Tuesday, April 8, 2014

basket weaving camp

Last month we were lucky enough to nab a spot at Anaheke Metua's first Weaving Circles camp at Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island). It was so wonderful to spend two full days weaving by the sea on the first day and at Brown Lake on the second day.

On the first day we made melon baskets. I had made one of these last year at Anaheke's Northey Street workshop but I loved spending the full day making this larger version.

Miriwinni (above right) and Louise. Miriwinni is an amazing Aboriginal weaving artist and has been working on these beautiful hats for Indigenous Fashion Week, made from fibres harvested from the beach. It was so lovely to meet her and everyone at camp. Louise also kindly brought beautiful reeds locally harvested from Minjerribah waterways, you can see the green in my basket below.

I added some banana rope around the handle of my basket (I'm making it above). And here's Wayne's basket below in the foreground, it's very neat and the main body of it is woven with Bangalow palm. It's traditional to gift the first basket you make but I won't mention who he's giving it to just yet :)

We spent day two at Brown Lake, I was so happy to be back there, my Dad lived on the island years ago so it was really lovely to re-connect with all of these beautiful locations, what a privilege to be able to spend time at Minjerribah and with the local Quandamooka women.

Anaheke had beautiful fibres for us to work with including naturally dyed raffia and inflorescence for coil weaving.

I have always loved coil weaving, I think the process is akin to embroidery for me, it's all about slowing down and hand-stitching something with care. It's meditative and I always become lost in my own thoughts and feel deeply relaxed.

I'm so used to working with textiles and recycled materials and I love coming to Anaheke's workshops for the opportunity to use beautiful natural fibres. The turmeric dyed raffia was the most amazing orange colour and had that beautiful earthy scent that we love when cooking with turmeric.

Cheeky goannas trying to get in on the action (and our lunch!)

I managed to weave a little lid and attach it but I'm still working on some raffia string for handles and a little closure. I'll post a picture of my finished basket soon.

We are so looking forward to the next weaving camp and our fingers are crossed that it will fall on a weekend when we're not away. I highly recommend Weaving Circles for those of you who are really needing to take time out, slow down and re-connect with nature and the land. It certainly did me the world of good and made me re-think my year ahead and my crafty priorities.

For more info about Anaheke and Weaving Circles check out her Facebook page and also her weaving workshops at Northey Street City Farm. We might see you there!


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