Here are some beautiful embroidered flowers created by one of the participants in Tuesday’s workshop
Love this three-dimensional stitching!
We were asked by Great Yarmouth Arts Festival to make an archway spanning the path leading up to The Minster in Great Yarmouth. The arch design was to be inspired by two crossing mammoth tusks.
After some planning and preparation we arrived on site very early on Thursday morning (June 4th 2015) and began to lay out the tusk outlines using willow. Much of the willow we used was grown at Potter Heigham and donated to us by the Broads Authority.
The frameworks started to take shape
Once the frameworks were in place we covered them in curved woven willow
People came along and helped out, some for just a while, others for many hours
Once covered with woven willow we moved the tusks onto the path
and fixed them together
We strengthened the structure using giant bamboo
And lifted the arch into place
Everyone involved feels very pleased with the final archway
It took us nearly 12 hours, and was hugely enjoyed by all involved.
The archway took centre stage in the Festival’s opening ceremony, where the Mayor cut a ribbon willow to mark the start of the festival.
We did a bit of eco dying in today’s workshop…
…boiling some bundles of wool fabric in an onion skin dye vat, with a whole load of materials wrapped up in the bundles
The bundles looked like artworks in their own right, but we did unwrap them to see what patterns we had created on the cloth…
very pleased with the results!
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.
This blog will track the progress of Withy Arts projects, with photos of art pieces produced, opportunities to see participants’ work when it is exhibited and the stories that come out of this work.
We will begin our first project in April 2015 and are very much looking forward to working with participant groups and seeing the art emerge. We have all sorts of willow, textile and nature-crafts ready and waiting for sessions to begin.
It’s going to be an exciting and creative year!
Sarah and Clare