Sophie Interview

August 10, 2023
"Behind the scenes, the Mahico crew feel a bit like a family. Their kindness and care offers safety and ignites a feeling of fun creativity and co-creation."
Sofie discusses her journey in carpentry, blending it with wellness through Shedding Community Workshop's values of embracing mistakes and mindful learning. She highlights the significance of music events in building community and shares her connection with Mahico as a vibrant and family-like atmosphere.

Can you tell us a little about your journey working with tools? What inspired you to take the path that are you so diligently committed to?

Well this journey has taken many twists and turns and my current path is a culmination of passions - nestled amidst values of inclusivity and wellbeing.

Firstly, I love design - creating and observing how people feel in space (hence the architecture degree). I love dance and movement - for me, working with tools has become a dance. A meeting of logic and creativity, body and mind, thinking and feeling, masculine and feminine and all that is between.

I love making - using my hands, my body - feeling strong and capable, but also precise and focused. For a while I underestimated my own capacity on tools - there is much to learn. But after ten years on building sites I found my confidence and discovered I was learning a lot about people too. 

I love humans. I feel such joy to see us discover our own incredible capacity, and work collectively towards something bigger than ourselves. I think it is probably my own struggles, mistakes and challenges that inspired me to teach. I am inspired to share this and to my delight others are too.

Shedding Community Workshop has such a beautiful approach with a strong focus on people and well being. Can you tell us how you weave carpentry and wellness together?

I love the idea of weaving wellness and mindfulness into everything we do - carpentry included. For me, there’s something about carpentry that invites slowness - to focus, to feel, to listen and use our senses. Learning new things can be very vulnerable for us as adults - we often like to get things ‘right’. I love to remember our childlike curiosity to learn, remembering that though we are learning new skills - we have been in our own body since day one, learning how to move.

At Shedding, we agree to a few values that help us along the way…

“Celebrate your mistakes”. Mistakes have possibly been my greatest teacher, especially when I let go of my shame and welcome their lessons. (Sometimes they are an amazing design change in disguise!)

“Own your tool”. Don’t give away your power and don’t let someone take it from you. We each have different ways of learning and we want to find yours (and stay connected through the process). This means communication is key - using motions, sounds, words and metaphors to describe things, and continuously observing how each person responds.

Lastly we like to explore the idea that what you feel is what you create. The invitation is to acknowledge our feelings, take ownership and responsibility to voice our needs and honour our own capacity.

“Shed your fears and build with curiosity..”

We are super feliz (happy) to have you and your crew a part of the building crew at Mahico. How did the Mahical connection come about and what is special about Mahico for you?

I love places where we celebrate our togetherness, amidst our diversity - this is Mahico for me… My senses love it! It feels vivid in many ways - the flavours, colours and sounds, the smiles and conversations, painting and photography and kids exploring a world of play… A cruisy day of sunshine, grass and shady trees, and an evening of playful cathartic dancing delight!

Behind the scenes, the Mahico crew feel a bit like a family. Their kindness and care offers safety and ignites a feeling of fun creativity and co-creation.

And of course it was the powerhouse Gem Nettle that made the connection. We have both worked at a few fabulous events together and recognised the same drive and passion and enthusiasm in each other. It was coming a mile off!

You are definitely a community Woman about town and we have a fair share of events & festivals here in the Northern Rivers. Tell us about the importance of music events in the building of community?

I think it is important to have places where we can dance and move to music. Music is like magic for the soul - inviting our bodies to release emotions through movement, feeling instead of thinking. We all need this I expect.

And to do this together as a community, what a special thing to share. We’ve been through a heck of a ride here in little Mullumbimby, and it’s so supportive to have places where we can feel safe to just let go.

Lastly, what is currently on offer at the Shedding Community Workshop and are there any future projects that we should know about?

From beginners to teachers, we offer a range of hands-on training at Shedding… learning skills with power-tools, design and space-making, recycling and sustainability (and so much more)!

We are about to launch our facilitator training to inspire more teachers to run workshops and support communities far and wide.

We host a weekly Repair Cafe, saving stuff from landfill and having a hoot while we’re at it! We host a fortnightly pot luck dinner and we are dreaming up our next Shedfest - bringing caring creators together and celebrating with our own little fiesta!

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