Weaving, whether its paper, fabric, rush, grass or willow is making something out of nothing; one minute you have a more or less wild mess of natural stuff and the next, with a bit of human intervention, you have an organized system, a more or less beautiful and/or functional sculpture. To me its a way of presenting and appreciating natural materials and seeing them in a different way. I like to keep my interventions as simple and minimal as possible – to see how little I can do to render the material expressive in some way.
Art and Craft Teaching through Weaving
As a medium for teaching art, weaving with natural and readily available materials has many advantages:
- Physically active - the craft of weaving involves physical activity — flexing the rods and manipulating the weavers requires and develops upper body strength and manual dexterity
- Inclusive - willow weaving doesn’t suffer from stereotyping – its not felt to be childish or just for men or women
- Historically interesting - the skills learnt are based on a traditional craft developed over hundreds of years, examples of which can be seen throughout the world
- Green and clean - the willow supplied is grown in the UK without the use of pesticides or fertilisers. It is a sustainable crop, the same plants being harvested year after year.
- Accessible – its easy and cheap to make something useful and attractive.