For the past few weeks we’ve been working with people at Norfolk and Waveney Headway We are starting from scratch learning weaving techniques, using cane. Group members started with baskets on a base which Sarah had already fixed the uprights into.
Week 2 and Michael joins the group. The others start their baskets from scratch weaving their uprights into the bases.
Withy Arts’ new project, Catching the Memories and Passing on the Skills, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, has just started. One of the aims of this year long project is to teach participants the skills of basket making which were so important to Great Yarmouth’s past. The fishing industry used baskets in great quantities until plastic took over and for this reason, Great Yarmouth was a place of skilled craftsmanship.
For the first few weeks participants have been learning the basics of weaving in both willow and cane and in the process, made some beautiful objects, pictured below.
We used the prints and rubbings we made last time and other fabrics to create ‘plates’ for sewing onto in future sessions. We ripped the fabrics and arranged them how we liked them and stuck them down.
While they were drying we had a go at Free Stitching, Free Stitching means you can put your stitches anywhere you like, so you can make patterns if you want to, but you can also do something less fixed, even chaotic.
Katie stitching. She decided afterwards that these shapes looked like fish.
The public involvement day was a roaring success. The weather was good so there were lots of people in the park enjoying the sunshine. Many people came to see the demonstrations and find out more about what the volunteers have been up to and learn about willow.
Several of our younger visitors helped with the scribble weave sculptures.
or made willow stars
The toilet block hurdle and the garden enclosure were both finished.
The new hurdle for the bin enclosure was started and volunteers demonstrated willow fish making and how to make the covers
We even had a canine visitor who was more interested in the water in the bucket than the willow itself to be honest.
Proud volunteers and Withy Arts workers at the end of a delightful project.
We spent yesterday evening preparing for Saturday’s public involvement day. The volunteers will be demonstrating their skills, talking to people about the project and the new woven things at the park and giving people the opportunity to do some weaving themselves.
We spent some time looking at what we like and dislike personally when we are being engaged as participants at events.