The Whole World
IN HER HANDS
project coming soon
What is 'In Her Hands'?
In Her Hands will be a not-profit project that aims to dismantle the inaccessible nature of building to allow a productive and empowering space for women (non-binary and trans inclusive!) to learn and explore the fundamentals of construction.
We aspire to do this by building a physical workshop space in West Sussex for direct teaching and community building, and to also form an inspirational online platform with story sharing and creative representation of women with tools.
What is the goal and intended outcomes of the project?
Ideally, we'll create a space that means whether it's being able to mend your own cabinet doors, put up shelves, build a shed or make your own home, the limits will be your determination, not your gender.
It will aim to reform the outdated and immobilising narrative that women are physically not as capable as men to build, and are mentally not as capable to engineer their own build plans.
What is the plan for the workshop?
We are currently renovating an old stable barn just outside of Steyning, West Sussex (14 miles from Brighton). We will offer weekly pay-as-you-feel workshop days so that inclusivity and accessibility remain a priority and everyone feels welcome. Taught and facilitated by women, we aspire to create a fun, un-pressured environment where we approach core fundamental building skills with access to tools, bench space and supportive guidance. There will be an outdoor fire pit with a communal hangout space, with our humble garden kitchen to made from local sustainable oak, to make plentiful tea and lunch salads (with our home grown organic salad patch on site). Together we will learn, laugh, share and destroy false stereotypes around building + gender, and gain some empowering skills for our independence and social mobility. We will also offer on-going support and outreach to specific community groups and individuals on a planned basis, so please reach out if you feel this is appropriate to you or a group you work with.
We aim to use as much salvaged and waste wood as possible!
How will the online platform address the topic?
Through educational and inspirational content online, in the form of short films, photo-stories, podcasts and blog posts. Much of these will look at sharing stories of women in construction and craft, show-casing inspiring build projects and simply normalising the imagery of women with tools! There will also be informative content on the basics and fundamentals of building, with the intent of forming a forum/community advice element.
My name is Georjie (she/her), and I have been in the process (that is still on-going) of building my own 'tiny home' for 3 years. I started off with almost zero experience in building, I could barely use a drill and had no practical understanding of engineering or architecture. On starting the project - and throughout the majority of the building process - I had no access to internet at my workshop space or home. Therefore, no youtube! Working in an old barn on an isolated hill, I also had no teacher or consistent physical help. I relied entirely on intuition - something we all have - which I was excited to learn is enough of a groundwork to use basic tools and materials. Then, accompanied with determination and a dose of perseverance, I trialled-and-errored my way into gaining a deeper understanding of woodwork and construction principals.
It was nothing short of an enlightenment to learn that building, at least in fundamentals and everyday basics, was really simple! How had I been lead to believe (through direct/indirect comments and more problematically, deeply challenging ideology) that this hugely approachable and crucial life-skill was so far from reach? That it was not just physically out of my potential, but that I couldn't really trust my hands to do as 'good' of a job as a man. My mind started unpicking years worth of comments, social examples, media/imagery and prominently my educational experiences. All of it had enforced a narrative that it is not a woman's place, it's just not the way of things.
Developing my building skills has been the most empowering and important experience of my entire life. Nothing has brought me the same sense of confidence, excitement and independence as such a simple set of skills. I am no master, but I'm determined that this is something all women should get the fair and equal chance to explore and learn should they want to, for both their own ability to live independently without reliance on others for basic tasks, and for creative/artistic pursuits that require basic understandings of tools.