Post Festival Blues
Forest Boots

Crafting Lessons Learnt At The Village Continuum

 IP - TVC Basket Weaving

{Basket woven by my ten year old daughter, Airlie, at The Village Continuum festival.  Photo styling: Airlie}

We're wired to create. It's in our DNA.  I just know it.  It's why there are cities and spoons, buildings and blankets, stained glass window and shoes.  We just can't help ourselves, we make. The Village Continuum festival was maker's paradise for me with so many amazing traditional craft workshops on offer.  If you didn't make it this year and you love craft, you should seriously think about going next year.

IP - TVC - Rope Making

{Stringy bark rope made in Josh's workshop and dyed in Heather's natural dye pot.  L: eucalyptus  R:onion skin with iron mordant}

IP - NAtural Dyeing{Dye pots simmering over the open fire.  Onion, eucalyptus and cherry ballart.}

Cross Crafting

One of the really exciting things about the Village Continuum festival was the cross crafting that occurred.  There was a steady stream of people going from the rope making workshop across to the fire and the natural dye pots to make their stringy bark rope colourful.  Shoes and leg warmers from the felting workshop went into the dye pots too.  We even had one facilitator who was chucking whatever she could find into the dye pots- old thermals, socks and bags that needed livening up.

There was also butter made in one of the workshops served the next morning at breakfast time.  

IP - Leather Craft 5 - Max Wallet

{Top: Max's wallet. Bottom: the workshop template}


When you put a bunch of people together, show them some skills and give them the tools and materials they need, amazing things can happen.  In my leather craft workshop at the Village Continuum, nine year old Max took the card and note wallet prototype and flipped it on its head.  He took the middle piece of leather, attached it to the top and turned the whole thing into a little pouch.  I love it!  Especially the button detail with the loop (the button has been sewn on backwards as well!).

This little pouch tells you everything you need to know about creativity.  Age doesn't matter - young kids and old people can do it.  Step outside the box (or in this case the pattern).  Turn things over.  Go backwards.  Do it your way.  Make it what you want.  Be different.  You are unique.  You can do it.  

IP - TVC Basket Weaving 2

{Basket weavers weaving their baskets}

Collaborative Crafting

I think there's nothing better than crafting with a bunch of other people.  It's why I love doing craft workshops and attending awesome festivals.  You get to chat, learn and be inspired.  You get to swap stories, talk about your loves and for just a little while feel connected to each other as you share your stories, hopes and dreams.  It's amazing how people open up when their hands are busy doing something else.  

Sitting together in a workshop chatting as we carve, sew, cook, learn and teach fills my soul right up.  I learn as much from the other students as the teachers when I do a workshop and the Village Continuum was no exception.  When I was doing the Coal Burn Spoon making workshop, one of the other students, Art, taught me so much about branch wood and choosing a good piece.  

IP - TVC Razor Sharpening Demo

{Speedy running an impromptu razor sharpening demo}

Spontaneous Crafting

You just couldn't stop the passionate folks at the Village Continuum from sharing their skills and knowledge with each other.  This is Speedy teaching an impromptu razor sharpening workshop during the festival.  Speedy is a goldmine of traditional craft knowledge and can turn his hand to just abut anything.  From blacksmithing to cheese making, he's done it.

Festivals like The Village Continuum are so important for slowing down and bringing together creative people who are happy to share their skills and knowledge.  It was an honour and a privilege to be part of creating something so beautiful.  If I had my way, I'd be gong to a festival like this every weekend!