We are collecting flowers, berries, hedgerow materials and thinking how we can keep our community learning going for another year.

I’ve cooked some elderberries and sieved them to preserve the amazing colour produced. It’s now safely in the freezer, alongside the damson juices that I collected earlier in the year.

I am yet to equip my studio with stainless steel pans. I need these to get an even colour when I next dye some romney wool.

I’m also wanting to purchase or make a peg loom to trial some wool weaving.

My search for purchasing some willow continues but thankfully, today, it has been possible to re engage with weaving. I remembered to take sharp secateurs on a recent dog walk and found myself dragging a supply of long bramble runners along the footpath. I stopped to have a catch up with the local park warden when I suddenly thought I needed to explain WHY I was carrying a bundle of brambles ha! The things we do for art!

This is the final outcome of weaving bramble runners. I love the colours and although this is quite tricky to make. It really is worth the effort.

This is a technique that can be used ‘ in the field’ , you would need to be carrying sturdy gardening gloves and sharp secateurs, but all possible.

The thorns on bramble are incredibly tough, to remove them I pulled the runners through holes drilled into pieces of scrap hardboard. This works really well, without damaging the ‘weavers’

For the handle, I’ve used a spare willow rod. This had been previously soaked and so flexible enough to make a curve across the width of the basket.

So this is a basket for collecting blackberries, made from the blackberry hedgerow itself. It feels important to have a purpose for any basket making. It brings a sense of function and also helps to think about ancestors who might have made something similar in times gone by.

Other material that is catching my eye at the moment, is the stunning fields of long grass that are glowing away in the late autumn sunshine.

I’ve collected 2 lots already and have them stashed away in the chicken house. It is dry in there and out of reach to the hens.

Planning to make more of this sort of thing….?

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Autumn bounty

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