LIGHTING UP THE DARK PROJECT
Lighting up the dark project.
A ten-week recruiting project to explore the art of lantern making.
This project gave us a chance to find and introduce new members to our wonderful group.
Looking at the art of lantern making, how lanterns have been made historically and artistically.
There are three general types of paper lanterns:
• Hanging lantern - the oldest type of paper lantern used for illumination. They are generally carried, hung, or mounted on stands.
• Sky/flying lantern - a small hot air balloon made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended. Also known as flying lanterns, sky candles and fire balloons.
In China, Taiwan and Thailand sky lanterns are traditionally made from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame. The source of hot air may be a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material.
In Brazil and Mexico sky lanterns were traditionally made of several patches of thin paper (locally called "silk paper"), in various bright colours, glued together to make a multi-coloured polyhedron shell. A design that was fairly common was two pyramids joined by the base sometimes with a cube or prism inserted in the middle.
• Water/floating lantern - paper lanterns that float on the surface of water. Also known as a river or lake lamps depending on the water body in which the water lamp is floated.
The water lamp originated in India and later spread to Southeast Asia and East Asia due to influence of Hindu-Buddhist cultural diffusion.
The Water Lantern has been used in traditional Chinese festivals such as the Lantern festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese New Year, and even Christmas in some places like Hong Kong. In Japan “Tōrō nagashi” is a ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns down a river.This activity is traditionally performed on the final evening of the Bon festival in the belief that it will help to guide the souls of the departed to the spirit world. This peaceful custom is a gesture of respect for those who have died and gives participants a moment to think about their ancestors, loved ones or even past pets.
During this project we explored different materials, staring with the simplest and building to the more technical methods and materials.Using simply card and inks and paper then wool, balloons and tissue paper and finally bringing in a expert willow worker the wonderful Wendy Bristow of Twigs and Sprigs to teach us some of her skills.
THE POTS OF FUN PROJECT.
The Pots of Fun Project.
We were delighted to receive a micro-grant from the Neighbourly Community Fund, as this enabled us to stay in touch with our Sharing Memories members throughout lockdown and gave us the funds to supply everyone with an additional pre-project pack for working on at home during covid.
After fifteen months apart, we started our Pots of Fun project in earnest, making lavender and calendula sugar scrubs and various herbal teas, learning all about the plants’ properties. Which was a wondefully fragrant session.
Then working with Holmfirth Junior & Infant school to prepare and plant up the raised beds on their new allotment. Together we learnt about Hügelkultur, a horticultural technique where a mound constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass/plant materials is planted as a raised bed. We sourced our biomass materials together, with the children from Nabb School-Holmfirth Junior Infant and Nursery School, from the Schools local wood.
The herbs planted up at the School were grown from seed by the adults at Ponderosa Day Centre.
As part of this project we also learned the craft of mosaicing, although this was adapted, to accommodate social distancing rules. We brought together our members wonderful work and decorated some large terracotta pots with thier mosaic designs. The mosaics designs were inspired by drawings of local flora.
We then planted up our mosaic pots with colourful floral and herbaceous displays & offered them to local venues: library, cafe's, to brighten up the local area.
We also had a super visit to Springvale Community Garden in Penistone as part of our Pots of Fun Project. Our thanks to all the volunteers there who made our visit so special, including the delicious cakes!
CULTURE COLOUR & CHOCOLATE
Culture's, Colour and Chocolate Project.
Culture's colours and chocolates project explored different cultural arts and how we celebrate the season of spring. Looking together at Holi - a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the "Festival of Love", the "Festival of Colours", and the "Festival of Spring".
While exploring different creative techniques we created our own sand mandalas. A mandala is a geometric configuration of symbols. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas are employed for focusing attention. Our mandalas were created with spring and spring time celebrations in mind.
Sharing memories group worked beside the wonderful children from Mount Plesant School in Lockwood and also with the fabulous children from Nabb School in Holmfirth.