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Miscellaneous September 20, 2018

Weave & Mend Artist Feature: Ashley

By Jonsaba Jabbi

Ashley King is a baker, business owner, student, and one of the lead artists of Weave and Mend. She shares her experience in the project and why Weave and Mend is the safest space she’s been in.

Ashley

I’ve always been told that I am both a left-brain and a right-brained thinker so art is a balance for me.

I studied baking at Centennial College and from there got a YMCA Employee Grant to start my own baking business, Pig Out Pastries. I love baking all things but especially baking cakes. I love decorating them and playing around with different flavours. I’m all about trying out unconventional flavours when it comes to my baking.

Some of Ashley’s baking creations (above and below)

When I studied pastry arts in college, I was yearning for more of a challenge to my emotional intellect so I applied to the Psychology program at the University of Guelph-Humber where I currently attend.

When I got the Weave and Mend call-out in my email a few months back, I was already aware of SKETCH through my partner who is pretty active in the community. But once I was accepted into the project, it became the perfect creative outlet for me.

Weave and Mend is possibly the safest space I’ve ever been in. It got me out of my shell, allowed me to meet other people and I’ve gotten to learn more about myself. It’s a space where you can be open where you feel accepted. It’s given us the ability to talk about taboo topics without fear of being judged or teased. It’s an open place with a lot of love.

Every meeting you go to, you will learn something, whether it’s about you, someone else or the world around you. My Indigenous heritage stems from Jamaica, with the Taino descendants. I never knew of my Indigenous blood until I visited the land and learned about my Taino heritage through my great-uncle.

Because of Weave and Mend, I am able to embrace the culture more. My paternal half brother and sister’s aunt and uncle are part-Mohawk but only my uncle embraced his heritage and taught me about beading and jewelry-making before he passed on.

During the project, I learned about woodworking which is one of the major aspects in creating the Weave and Mend Installation. I would love to learn more about it. I have a knack for it and it feels therapeutic for me.

Art is mood therapy for me. Without art, I am lost and depressed. I feel like I’m missing something. It provides me with so much wellbeing.
I look forward to continue making connections with everyone in Weave and Mend and to see the installation come to life on October 21.

You’ll have the chance to experience Ashley’s pastries at the Weave and Mend Public Launch on Sunday, October 21 from 11AM-2PM. We hope to see you there.