A mystery visitor

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After the lights were out and the workshop shut up for the night, an unexpected visitor came to check us out:

He’s interested in the leftover chicken curry, but wary of the circle of light from a torch fixed above the infra-red camera.

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Halfway house

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Back in Bristol now for a while to catch up with other commitments, it’s good to think back over our week in Langport and the long days of making. It was great to have so much interesting company (thanks Cara for all the help with sanding!), and we will try to post some of the stories we collected on the blog over the next few days.

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As Ian says, conditions weren’t always easy (the ice in the top photo came from the top of a bucket in the workshop) – but it was a cheerful place and the work kept us warm. The last day was fantastic, we got loads done and finished off with the ‘knees’ and locker fronts all in place. It was good to see it starting to take on the shape and volume of an actual boat, and to test all the bevels and curves by bending a pliant length of planed timber against all the ribs, to see if they sat flush against each other. (This job takes all four hands, so we don’t have a photo, but it’s very satisfying to see. We’ll try to do it with a friend on hand next time, so we can post a photograph…)

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Workshops at the Curry Mallet Primary School

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Thanks again to the staff and pupils at Curry Mallet Primary School, who hosted us for two really rewarding sessions. We split the day between the older and younger pupils, and worked in groups across year groups to make sure everybody could take part. There were some really creative ideas and compelling images.
One group focused on recalling how the water flowed over a bridge, another set out a detailed landscape of saturated fields trans-sected by brimming rhynes. Others came up with inventive ideas for the future, including an under-water truck like a wheeled submarine, which would remain stable on the ground and not float, as well as a couple of space-borne craft. I was struck by the detail of some children’s observations and recollections – the precise way water over-spills the raised banks of a river, or the fine feathery branches of pollarded willows strung out along a rhyne.

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What an incredible, talented and entertaining group of young artists – we hope to see you all again!

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Sail making with young people in Langport…

Last week we were back in Langport for another great session with Langport and Huish Youth Club. We heard some interesting stories of young people’s experiences with the floods, some of them happy memories and some difficult.

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It was good to see the different ways people had found to move around and connect with their families or explore the landscape – from visiting grandparents by tractor, to horse riding in knee-high waters.

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The workshop brought up a lot of ideas. One participant’s immediate reactions was to make an image of deforestation – “because that affects the flooding”.

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Ideas became more complex as the session infolded – we’re looking forward to coming back again for more stories and beautiful images!

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