Meet the Makers: Shashu Amen-Ra

In July, 2019, the Brightmoor Maker Space welcomed Shashu Amen-Ra as artist in residence. This was a great homecoming, as Shashu is one of the original founders of Detroit Community Schools. Working with a subset of the screen printers, Shashu led the students through a process of the design and construction of denim aprons.

On the importance of sewing:

For me, sewing represents a history of connections. The fibers and threads join to creatively tell stories of cultures and global traditions. I find that the art of sewing provides a sanctuary of peace, reflection and creativity. “

On the role of the apron as project focus:

 I felt that the apron would connect with all students in the Maker Space, regardless of their discipline. The idea was to choose a practical, protective garment that could be useful and self-expressed. 

What were some memorable moments for you working at the Brightmoor Makerspace?

In working with the group, some of my most inspiring moments were witnessing, as each student took ownership of their creation. Students were able to begin with the basics of making the apron and creatively transform it into a distinct piece of ‘their own’. I was also pleased that students were able to work collaboratively, to support and to encourage their peers. 

This project was such a huge success from points of connection through the process to the finished aprons. We would be honored if you would continue to work with us. What would you like to work on next?

When I come back, I would love to inspire a group of students who will be dedicated to making aprons for the Maker Space. I also envision various types of aprons being constructed and personalized for community businesses and organizations.

Shashu Amen-Ra’s work at the Brightmoor Maker Space was supported by the Michele Schara Artist and Designer in Residence program.