We were weaving and stitching at today’s workshop. Weaving with willow, raffia, canvas fabric and fresh dogwood…
The leaves have been left on as an experiment
And stitching with Hapa Zome prints and willow
A very gentle and companionable session.
We’ve been working with a group of young women in Great Yarmouth as part of an arts/heritage project called Maritime Effect. This involves the group learning about local history through engaging in practical crafts that have a heritage link. Yesterday we introduced willow working to the group.
At the beginning of the session the young women were unsure about this activity, but once they began working they thoroughly enjoyed the session. Bringing their own creative ideas they experimented with adding paint to their tension trays.
And one participant decided to move on from her first tray to make something slightly more complex.
At the end of the session, one of the young women said ‘I really didn’t think I was going to enjoy this – but I did!’. The whole group are now excited about learning some more basketry techniques next week.
The tension tray is a great starting point for working with willow. It helps people get a feel for the material; what it is capable of, and its limits too. It can also be adapted to create different shapes and designs.
Sometimes people become so engaged in the creative process that they make something completely different – this shield for example.
Such powerful self-expression.