Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Stave Hill study day

Back at Stave Hill Ecological Park last week with a group of first year 3D design students from Camberwell College of Art.  I suggested going there only recently to my Intelligent Trouble collaborators but they didn’t take to it, so it was good to go there on a bright and sunny autumnal day and do some making with my students. 

twining with spindle and willow and rosehips

The day started with Rebecca Clark, who  runs the team at Stave Hill, giving us a tour of the park and pointing out plants we could use  to weave with.  Much coppicing has happened there since my last visit there and the park looked very different.  The hops were high and provided plenty of flexible and lengthy material to weave with.  They proved handy to split too.  Wish I’d taken a picture of these... 

weaving a stool with hedgerow materials

The idea was for the students to make interventions on site.  However, following an active foraging session, a purposefully short introduction to cording and twining and a cup of tea, they all got stuck in and produced the various constructions illustrated here.  We ran out of time to make our interventions. I’ll just have to plan a two day workshop next time so we have time to install things in situ and so  surprise joggers, dogwalkers and nature lovers who frequent the park.

twined hedgerow materials including brambles,
hops, cherry and willow

I deliberately kept the imparting of technical know how down to a minimum, so students had the chance to familiarise themselves with the materials they were using in their own way, and rely on their own specific ways of making and constructing.  Less information often means more in this case, and the feedback overall was very good at the end of the day.  Note to myself, I must do this more often...

plaiting with willow and cording with ash leaves

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