WEAVING THE WAY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Continuing the legacy of Sudbury Silk Stories, primary schools and community groups from the Sudbury area are learning about the Sudbury silk industry and the process of weaving through ‘Creative Young Weavers’.
With funding from the Arts Council of England, Babergh District Council is working with over 100 participants who are taking part in a new project called Creative Young Weavers.
It started in March 2020, building on existing relationships and momentum from the recent National Lottery Heritage Funded project, Sudbury Silk Stories and celebrating the return of the Sudbury Silk Festival in 2021.
Remodelled to reflect the changes required by COVID 19, Creative Young Weavers resumed in September 2020 delivering blended workshops for two schools, Cavendish CEVC Primary School and St Gregory CEVC Primary School. Workshops were tailored to suit the needs of each school to provide a unique opportunity for the pupils to explore weaving and expand their knowledge of their Sudbury silk heritage.
Reflecting environmental concerns, textile artist Frin Arnold has created practical workshops with waste material from the silk industry in the town. Using the waste selvedge from the silk weaving process and small sections of cardboard packaging from the raw material, Frin will engage the pupils and commumity participants in weaving exercises creating sections of weaving suitable for public display. Through the weaving experience participants will explore the role of the silk mills in the town, their global reputation and the variety of processes and jobs required to produce the luxurious cloth.
The project is expected to produce nearly 100 woven samples all brought together for a shop window exhibition on Sudbury High Street for participants, friends and family as well as the general public in the run up to Christmas.
Cllr Derek Davis, cabinet member for communities at Babergh District Council, said:
The creation of the Sudbury Silk Stories film and last year’s silk festival was a fantastic way to showcase a key part of Sudbury’s heritage attracting more than 5,000 visitors, involving local schools and partners. We are proud to continue to support these wonderful initiatives and by engaging with the next generation. Creative Young Weavers is a really interactive way for local children in Babergh to get stuck into learning new skills create something using recycled materials produced locally.