of textiles participants creatively explore personal and collective history and meaning. Committed to equality, social justice and sustainable development I use the medium of textiles to explore what these principles mean in practice.
Like the old Irish Hedge Schools, The Yarn School can turn up wherever we are invited.
I was born in Sweden, a country which is renowned for its rich textile heritage as well as its commitment equality and social justice.
I emigrated to Ireland with her family in the 70’s and graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 1980 with a degree in Woven Textiles.
After college I spent four years in Canada, where I first apprenticed to a weaver on a sheep farm and then set up my own woven and knitted clothing business in Toronto.
Returning to Ireland in 1984 I began working in the field of Adult Education. I taught Textiles in Senior College Stillorgan, while completing my studies in Adult and Community Education in NUI
Maynooth. In Maynooth I first encountered Community Arts. After graduating with an MA in Local Development in 1992 II worked for four years in City Arts Centre, Dublin as Education Director.
After leaving City Arts I switched my focus to community development, and worked in various capacities, such as Community Development Co-ordinator and CDP support worker within the Local Development and Social Inclusion Program.
In 2008 I decided to return to college to pursue my lifelong interest in women’s studies. I graduated from NUI Galway in 2013 with an MLitt in Global Women’s Studies.
During this period I also re-kindled my passion for community based arts practice and established The Yarn School as a means to find alternative ways to creatively explore personal and community development and empowerment.