A piece of pocket magic: Madeleine Leonne’s Maker Maker event

Sewing is a craft that used to be passed down from mother to daughter across generations and time. Although the craft has become less ubiquitous now, there are still opportunities to learn, including through events like those held at the Owens Art Gallery. The Maker Maker program is a series of events held by the Owens Art Gallery at Mt. A. During these events, artists are invited to run a workshop where they show attendees how to make a small project that can be completed in a few hours. There is no attendance fee or need for registration and all materials are provided. During each Maker Maker workshop, a Spotify playlist curated by the artist is played. The playlist for the March 8 workshop can be found on the Owens Art Gallery Spotify page: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6ExUQSNw29rBRDvWrLdA6y?si=2e8328ecf98e4352.

Madeleine Leonne, a professional artist and a Mount Allison Alumni, was invited to host a workshop based on their zine about pocket magic. A copy of that zine was given to each participant. During the workshop, participants followed the instructions of the zine to hand-sew a small pouch to use in practicing something called pocket magic, a form of folk magic.


When I asked them about folk magic, Leonne said that “folk magic, I guess, is the idea of an everyday magical practice that I take part in.” Fae also said that “pocket magic is this really kind of intimate, personal thing. [It] kind of stemmed from this idea of carrying small  […] objects around in your pocket […] that are comforting…and meaningful to you. It can be […] a letter from a partner or […] a rock from your favourite place or, you know, something like a gift from a friend, […] so when you’re doing something really difficult, you can just kind of reach into your pocket and feel this sort of comfort, and this intimacy, and magic.”

Leonne was happy to participate in the Maker Maker program because “Maker Maker has been running for a really long time and it’s such a wonderful program that [they] remember coming to when [they were an] undergrad.”

The event itself was an enjoyable evening. The fabric we made the bags out of was donated by community members and other materials like ribbon, buttons, beads, and felt were provided as well.

One participant, Jordan Pearsall, a first-year art history major at Mt. A, came to the event because of a recommendation from a friend. She was drawn to the event because she “just did a unit in […] sculpture class for sewing and [she] really loved it.”

She found that the project was “super easy” to complete and was delighted by the idea of creating a small pouch for things important to you. She said, “I think I really like objects, I’ve always been a scavenger. I always feel like I love finding garbage and collecting things like that and I feel like now I’ll have a place to put them because before I just would put them in my bag… But now I have a little bag for all my garbage that I decide is meaningful.”

Check the Owens Art Gallery website for news on future Maker Maker workshops!

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