September 2021 to March 2022 (Elders Weaving in the Woods – Samhain to Equinox)
Back in the woods. As Naomi said, it’s been 3 weeks since we’ve been here and the snowdrops are out. (Virginia reminded us that Sotterley is open again this Sunday to view snowdrops).
We heard the birdsong and woodpecker in our silence as we landed.
Chi Gong under the hornbeams, glorious, uplifting, from tapping to separating heaven and earth.
It is the end of the coppice season, the sap is beginning to rise, but still time to use some of the products from coppicing. We had a brief introduction to the tools of the coppicer:
the billhock, used for cutting woody plants such as saplings and small branches for hedging and snedding – stripping the side shoots from a branch.
Two different Bow saws – one with the blade-for GREEN wood, irregular teeth to allow for the wet wood which clogs easier and one with regular teeth for DRY SEASONED wood.
Secateurs and Loppers used the smiling way
We had a choice then. To continue our investigation of moss and lichen, to bend hazel or craft by the fire.
MOSS and Lichen
With the material prepared before hand, along with a Risk Assessment, we prepared for our first bend. Taking a long straight hazel rod, we ‘snedded it’ with secateurs, stipping away extraneous side branches, then stabbed it into the prepared hole, and wedged it with other pieces of wood. One each side. Then we began the bending, twisting in each of the hazel rods with each other. We did two arches this day, together with the live hazel made three. It was the beginning.
The debris from the snedding, we added to the stools of hazel to protect them from the muntjac who loves the young shoots for his breakfast.
Back at camp we looked at two previously made benders, one live and one used as a bike bender.
Roy bought with him 2 square pin looms he made, and seeing these Virgina was tempted to make one herself.
Gabrielle and Linda warped up two looms, both bought in by Linda.
At the end of the day, here were our highlights: hearing the woodpecker; being back in the woods; bending hazel, seeing the bender worked by everyone; starting squares; sandwiches; practical coppicing.
Sept 30 – Introductions
Oct 7 – Weaving and Dyeing
Oct 14 – Dyeing and conkers
Oct 21 – Dyeing and drawing
Oct 31 Samhain Sunday
Nov 4 Leaf letting go
Nov 11 EARTH
Nov 18 AIR
Nov 25 WATER
Dec 2 FIRE
Dec 9 WOOD (crafting
Dec 16 (Solstice)
Jan 6 Stories – story of an object
Jan 13 Stories – His-Herstory
Jan 20 Stories – Tree Stories
Jan 27 Stories – More Tree Stores
Feb 3 Stories – Pear Tree gathering
Feb 10 Stories – Words with Dean
Feb 17 Stories – Wind and Patrick Stead
Mar 7 (Equinox)
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Supported and sponsored by:
COVID-19 Engaged Communities Fund (Suffolk CC)