This weekend I ran a couple of Christmas wreath making workshops. It’s a very popular activity and we could have filled the sessions several times over. I buy in a couple of bundles of craft willow and cut some hazel from the hedgerows. To decorate the wreaths I gather a few baskets of greenery, coloured stems, herbs and seedheads from around the gardens at the museum.
Here’s one I made earlier.
Everybody gets to make and take home two wreaths, one of which they decorate.
The speedy workers also get to make stars out of the apple prunings from the orchard.
The sessions always start in a great twitter of nervous excitement and self doubt - proclamations are made of impending failure and lack of talent. But with a few simple techniques and a bit of support, calm concentration descends. Okay - so not everybody’s work would necessarily make it to the front cover of ‘Homes and Gardens’, but I have never done this session without everybody being delighted with what they’ve made. They leave with a spring in their step and an armful of Christmassy loveliness.
It confirms that thing we all know; that reconnecting people with their craft skills and giving them space to play and create is very powerful. It doesn't matter what you make/bake/build - it's the doing that's good for the soul.