Weaving at Spotlight Youth Club age9+ Backstrap/paper plate

I am running a series of weaving sessions at SPOTLIGHT youth club in Langdon Park, London, UK.

Week one was very successful. It is a drop in ‘cafe’ style event so has no clear beginning but the young people can do as much or as little as they feel like, which I quite like, because it’s after school. I dont want to make anyone do anything. Thankfully, they were very into it (because its weaving!) I am always amazed how some people just get it straight away, and the kind of focus that it can inspire.

I had one exchange with an adult there that I didn’t have enough time to talk to properly, it went like this

him: so what will it be?

me: with this, it could just be decorative, or you could make a belt, a guitar strap, a headband, trim.

him: so in about a year you could make a bed sheet?

[aRGH! thats not the point!!!] If I’d had time I’d like to explain that it is about construction, understanding how things are made, how the qualities of weaving (strong, not stretchy) can be used for different purposes. About working together, showing and explaining to each other what can seem a complicated process at the outset. How you can create patterns, how colours can be created by combining yarn. How you can alter the style, thickness, texture by combining different thicknesses of thread or tension as you pull or slacken. Understanding how the clothes, carpet, seat covers, hat, basket, shoes, sails, flags, wallet, tent around you are made. Not by going to a factory and seeing an incomprehensible machine but  by understanding the fundamental concept that people have been doing for thousands of years by DOING it for yourself!

anyway, I think the kids got it!

backstrap weaving paper plate spiral weave helping each other weave paper plate stripe weave OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


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sally hancox

I am an artist, illustrator, weaver and workshop facilitator currently living and working in London, UK.

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