Glad Rags has been busy recently:
Saturday 21st March saw us planting willow in Ham Woods. This has been funded by Vital Sparks as part of our basket project. We planted at two sites, one by the path from Honicknowle Lane and one by Ham Brook (where we were lucky to see the blue flash of a kingfisher). The willow was donated, several varieties from Windrush Willow and basketry willow from Don Gaskin, Devon Rural Skills Trust who has a willow bed at Aveton Gifford. On Saturday it was mainly a question of pushing dozens of short sticks and some longer ones into the ground. Thanks to Dave Curno and John from Friends of Ham Woods for all the clearing and preparation that went on before this.
On Wednesday 18th we had been invited by the PTFA at the School of Creative Arts to do a craft activity for their a tea party to celebrate Mother’s Day, International Women’s Day and the opening of their beautiful new building. Despite us having Jackie’s fabulous homemade cakes on a Wednesday anyway we thought we had better check out further Stonehouse cream tea and cake and went along to make flowers from scrap materials. Lovely to work with children who were so inventive with their ideas and knew how to use their skills to achieve them.
Thanks to Gem Ward from Take A Part for these fab photos from our session making willow decorations in Ham on 6th December.
More traditional colours this time, but just as lovely.
Jenny’s finished wreath. It’s so lovely!
Here are some of the fairies we made in preparation for the visit to the Christmas Fair at the Foyer, Octagon Street next week. You’ll find us there between 11 am – 3 pm instead of at the Lord High Admiral.
We’ve had fun making houses inspired by Stonehouse houses and Stonehouse Time Bank’s 100 Homes project. These are some of the first ones.
- Climbers and Trailers
Climbers and Trailers
In many case little work is required to prepare and some can be woven immediately after gathering. Can be used stripped or unstripped -best stripped when green, To store – remove leaves, tie into coils small enough to fit into a container for soaking later. Will probably need soaking in bath before use.
- Blackberries, raspberries (Rubus spp)
- Generally strong and pliable but vary in strength and length. Traditionally used for stitching coiled rye baskets and bee skeps. Remove any thorns by drawing a hand in a thick glove, from tip to base and then in the other direction. Canes can be split.
- Creamy wood if stripped. Weak joints. See honeysuckle for how to peel.
- Grapevines (Vitis spp)
- Can be gathered any time. Ideal for large, strong baskets. Easily split and these half round sections are good for rims and hoops and frames of rib baskets. Keep the vines soaked while working.
A preview of the fairy Jenny will be showing us how to make tomorrow. Will we find time to carry on with the houses?
Great day at the All Ways Apples festival making willow bird feeders that would hold – an apple! Really busy, we must have made dozens.
More willow workshops coming up including making wreaths and Christmas decorations in Ham Woods on 6th December.