I am currently working on a project called Jewel-Withy. I am researching the critically endangered craft of Withy pots in the South West and creating a new collection of work which will be displayed along side research at an exhibition to tell a story of the craft at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen from 24th September - 20th November 2022.
This project focuses on the craft and heritage of Withy pots in the South West. The craft is featured in the Heritage Crafts Association Red List as Critically Endangered and is also strongly connected with my children and their fathers’ heritage. There are only a few remaining traditional Withy pot makers left, which is why I feel that the time is right to be doing this project now, before valuable information is lost forever.
The project focuses on combining, education, heritage, art, and conceptual jewellery, which together tell a story of the craft.
I aim for the project to help document information, by communicating in a variety of ways and explaining the development of my jewellery. I hope to connect old and young generations, igniting an interest to learn more and possibly continue the use of the techniques, potentially re-purposing the craft and contributing towards it no longer being on the Red List.
I have divided the project into five chapters:
Chapter one – Willow,Chapter Two – Withy Pots,Chapter Three – Fishing Communities,Chapter Four – Modern Pots,Chapter Five – The Future.
Each chapter will be clearly laid out at the exhibition, displaying my jewellery alongside research and jewellery development. The research will include a variety of resources such as, physical objects, photographs, text, interviews and the results of live briefs with Cornwall college in the form of photographs and a film documentary made in collaboration with their media students and a display of art works created by their art students, inspired by a Withy pot skills workshop. There are also plans to have demonstrations, opportunities to learn to make your very own pot and talks. All of this will also be available online via my blog, social media and an exhibition book.