Tuesday, 5 June 2007

grass as fodder as grass

It seems that the use of fodder is dependant of supply from stockfeed outlets at present so I am endevouring to encourage its use at least where it can be sourced.
For instance a week in Blackstone for the 4th Blackstone Festival and the women collected grass from land to use for their basketmaking. Raffia was dyed using plant materials, barks and leaves boiled in half 44 gallon drums cut lengthways with a fire underneath, also an electric copper appeared so very successful sessions.
There was a fabulous collection of grass dogs made, all shapes and sizes, bound up with colourful wools and raffia.
Once again we introduced raku clay with the idea of using fired clay bases for basketry. A kiln was built using materials sourced from the tip and as houses are being constructed in the community there are pine pallets to burn literally. It took 40 sawn pallets to fire 32 kgs of clay for 11 hours. Here is a photo of small piece combining the two mediums made by Ivy.

However here in the city 12 women gathered last weekend for a workshop and made short work of a bundle of fodder.
When I went to the stockfeeders for a bale there was no meadow fodder just oaten hay in a huge haystack. The man pulled out a bale to give me but I went looking very closely at the stack and found one which had fine fibres in it, I asked the fellow for that one, 'Thats a rubbish one" he said disdainfully. Meaning there was less hay and more grass in it.
For the women sewing it was manna.

As an overview it is the combination of recycled materials mixed with domestic grasses ie. fodder, which can be considered a succesful and sustainable practice. However what choice can there be in a location where even fodder is at a premium, Where recycling for art and craft is already so efficient.And yet the combination gives so much scope for individuality.
That collection of dogs at Blackstone was so full of variations yet each maker more or less used the same materials.
that is what intruduces humour and the great pleasure of making.

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