Janet's paper making was great fun. There were about 10 of us in the big hall with a table each. We had our pre-prepared paper pulp which we watered down in our plastic vats and scooped up with our deckle and mortars and drained a bit before laying it down on j-cloths and soaking up excess with sponges. The paper and j cloths were put to dry but none of us managed to dry our papers before going home so we each took soggy piles to dry at home. Hopefully some of us will bring paper to display at the next meeting.
Tutor Janet with deckle, mortar and a paper sheet in the making; plastic vat below.
Ann experimenting - 1. pieces caught between two layers and 2. pieces laid on top.
At very short notice Lyn Rochester gave us an excellent talk about
her teaching needlework to women at Morton Hall Prison.
Her teaching was part of the Fine Cell Work project which "is a
social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework to
foster hope, discipline and self-esteem." The organisation was officially started in
1997 by Lady Anne Tree following decades of lobbying the Home Office to change
the law so prison inmates could learn the skill of needlework and be paid for
To illustrate her talk Lyn brought samples of
completed work plus many photo notebooks of work which has been
completed. She also brought correspondence she's
received from women she taught. Her talk was an amazing insight into the good
which can be achieved by assisting people to learn needlework
skills. Lyn's work and that of others, including
Carole Biggin, continued until Morton Hall closed in 2011 and the women chose
another prison to finish their sentence. Now Lyn promotes the ongoing Fine Cell
Work by giving talks to groups and this
helps raise awareness.