Alchemy means transformation – and we will did just that! Workshop sessions were spent transforming a little bit of cardboard using colourful wool, their hands and creative minds plus a little sprinkle of magic dust into magical alchemy amulets.
Each child walked away from the workshop with a finished amulet or badge to wear throughout the weekend. We performed our own magical transformation from a piece of cardboard and wool to a star patterned alchemy amulet. Even better than transforming lead to gold! With all that magic, there was little time to take photos.
January 28th, New Market Square
To bring my project ‘Interwoven Stories’ to a wider audience I set up a stall that Fleamarket in January. My aim was to hear peoples opinion about weaving- a technique that is used for a lot of our clothing and materials in the home and that has such strong cultural roots in Ireland.
Weaving is very accessible with a few household items you can make a loom and weave with almost anything. Most of the samples included an element of reuse or recycling. I used an old picture frame as a weaving loom, weaving with old bed sheets or fruit nets, or cables.
It was a joy to connect with such a diverse group of people from kids to students to seniors. Once man actually pointed out that the New Market Square used to be a very busy weaving area and how matching it was for me to have this stall here. People were intrigued about the different projects and some of them brought back childhood memories of craft projects.
“I love sowing and weaving, because it calms me down. When I am very angry or sad, I do some sowing and that makes me feel better.“
This statement of Jasper just amazed me. Most kids loved exploring the technique of weaving and getting lost in it. The level of openness people shared their personal stories with me and contributed to “Interwoven Stories” was amazing.
Other quotes of the day:
“It is nice to see people making things.“
“People should put away their phone some more and do things like that. With their hands.“
“I always wanted to try weaving.“
October 2017, Cabra Library
We had three colourful afternoons of creativity with the Daughters of Charity “Connect“ group in Cabra Library. As the time of the year drew up to Halloween lots of costume ideas and plans for parties were shared while being immersed in the process of weaving.
Colour was a huge favourite for this group of adults with learning disabilities. We started off by picking colours and sharing what we liked about the colour. Pink was very popular with all especially Aaron and Sarah-Jane.
“Pink makes me happy”
Everyone of them brought in items from home to include into the tapestries such as favourite sweet wrappers, pizza boxes and images from One Direction. All of them were included in the final tapestries and each one turned out as unique as the person that made it. This is also reflected in their names for their art works: ‘Mosaic’, ‘One Direction’ and ‘Barbie’. Their joy in making shines through their work!
22nd September 2017, New Market Square
During Culture Night 2017 I joined the celebration at Smithfield square with a fun weaving workshop “Weave Light“ for all ages. We were weaving sunshine paper plates and cups. During the evening around 70 kids joined us and created their own woven pieces which went on to become necklaces, hair accessorizes, badges and shields.
June – July 2018, Walkinstown Library
In June and July 2017 I joined the local Knitting Group in Walkinstown Library for fun-filled evenings of crafting. During the evenings we explored small scale tapestry weaving. Each person was encouraged to weave their own stories within their tapestries using materials that hold memories.
During our sessions in the Walkinstown Library we started to explore a new technique, new materials and also the ability to reuse material in a creative way. Everybody brought in their own personal material to transform and weave their stories with.
“There’s a lot of history in those pieces of fabric“
The group aged 6 to 60+ enjoyed the process very much “learning new skills and exploring materials in an unexpected way“. Like the use of chocolate box ribbons, wool scraps, bells and beads. “Don’t want to stop“ was one of the sayings in the final class!
“It was great to see people bring in materials and transform them and experience how transformation is possible. We took this as an opportunity to look at their community and shared these thoughts through paper tassels on the tapestries. By attaching beads and bells to the tapestries we have given these pieces a sound and a voice themselves.“
The pieces contained everything from scraps of fabric from old costumes, netting from the onions that went into last Sunday’s family dinner, old t-shirts from the children that have grown up and even pieces of a wedding veil. With each piece of fabric telling a story, the tapestries are insights into the lives of the women we have worked with and each one just as vibrant, colourful and full of life as the woman or girl who made it. Entitled ‘Interwoven Stories’, these tapestries were put on display at the entrance to Walkinstown Library to showcase and celebrate the work created by the group. They stand as a beautiful representation of life in Walkinstown!