Padley Gorge is a fantastic almost magical place to visit. It is easy to access from Grindleford Railway Station. You can still get to this Station by train but it is much easier if travelling from Sheffield or Manchester. The train in the photo is going into Totley Tunnel which has a date above the entrance of 1883. It was the longest Railway tunnel in the U.K. up until 1985.Unfortunately it’s not so easy by train from Belper as you need to go to Derby, change to a Sheffield train and then change again for Grindleford. Consequently we travelled by car and luckily found there was plenty of parking on the road down to Grindleford Station. The old station building has been converted into a cafe which came third in the Guardian newspapers list of ten best Station cafes. The food is all homecooked and tea comes in half pints or pints. Continue reading Padley Gorge Derbyshire
After the success of our first Fun Palace in Belper it was decided to run another at Belper Goes Green. This is a fantastic Eco Festival run by Transition Belper for the local community. All the information about the festival can be found here Belper Goes Green ,this includes what’s on and parking.
The part that I have been responsible for is the Fun Palace Tent. I hope the weather will be good but if not we have lots of fun and informative workshops in the marquee so you will still be dry.The workshops, (as they should be for a Fun Palace) are a mixture of Science, Art, Craft and Nature inspired. There will also be the opportunity to learn CPR with Amber First Responders
Katherine Wheatley will be making Carbon Monsters and she will be running a competition to win a copy of her very popular book.
There will be lots of Science and Engineering on offer with the opportunity to make a whirlpool in a bottle, discover what bugs lurk in the local Coppice Brook, make your own mini wind/water wheel, put together an aluminium engine and make a catapult plane or spinning helicopter.
There is also plenty of Art and Craft, you will be able to make a collage of Belper, learn some origami, make a hedgehog, turn milk bottle caps into fridge magnets, make monsters with clay or make your own fairy with pipe cleaners and wool.
The workshops take place each day between 11.00-13.00 and 14.00-16.00. Each session has different activities except the learning of CPR which will be a constant. here is a PDF of the full workshop time table. Fun Palace Workshops
Here is a map of the site.
Its that time of year again when the people of Belper are working hard to produce this years Belper Art Festival. A tremendous amount of planning goes into this event which each year gets bigger and better. Yesterday there was a small crowd who met at Number 28 on the Market Place to produce the festival trailer for 2017.
The part of the festival that I am most involved with is the Woollen Woods. This will be its third year and it is really exciting that both individuals and groups are already planning and working hard on their pieces. The wood is very central to the town of Belper, known as Belper Parks Wood. There is a free carpark beside the Market Place and a way to walk into the woods from there.
So far one of the care homes is getting involved as is a children’s nursery. There are young people who are learning to knit and others who have elaborate plans for complete trees. One of the highlights of last years event was the story trees, who could forget Alice in Wonderland or Noah’s Ark?
I know for a fact that this year there will be more of these trees, however this is truly an event that everyone can be part of. Last year we had lots of pom pom animals and spiders webs made from sticks and wool.
It really doesn’t matter if you are not an expert knitter or crocheter, once everything is place in the woods it all looks fantastic and adds to the magic. Squares and rectangles of knitting can be turned into creatures fit for the woods. This caterpillar was made from a rectangular piece of knitting sewn into a tube and stuffed.
This year the pieces will be installed in the woods on Friday May 12th and will stay there until Sunday May 21st. We have an exciting addition to the Woollen Woods on Saturday May 13th when Lauren an artist and storyteller from Nottingham will be telling stories with the aide of her beautifully made puppets. This will be in Number 28 from 2.30pm. These are tales from Into the Wild Wood and will be suitable for families with primary school age children.
There is still plenty of time to be part of the Belper Art Festival and Woollen Woods. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
FIGMENT Derby is to be the first FIGMENT event in Europe so it is not surprising if you have not heard of it. FIGMENT started with an event in New York in July 2007. Since then it has grown significantly each year in the United states and Canada.
Here is a paragraph from the FIGMENT website, ‘FIGMENT’s vision for art looks past the white-walled galleries and into the realm of participation. Art is not just something that you stand still and quietly look at–it is something you participate in. You touch it, smell it, write on it, talk to it, dance with it, play with it, learn from it. Interactive art creates a dynamic collaboration between the artist, the audience and their environment.’
It is a free event for the whole community to join in with and FIGMENT Derby is produced with support from Derby Museums. The event will start with a picnic, (bring your own food), which will take place on a large quilt that has been made by volunteers and visitors at Derby Silk Mill Museum.Lots of photos can be seen HERE from previous US FIGMENT events. News about FIGMENT Derby can be found on their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/FIGMENTDerby
I am hoping to yarn Bomb Cathedral Green with the help of the general public. I will be bring along knitted blankets, long wool wraps and knitted flowers that can be attached to the trees. The aim will be to turn the green into a colourful garden.
