Weaving Animals from Natural Materials

Willow Birds

With this indoor activity participants will learn how to use locally sourced wild willow to make a decorative garden structure. They start by designing a bird before making a basic framework from recycled fencing wire. The technique of random weaving from willow will be developed to ‘flesh out’ the bird. Fine features can be randomly woven using split strappy leaves of the local plant lomandra longifolia or introduced flax. Willow is a declared weed that grows along the waterways in the Central Highlands. The Artist collects and uses this material to highlight and discuss the growth of willow in her local region.

Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Jodie Goldring, Willy Wagtail, willow, recycled fencing wire & rusted cord, 2020
Jodie Goldring, Bird with Woven Fence, willow & recycled fencing wire, 2019

Flax Birds

Participants learn how to use natural plant fibre (flax) to create a bird from the imagination or using an image to inspire! They start with a simple framework of wire and slowly “flesh out” surfaces using the basketry technique known as interlacing or random weaving. The Artist provides a demonstration showing how to collect, split, dry and rehydrate flax in preparation for weaving.

Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Bird making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Jodie Goldring, Wren, flax, palm inflorescence, jute, handmade string with daffodil leaves & tie-wire, 2021
Jodie Goldring, Green Bird, lomandra longifolia, embroidery thread & tie-wire, 2021
Jodie Goldring, Flying Bird, flax, rusted cord & tie-wire, 2021

Willow Platypuses

With this indoor activity participants learn how to use locally sourced wild willow to make a decorative garden structure. They start by designing a platypus before making a basic framework from recycled fencing wire. The technique of random weaving from willow will be developed to ‘flesh out’ the platypus. Fine features (such as the webbed feet) can be woven using split strappy leaves of the local plant lomandra longifolia or introduced flax. Willow is a declared weed that grows along the waterways in the Central Highlands. The Artist collects and uses this material to highlight and discuss the growth of willow in her local region.

Platypus making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Platypus making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Platypus making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Platypus making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Platypus making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Platypus making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Platypus making workshop at Across the Arts Festival in Wangaratta in 2021
Jodie Goldring, Swimming Platypus, willow & flax, 2021

Twined Fish

This activity is a fun way to introduce beginners to basketry techniques. Participants learn how to use natural materials to make a decorative fish using the traditional basketry technique of twining. Twining is the twisting of two strands of flexible material around stakes to create a tightly woven surface. To start, cordyline leaves are bunched together to create the tail. Weavers are twined around the cordyline stakes to create the body of the fish. The Artist provides a variety of strappy plant leaves to create interesting texture and colouration to each individual fish. Red hot poker, watsonia, irises, bulrushes and chasmanthe can be provided as well as information about how to collect, dry and prepare materials to use at home. Buttons, wire and fabric will be available to add details to finish.

Twined fish workshop at Friends of Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne in 2021
Twined fish workshop at Friends of Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne in 2021
Jodie Goldring, Swimming Fish, cordyline, red hot poker, buttons and waxed thread, 2020
Jodie Goldring, Fish in Net, cordyline, red hot poker, buttons, recycled cotton and waxed thread, 2015

Birds cobbled together with a variety of materials

Participants are shown how to cobble together birds out of a variety of different grasses and other natural materials. They will be provided with some information about basketry techniques and materials but the main focus is enjoying the process of creative discovery! This quicker activity is great for the festival environment where people can drop in for an hour or two to make a bird and add it to an installation created over a weekend period. Or a more formal workshop can be delivered where participants spend 3 hours to develop more refined works.

Participant at Wild Weaving at the Railway Art Hub in Newstead, July 2021
Participant at Wild Weaving at the Railway Art Hub in Newstead, July 2021
Participant at Wild Weaving at the Railway Art Hub in Newstead, July 2021
Participant at Wild Weaving at the Railway Art Hub in Newstead, July 2021
Jodie with participant at Wild Weaving at the Railway Art Hub in Newstead, July 2021
Jodie with participants at Wild Weaving at the Railway Art Hub in Newstead, July 2021
Detail of the installation at Wild Weaving at the Railway Art Hub in Newstead, July 2021
A participant (Wild Weaving NAH in 2021) took her new skills home and created a couple more birds…well done Rochelle!
Jodie Goldring, Cobbled Bird, unknown plant fibre, copper wire and cotton thread, 2021