Weaving the Strands Together - a basket weaving workshop with foraged fibres
A four hour basket weaving workshop facilitated by artist and basket weaver Shelley Krycer
Warburton location, Wurundjeri Country, given upon booking
Sunday October 22nd 2023
11am - 3pm
$120 / $100 / $80
Full / concession / unwaged
Reach out if cost is prohibitive yet this calls to you deeply
Weaving the Strands Together is a facilitated workshop introducing the practice of basket weaving through the slow and mindful work of our hands, stitch by stitch. It is a space to lean back into ancestral ways of being, and being together, that have been alive in our human history longer than they have been dormant.
All cultures have long histories of forming the vessels that are used in life by hand, created carefully with respectfully gathered materials from the surrounding landscapes. We each hold deep within us the memory of this imprint in the particular way it was expressed along our own ancestral lines.
For many of us, sadly, these practices and the relational threads that ran between us and the plants that our peoples have dialogued with and grown the roots of our cultures amongst have been long forgotten. Yet living with sensitivity to the good earth, to this mother who feeds us, to the people we share these lands with, with open ears, eyes, hands and hearts is important. Some would say more important now than ever.
So we must listen.
And learn new ways to listen.
Working with locally foraged fibres to weave our baskets within a circle and striving to do so in a culturally sensitive manner (more on this below), we bring some strands back together. As well as working once again with our hands and hearts to form the beautiful objects that accompany and support us through life and working with materials grown and carefully gathered on landscapes around us, we can, through our work, listen to the living land through the seasons, coming to know the feel of the plants at various stages of preparation, their smell, their texture, their strength, their living pulse as we work with and tend to them. Throughout the seasons we develop deeper relationships with these plant beings through the work of our hands and through our maturing attunement.
As we weave our baskets, they begin to fill. They fill with the stories, places and dear ones surrounding us and the quality of our presence as we weave. It is all woven in.
And we are weaving the strands, together. The title of this workshop refers to these threads that we bring back together and also to our togetherness. The strands we gather and weave become twined together and it's also within our togetherness that we weave the strands. When we work in a circle together, softening into a gentle rhythm, we can let conversation emerge as it wishes to and at times to drop away, resting into the flow of creation alongside one another. Words can be shared with a different kind of presence. Perhaps we can also hear each other, more parts of each other, and even ourselves, with greater presence. Weaving, when working slowly, wholeheartedly, with sensitivity and reciprocity, can work on weaving us back together too.
Weaving the Strands Together is a four hour workshop in a private home in Warburton on Wurundjeri Country. We will be working with a coiling technique with European origins which I have received explicit permission to share from my original teacher. As we settle into the process of weaving, you will learn about respectful fibre harvesting and processing and how to create different basket shapes and forms.
You will take home the basket you have started, some extra fibres to keep you going and an awareness of how to forage and prepare fibres yourself but more importantly, I hope you take home with you the embodied experience of this craft, of sharing it mindfully in a circle and a curiosity to explore and meet the living landscapes around you anew with the sensitive eyes and hands of a weaver.
Who this workshop is suitable for:
You don’t need any experience in weaving or any particular creative process to attend this workshop, just a curiosity and a feeling that this practice speaks to you. On the other hand, I anticipate that creators, makers, artists and weavers will find that this circle offers nourishment; be it the techniques, knowledge shared about harvesting and preparation processes or the simple act of creating and connecting within the circle. Feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss if this workshop is suitable for you.
Photographs may be taken during this workshop. By attending, you provide consent to be photographed and to having these photographs used for promotional purposes only. Please notify me if you wish to be excluded.
We must acknowledge that there is complexity in working with weaving on stolen land; a practice that is so culturally rich and intertwined with the sacred. The practice of weaving is deeply known by this land and by its people. I acknowledge the traditional practices of Indigenous weavers who have woven these lands since time immemorial and have developed and refined basket weaving practices over this time. Those practices remain the intellectual property of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and I give thanks and acknowledgment to these practices.
I am not an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and Indigenous weaving, stories and lore is not the content of this workshop. I stand as a strong ally to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, striving to avoid cultural appropriation in my offerings as a workshop facilitator and in my life more broadly. I am happy to refer you to master weavers who you can learn from and remunerate fairly for their work if this is what you seek.
Shelley Krycer (she/her) is a visual artist and Steiner educator based on Wurundjeri country who came to basket weaving over a decade years ago. When she did, Shelley found that her hands had a sense of ‘returning’ to something that they had long known. They wove and wove, and continue to weave, with a sense of remembering and learning with each stitch. Working as she does primarily with wild harvested and home grown plant materials has brought an additional layer to her practice of foraging and gardening as an ongoing, living relationship with the natural world. Through her weaving practice Shelley finds that she is able to listen to, observe, participate and deepen her sensitivity to the eco-systems around her, working cyclically across the seasons. Shelley’s process-based art making practice which includes basket weaving alongside painting and other nature based art processes is informed by trainings within a Fine Arts (Honours) degree she completed in 2004 (Monash University) as well as studies in Art Education (Grad Dip Ed. Melbourne University), Permaculture (Advanced PDC with Peter Allen) and Steiner Education (Advanced Diploma, Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar). She also draws inspiration from rituals and mythology from her own European Jewish heritage. Shelley has been teaching art and facilitating workshops since 2004 years and sharing basket weaving workshops since 2014. She has been invited to bring this work to festivals such as Seven Sisters and The Village Continuum, as part of programs hosted by Nature’s Apprentice as well as facilitating weaving circles for groups of people at significant moments and transitions. Shelley is continuously moved by the depth of presence, nourishment, connection and joy that sharing these processes and practices in circles brings.
facebook: Shelley Krycer - artist
I respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which this workshop will be run, pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.