This blog, ‘Flowers and Animals of the Woollen Woods’, is a chance to show some of the amazing pieces made by knitters and crocheters for this years Woollen Woods. I have taken so many photographs that it is difficult to choose and there will be some I don’t feature on this blog. Every piece is important however and the people of Belper have loved seeing the woods with the animals, birds and themed trees.
The woods were alive with animals even some from the very distant past. Dinosaurs once again roamed but didn’t cause any problems apart from disappearing for a few hours and then being found again. There were a number of very colourful snakes but they stayed in the trees and I am not aware of anyone claiming to have been bitten. There were plenty of pink pigs and a flock of very colourful Belper sheep who really enjoyed climbing the trees. There were hundreds of amazing flowers many made by Belper Gardening Club. The woods were full of both real and woolly bluebells.
We are planning to join in with next years Woollen Woods and as soon as Voluntary Arts Week announce the dates we will let everyone know. I imagine it will be in May 2017. May is also the month of the Belper Arts Festival and so it is a fantastic opportunity for many to join in with that event as well. Keep an eye on this blog and also the Anne Clark Handmade Facebook page to get all the news.
The event takes part in an area of woodland known as Belper Parks Wood which is very central to the town of Belper. It is a lovely area to walk through, climb trees in and even have a picnic.
The Belper Woollen Woods was once again a fantastic event. There were more pieces installed in the trees than in 2015 and lots more people joining in, to both make and help with attaching to trees. There have been numerous photos and videos shared on Social Media which has been great to see. Woollen Woods have their own Facebook page. Once again the weather was very kind to us and the bluebells added extra beauty and colour. This year there were a couple of themed trees telling stories which added interest. As well as the themed trees there was a seaside themed area. Continue reading Themed Trees, Belper Woollen Woods.
It is just a week now until the Woollen Woods happen in Belper Parks Wood. It has been fantastic this year that more people have joined in the fun of making pieces for the woods. A few days ago I had a bit of a panic wondering how long it would take to put everything up. However having put an appeal on Facebook lots have responded with offers of help. Now the thing I am worrying about is the weather. Last year it was lovely and warm and the sun shone the whole time. I am not concerned about the knitted and crocheted pieces as I know from experience they survive very well but more concerned for the fingers of the installers if its cold! Continue reading Woollen Woods
Belper Arts Festival is now in its fourth year and promises to be the best yet. There are so many exciting things planned for the town. The Festival which includes Belper Music Festival lasts for the whole month of May 2016. The Woollen Woods is part of Belper Arts Festival and will be installed in The Parks woodland on May 6-7th and taken down on May 15th.
It is fantastic that this year Woollen Woods will be up for longer and has even more people joining in to make things. There is still time for more knitters, crocheters and felters to take part and details can be found HERE or contact me on Facebook Anne Clark Handmade. Today I have been in the woods with some of the animals taking photographs and being filmed for the Belper Arts Festival trailer. Here is a good map of the area and the Woollen Woods will be in the area of Ladywell Park and Great Parks Wood. The map shows walks through the woods and tells you about the bluebells. Once again we will have a three foot bluebell as part of the Woollen Woods. Continue reading Belper Arts Festival
Calling all Yarn Bombers, knitters, crocheters and those who work with felt, you are needed to help with the Woollen Woods 2016. Once again the magic will return to the Belper Parks Wood during Voluntary Arts Week and Belper Arts Festival. The woods will be inhabited by woollen creatures and vegetation created by knitters, crocheters and felt artists both local and from further afield. Red squirrels will return and be joined by foxes, hedgehogs, owls, moles, toads and insects of all varieties. Part of the woods will be transformed into the seaside and I am looking for fish, octopuses, shells, seagulls, seaweed, pebbles etc. Some trees will be decorated to tell a story and individuals or groups are very welcome to adopt a tree. Flowers of all varieties will fill the woods and amongst the bluebells there will be one that is three feet high. Woollen Woods 2016 are springing up all over the British Isles and this year Belper Parks Wood has been chosen by Voluntary Arts to be their flagship event for the Midlands. We are looking for people who would like to be part of this event.
The important thing is to enjoy making. The size of the finished pieces is not important. The event starts on Friday May 6th (Craft Bomb Day) when a couple of the trees will be craft bombed as a taster for what is to come.
The main event will start on Saturday May 7th with the installation of the rest of the pieces which will remain in the woods until May 15th. The woods can be accessed from the Coppice Car Park off the Market Place, from halfway up Mill Lane, The Fleet or the end of Alder Road.
Many items can be seen around the area of the Poetry stone not far from the Mill Lane entrance. I would like to have things for Woollen Woods 2016 by April 23rd. Please contact me for details either by leaving a comment on this blog or messaging me on my Facebook page. Last year was a great success and a lot of fun so I am hoping more people will become part of this years event.