I organised my first Forest School meet up for practitioners yesterday, this was done via social media and was a great opportunity to meet up with fellow practitioners to swap ideas and enjoy some cpd with a rare visit from the sun.
Things never really go to plan, I wanted to have a go at some pewter casting but couldn’t find my pewter, which is carefully hidden in the shed. I’d also cricked my neck and was struggling to look over my left shoulder. However, I took a couple of projects that I wanted to work on.
I chatted with other practitioners, wandered around a bit, had a cup of tea, sat in a hammock… and that was enough. I realised I needed to just enjoy being in the space and drop the urge to do something, it was lovely to just spend time outdoors, watch other people work on their practice and just relax.
On reflection of the day, there are some things I’d change, better introductions, define work spaces better and have 10 minutes in a hammock. I’m looking forward to the next one.
Hope you all had a lovely Xmas break, I was struck by flu for the first week of the festive break, but luckily was up and about by Boxing Day so we were able to partake in that yearly phenomenon of families walking together in the countryside. I’m lucky enough to live within a short drive to the Peak District and we headed for a scenic walk around the Chatsworth Estate.
I was very happy to discover two ancient oak trees absolutely covered in oak galls, these are left by a wasp laying it’s eggs and creating a small spherical gall. The larvae then hatches and digs it’s way out of the gall leaving a tannin rich ball of loveliness for any eco artist. I quickly filled my gloves and pockets!
So this morning, I’ve been playing with a bit of kitchen witchery and grinding the galls before adding them to iron water and setting aside for a few days. There are several methods to making oak gall ink, but this is my favourite. I’ve also ordered some gum Arabic to experiment with a thickener so will post the results when I’ve made it and compared results.