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Vessels for Life and Death // A hands on making journey with fibre

Price $170 AUD + BF Get tickets

Event description

Tactile and deeply sensory this series of three workshops takes us below the surface to investigate the role of women caring and being cared for, the ancient craft of coffin weaving and the value of continually building and tending one's vessel for grief.


Experience the deeply restorative benefits of creativity, community and tools as we share and reflect on caring, dying and grieving.

SATURDAY, JUNE 22 Workshop 1 - CARING // Women Holding Things (Random Weave)

SATURDAY JULY 6 Workshop 2 - DYING // I’m Not Dead Yet (Coffin Weaving)

SATURDAY JULY 20 Workshop 3 - GRIEVING // Stitching Our Sorrows (Coiling)


Participate in one, two or join us to traverse all three workshops. We will explore some of the more difficult, enduring and transformative experiences we face as human beings.

Weaving and making with plant fibre is our primary medium to safely explore, express and process some of what can be rugged terrain. We will also explore journalling, ritual and story.  There will be readings and homework (if you wish) between sessions to deepen your experience for those who choose to do all three workshops.

The process of weaving is an ancient practice historically undertaken by women often carrying deep cultural and social significance. Working with your hands can help increase awareness of subtle and physical bodily sensations. There is catharsis in crafting with fibre, we process verbally and non verbally, connecting to our inner rhythm whilst decompressing emotions and relieving stress.

If you are already familiar with these techniques, join us to deepen your practice. 
You do not need to have prior experience to participate.


WORKSHOP 1 - CARING // Women Holding Things (Random Weave)

The first workshop in a three part series enters us into a reflective practice and relationship with the profound act of caring and being cared for.

“What do women hold? The home and the family. And the children and the food. The friendships. The work. The work of the world. And the work of being human. The memories. And the troubles. And the sorrows and the triumphs. And the love. // Maira Kalman

This is set to be a restorative, embodied experience exploring the joy and complexity of women’s lives revealed through the multiplicity of tasks of being in service.

Working with the random weave technique, we seek to reveal beauty from complexity. Our woven basket becomes a metaphor for what women hold. We explore love, compassion, play and practice.  It is a day to share in the importance, value and gratitude for this role in our community. 

The random weave technique often starts out large and messy and over time, the pieces, they come together, they resolve themselves into something useful to hold whatever requires holding. Usually - as life would have it - more than one thing at a time.

G // I’m Not Dead Yet (Coffin Weaving)
The second workshop in this three part series enters us into a reflective practice and relationship with death. This is a unique opportunity to engage in the ancient art of coffin weaving.

In the presence of your impending death the Earth prepared to send you forth.
The gravity that held you so tightly began to lose it's grip.
It called, "Let loose, Let loose, Let loose and fly."  // Excerpt from Leaves Talking, Sondra Ray

Ancestral weaving merges with a deep reflection on life, death, and liminal spaces between. This hands-on experience promises to be a transformative day as participants are invited to contemplate the cycle of life, mortality and sustainable funerary options.

Working collectively we will make a life size woven coffin from cats claw. The process of coffin making allows participants to consider - whilst working with natural materials - our place in the kingdom of wild things. How we hold and how we are held in death. 

We explore body disposal and the pressing need for sustainable death practices as well as the place of weaving in death ritual. Participants may find they move beyond some held fears surrounding death. And for those wishing for a deeper embodied experience, there will be an invitation to lie in the coffin.

NB: Cat’s claw creeper is listed as a Key Threatening Process in NSW because of its potential to impact on endangered and vulnerable plants as well as Lowland Subtropical Rainforest, which is an Endangered Ecological Community.

WORKSHOP 3 - GRIEVING // Stitching Our Sorrows (Coiling)
The third workshop in a three part series enters us into a reflective practice and relationship with grief.

We possess the profound capacity to metabolise sorrow into something medicinal for our soul, and the soul of the community. The skill of grieving well enables us to become current—to live in the present moment and be available to the electricity of life. // Francis Weller

The act of making a coiled basket becomes a rich metaphor for grief tending in this one day workshop.

As we craft our vessels, our unique expression of love and loss invites the inside out. In working with our hands, our inner worlds can be externalised and processed - we will slow down, reflect and share. 

As we stitch our vessel, we stitch our wounds, we stitch our souls and we stitch ourselves to one another - there’s a re/membering how grief humbles, levels and binds. Our threads and bonds may be re/claimed as we twist, thread, wrap, weave, loosen what feels heavy or tight; together.

The world lives in us, just as we live in the world. Grief can make us feel outside of the thrum of life, and outside of ourselves. In creating a vessel, we separate whilst we contain grief and we are enabled to come into proximity and relationship with what is too often swallowed or swept under.

Who and what might you weave into your vessel as you work
All materials will be supplied, we do however invite you to bring pieces of clothing of your loved one, stories of love and loss, perhaps letters or notes, objects from nature or symbols of connection to whom or what has passed from you. You may like to speak/write the names of people and ancestral lineages and stitch these in.

Grief and love are sisters, as women wearing grief, we will coil in a great deal of love.

Your Facilitators

Zimmi Forest [she/her] - Weaving Nature 
Zimmi's work spans decades and has been in many nationally recognised exhibitions including; Sculpture by the Sea, Conrad Jupiters, The Blake Prize and Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award. Zimmi has had 10 solo shows at both commercial and regional galleries and commissioned to create over 100 artworks for public galleries, private clients, hospitals and resorts. Her ephemeral art events and gatherings are often held around the beaches and forests of Byron Bay.

Emma Beattie [she/her] - Before & After Life
Emma has worked, studied and volunteered in caring and deathing since 2020.  She brings an animistic, creative and poetic lens to caring, deathing and grieving. Her death and dying work and studies intersect a long line of lived experienced with personal loss. Her professional origins reside in strategic thinking, storytelling and social impact. She offers practical supports, education and facilitation for people, families, and groups via term courses, workshops, community meets and retreats. Emma is a member of Palliative Care NSW, the Natural Death Advocacy Network and an advocate for Compassionate Communities Australia.

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