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June 8, 2023

BLOG: Wool Shop Jigsaws

In this series of blogs, our Creative Programmes Coordinator Sunny Townsend, brings a novel perspective to the work of Albatross Arts and the ways to capture the power of the creative arts on well-being.

This week, I joined the evening ‘cocktail hour’ group, out of curiosity to observe a different bunch of weavers and a slightly different experience of an Albatross Art workshop.

It was more chatty and giggly than the morning group – at least one person did have a cocktail (well, G&T) and there was a running joke about wool shop jigsaws, brilliant! Afterwards it occurred to me that the 1000 piece knit and knatter jigsaw I found online actually captures the atmosphere of the group! Incredible given they’ve only ever met online.

Later it piped down “it’s lovely just watching the concentration on everybody’s faces” someone said, “like starting pudding” said another, “the soundtrack of creativity” said Alex.

“My daughter has been in hospital this week and is pretty miserable” one weaver shared. Her husband had still insisted she still join the workshop “it is the one thing I do for me in the week”.

My heart nearly broke. When someone shares something like that, you feel the full emotional force of what these workshops give.

Earlier, Alex had told me what had happened in the morning group workshop, and it had included Bollywood dancing and that the lady who cried in the first week when all her wool fell off the loom, had given up weaving but still wanted to come along! I found myself feeling sad to have missed it all. What did I miss? Like the crier, it wasn’t really the weaving, it was the people.

My link to my science background this week is a bit different, it’s about my approach to writing. In previous posts, I felt like I was overthinking it, carefully considering what to weave in from science to provide a fresh perspective. This week I have gone with Alex’s advice to ‘go with the gut’. It’s also something I find I can do when I am drawing, I get out of my head and let my gut lead as to what feels right and interesting.

I realise now that as a scientist I have worked mostly in my head. I wonder what it would be like to be a scientist who listens more to their gut? I wonder if they tend to me more experimental, more creative maybe? I wonder what internal processes Darwin drew on to come up with the theory of evolution!

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