The group at Headway are putting their new found skills to use weaving some beautiful things out of cane and willow. We have also had the chance to look at one of the baskets from Time and Tide Museum to compare the techniques we are using with those of the past.
Joan has nearly finished her basket.
Janet has finished hers and started on an egg basket.
Owen has been weaving with willow, making an obelisk and a tension plate.
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.
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.
This week we made armatures for willow spheres which we then started to fill in with ‘scribble weaving’ which as the name suggests is a technique where the willow withy is woven in a random fashion to create an interesting effect.
Everyone made a small sphere. We will be using this activity at the Public Involvement Day, Saturday 12th May 2018 at Whitlingham Country Park where members of the public will be encouraged to contribute to what will become a willow sculpture in the park.
In the afternoon everyone carried on with their personal projects. Eunice and Stuart finished their covers.
Our second weaving session was taken up with round work, starting with some structures that will be used to cover unsightly items around the site. We used boards with pre-drilled holes to start the structures off and made a simple but effective top by folding over the remaining willow withies.
Laura is randing having stated with a three rod wale which makes the structure really strong.
Martin is adding uprights for a super strong final border.
The weavers added Repps Meadow willow for a decorative touch.
The finished (upside down) covers.
Installing the cover…
And here’s the result. Good job!
In the afternoon we made wigwams for plant supports. We left them up near the visitors centre because they look so good.