Reviewing the wool, willow and coiling successes

We have been working with parents and carers at Lydd church for one whole year now. We decided to have a look at our best work and the techniques used

Caroline has discovered the joys of working with both black and white romney wool to make bears using needle point. Melanie has made a flexible and dramatic pink and white coil pot, we all decided this reminded us of Middle East designs. Catherine has developed her coiling technique to create a geometric design, we thought it could have practical use as a place mat, or as a decorative wall mount

due to the lack of willow supplies, a small blackberry basket made from clematis was the solution. We thought this an attractive method and want to see how the material lasts. Although we set ourselves the task of making something that we could collect berries in and this fits the bill. Other materials to explore include bramble runners, common reed and field grasses.

We are planning to make us of summer supplies for dyeing, we’ve already collected bronze fennel, currently waiting for golden rod, elderberry, damsons and blackberries


Looker’s hut, horse drawn & sanded down

Our original hut which has been located for over a year, at St George’s church Ivychurch, is now being restored. It has been put into a farm barn and is currently being prepped ready for painting.

We had some expert advice from Kenton, a local joiner. He has identified the main floorboards as elm. Apparently, this was the preferred material for wooden dwellings, as the tree would grow quickly and at scale. Unfortunately, elm has been dessimated by Dutch elm disease in Kent. I’ve heard that elms in Brighton have survived and now has an impressive collection of trees that have been carefully monitored and protected since 1970’s.

We’ve removed two front wheels and commissioned a local blacksmith to redesign smaller and matching wheels. He is also going to help us to repair the stub axles which are in need of TLC

High tech or low tech that is the question…

Our recent project with @screensouth which we called The Owlers, involved a great deal of planning and preparation.

Successful team work paid off and an animation of our needle felted owls, coil wool nests was produced with the help of a technical team

It was a strange combination, high tech cameras and computers in the medieval surroundings of All Saints church.

While we were filming a local historian brought a group in to show them the wall in the church that has recently been identified as Anglo-Romano and dates back to the 5th century. It is thought to have been part of a Roman basilica……amazing!

New website

Excited to announce our new website we welcome feedback. We are also delighted to announce the winner of our search for a Marsh Active Rural Community Hub design in partnership with @UCACanterbury

Congratulations to Kale Bailey

His design became known as the ‘inside out’ greenhouse. We are now looking to gain planning permission and funding to build this amazing design as a temporary #community #hub

Hambrook #marshes #Canterbury #withybeds

So nice to be invited to help maintain this withy bed. Luckily, I remembered to take my scythe. The amount of growth since March was astounding. Both willow and weeds had really responded to the pruning and weeding we had done previously. I discovered that different varieties of willow grow at different rates, so we made sure the less hardy variety were well tended. Looking forward to seeing results when we go to crop in December.

Lovely sunlight on the willow as I work in the shade, the heat is drying out the material so fast….really having to work quickly!

Our group enjoyed making some bird feeders from the leftover willow from the school’s workshops

These are being donated to the church sale