In December we held Christmas Eco-Craft workshop, and enjoyed it so much that we resolved to make these a regular feature of our Eco Church calendar.
We are trying revive old skills and learn new ones, in our efforts to live more simply and sustainably. We also introduced a bit of Craftivism into proceedings this time, beginning an exciting campaigning project linked to November’s COP 26 climate talks. Our approach to the climate crisis is to be hopeful and practical, but not naive. We know that lifestyle changes at the individual level are only a tiny part of the solution to meeting carbon reduction targets. But in order for our Government to invest in the structural changes needed and put an effective strategy in place, ministers and MPs need to know that they have our support to do so. Churches are being asked to write to their MPs to ask them to ensure the government takes the necessary steps. As you will see below, we have decided to embroider our messages instead! This is an ongoing project, so see Ali if you want to be in on this!
Ali wanted to revive the art of Easter egg painting as an alternative to buying the chocolate variety this year. With eggs and paints provided and PVA glue to varnish, this was a popular activity with all ages.
A fun activity to create as a gift, and as an alternative to plastic body scrubbers. The soap is wrapped in carded fleece and placed in an old pop sock. It is placed in hot and cold water and rubbed until the fleece is felted. Different colours can be added and the process repeated, creating a lovely marbled effect.
Another popular idea for an Easter gift was to decorate old plant pots and pebbles with pictures from paper serviettes and varnish them with PVA. This technique was used to make tree ornaments at the Christmas workshop, but was just as effective as an Easter gift idea!
For those wanting to avoid using wrapping paper to wrap their Easter gifts, there was the chance to make a re-usable fabric gift bag. These are easy to make and a good first project on a sewing machine. There’s a Youtube clip which might help, if you’re having a go at this.
I bought fabric squares from Hellerslea Fabrics in Newport, but you could re-purpose any suitable rectangular piece of fabric, perhaps from a charity shop.
We put out the knitting patterns from the last workshop and at least one wash mitt was produced during the afternoon!
Craftivism is craft with a purpose. It is designed with a message, to inspire positive change. We are embroidering fabric squares to make an inspirational craftivism quilt! Rather than send the whole quilt to our MP we will photograph the squares and send them, strategically, as postcards to support and encourage our government to take the action that we need to meet our carbon reduction targets.
Thanks to all who prepared activities and who came along to have a go. Many thanks to Liz and Sylvia who made the soup lunch, to Liz and Rose for serving teas, and to Andrew, Phil and Dave for putting the world to rights.
All ideas for our next next Eco Craft workshop, in May, gratefully received! Watch this space!