In September (2017) Natural Sciences Curator Rebecca Machin got in touch with Community Curator Chris Sharp about an up coming exhibition 'Beavers to Weavers' to find out if any community groups would like to be involved.
Chris pitched the idea to the Thursday Gardening Group and they were very keen to be involved with an exhibition at the City Museum. We thought up of different ideas which overlap between non human animals and human animals and decided on weaving baskets as a bird makes a nest.
We harvested wild willow from along the canal in winter, coppicing it to ensure a sustainable supply in future years.
We began our (sometimes frustrating) journey to create woven baskets from scratch, learning how to manipulate a new material and form a strong and durable shape.
We had a visit from Rebecca Machin who brought some amazing bird nests and cocoons for us to take inspiration from. We marveled at how animals create these intricate sculptures with no thumbs! After this visit some members of the group decided to weave in more interesting items such as colourful dogwood and alder cones to spruce up their baskets.