Today was our final session with the cran weaving group.
We added splints and sticks to mimic the reinforcement in the Quarter Cran baskets we have seen in the Time & Tide Museum collection.
Rather than the horizontal row of weaving halfway up the basket side, some of the group decided to create a ‘wave’ of weaving sweeping in a spiral from bottom to top…
All the baskets looked very beautiful, and the basket makers felt very satisfied with their work.
We continued the basket weaving we started with a group of women a couple of weeks ago. The designs are based on the traditional Quarter Cran herring basket.
We wove basket sides, sharing conversation, laughter and some peaceful silence.
As well as the satisfaction that comes from making a useful, beautiful item, everyone described the feelings of calm and relaxation that they experienced throughout the workshop – it was a great session.
Today we spent a very enjoyable few hours weaving willow with a lovely group of women. First we made some willow tension plates….
Then we made basket bases
Next time we’ll make a start on the sides, as we weave baskets based on the Quarter Cran, used in Great Yarmouth’s herring fishing heyday.
For the Weaving Connections project we are working with Great Yarmouth’s Time and Tide Museum. We’re visiting the museum with some groups and taking baskets from the museum’s collection to others.
The museum has a beautiful collection of crans and swills, the two baskets we will be looking at during this project.
They look great in the museum’s displays, but we have also been able to take the baskets to those people who are unable to visit the museum.
Here’s Clare in one of our group’s venues with some of the Museum’s baskets – a cran and a swill – and some of our own modern interpretations of those baskets. It’s great to be able to offer people the opportunity to have a really good look at these artefacts!
We’ve been fortunate enough to be awarded Heritage Lottery funding to work with four groups of Great Yarmouth people exploring baskets from the town’s herring fishing industry. The project is called Weaving Connections.
Weaving Connections will run from October to December 2015, finishing with a display in Great Yarmouth’s Time and Tide Museum on December 13th.
We’ve come to the end of our training. What a fantastic three days with the wonderful Mike Hubbard. Here are the fruits of our labours, 2 lovely hampers and 2 gorgeous crans. We have learned so much. Not least our square work is much more square!
Mike gave us so much help recreating the cran. We are delighted with the results.
Having completed our picnic hampers….
… we moved on to the cran.
The pictures, above, show Sarah perfecting the technique known as ‘underfoot base’ where you hold the cross pieces which make the foundation of a round basket under your feet while you work with them. It’s very physical and feels like a strong thing to do.
We finish our crans tomorrow.
The Withy Arts Team are down in Cornwall for some training with Master Basketmaker Mike. These work stations are where we’ll be for the next three days…
Day one: refining our square work, the most difficult kind of basketry.
Pretty pleased with the results…