Natural Toolmaking with artist Hannah Boyd

On Easter Saturday Boundary Way played host to artist Hannah Boyd, who ran an inspirational natural toolmaking session for the Boundary Way Project Team, artists and visitors. It was such a great opportunity to be able to create handmade tools from natural materials, foraged for at the allotment and inspired by our the landscape. Our making session was followed by a chance to experiment with mark making techniques using the tools we had created and we can’t wait to share the process with you today!

Hannah introduces the workshop

Hannah introduces the workshop

Hannah's example tools

Hannah’s example tools

First of all, Hannah explained the of the sort of tools we were going to be making and what we should be looking for when foraging for our materials. She demonstrated the sort of tools we might make by showing us beautiful ones that she had created on a recent trip to Boundary Way. We all listened intently as she  explained the importance of gathering lot of different natural textures to create different marks, and of course that we should have as much fun as possible whilst collecting.

Detail of Hannah Boyd's tools

Detail of Hannah Boyd’s tools

Once Hannah had finished explaining and getting us excited for the activity, we all eagerly set off, with a plant pot each, to forage for materials around the Community Garden. We collected such a range of wonderful plants, sticks and so much more, including teasels, honesty, moss and fir.

A moss tool is shown to the group

A moss tool is shown to the group

Now it was time for us to create our natural tools. Each tool involved taking one piece of nature, such as a stick, and attaching another piece of nature to it, such as grasses or whatever else we had found! The parts of the tools were attached together either with wool, cotton, fabric or natural grass bindings. It was a lot easier than it looked and soon we were all creating. We all loved the contrast of the bright colourful wool with the natural colours and got really into making useful tools that were also works of art in themselves.

Everyone gets stuck in with their foraged materials

Everyone gets stuck in with their foraged materials

Even more wonderful tools, and the ink used for mark making

Even more wonderful tools, and the ink used for mark making

We had such fun creating our tools, all with the masterful help of artist Hannah Boyd. By the time an hour had passed we had such a variety of mark making implements that it was time to start using them. We were all very excited to see what our tools could do.  Hannah spread out the paper and the experimenting began. It was such good fun to see what our new creations could do with the addition of some ink and even more interesting that a lot of the time they didn’t create the sort of marks that we were expecting.

Artist Clare Wassermann experiments with mark making

Artist Clare Wassermann experiments with mark making

The mark making begins

The mark making begins

It was another brilliant workshop at Boundary Way and we’d like to thank Hannah Boyd for running such a fun afternoon. If you like the look of what you see here then you will be delighted to hear that Hannah will be running another Natural Toolmaking Session at our Sharing Nature Open Day.  To find out more about the session and how to book click here.

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