• Ruth Woods

Meet the Makers We Love!


Meet Louise Freckelton

Louise lives on a small-scale alternative farm and conservation area named Highfield Farm and Woodland. It's a beautiful bush setting near Adelong, NSW. When she's not raising sheep, cattle, and chickens or tending to a permaculture garden, she's also busy running a spectacular self-contained farm stay (some call it an eco-hut) called Kestrel Nest. Outside of her busy day-to-day, Louise will spend her downtime making and creating beautiful woven works.

As far as the Craft School Oz community goes, Louise is a dream. She's an avid maker of natural baskets, collecting locally sourced material from around her own farm. She shared with us parts of her 'makers story' and we are so grateful.


Why do you think this craft appeals to you? What do you think is so special about it? I've always been drawn to textiles; I'm also a keen amateur botanist and gardener. Basket weaving is a craft that allows me to connect these interests into a creative practice.


Have you always been a maker? If so, what are some creative practices you've done in the past? I've been making it seriously for about a year now. I began weaving a few years ago when I did an afternoon workshop with a First Nations Park Ranger, Talea Bulger who works at Kosciuszko National Park. Then I undertook another course run by Harriet Goodallat at the Wired Lab. After that, I discovered the course run by Craft School Oz. I also crochet and sew.


I find making a soothing process, it calms me. I like the rhythm of making cordage, how you don't even have to look at it while you make it.

Do you like to create by yourself, or is it something you like to do with others around you?

Now, by myself, partially due to my relatively isolated location - but I do connect with another weaver near Wagga Wagga. I also like to follow lots of makers online for some added inspiration.


Aside from the creative aspect, what do you think drives us to make? What inspires or drives you to create your wonderful work?

I find making a soothing process, it calms me. I like the rhythm of making cordage, how you don't even have to look at it while you make it.


I love the different textures of different materials; how the materials form the vessel, It's not just your working hands - it's like what you're making has a mind of its own. Some materials just want to go a certain way.


I find making a soothing process, it calms me. I like the rhythm of making cordage, how you don't even have to look at it while you make it.

Any other materials you recommend?

I love using the materials I find around me in the paddock and the garden. Iris, jonquil, hollyhock, corn husk, carex, native grasses, and reeds.


You can follow Louise on Instagram @lou.loutown and get inspired!




Meet Sally Holliday

Sally has spent most of her years in Australia's capital, Canberra. Her childhood holidays were spent by the sea, beachcombing is where she's most at home. As an adult, she's spent close to a decade in Melbourne, arguably the arts capital of Australia, with its gallery precincts and long-established creative culture.


Weaving is a bit of a departure from what I'm used to. Its constructive aspect challenges me to think about shape and form in new ways.

Sally says she's always found joy in creativity - she loves its challenges. 'Making' she says, has always been a part of her life. We asked her a few questions about creativity, basket weaving, and what gets her inspired.


Why do you think this craft appeals to you? What do you think is so special about it?

What I love about basketry and weaving is the way you bring together disparate threads to forge a cohesive form. It's a meditative practice, which really helped me when Covid lockdowns kicked in. Each incremental stitch brings the mind and body together in unison. As a fellow maker and weaver Joan Erikson said: 'A good life is like weaving. Energy is created in the tension. The struggle, the pull and tug are everything'.


Have you always been a maker? If so, what are some creative practices you've done in the past? Do they tie in with basket-making?

I have always loved making things. In the past, I've been drawn to collage and mixed media assembly techniques, Weaving is a bit of a departure from what I'm used to. Its constructive aspect challenges me to think about shape and form in new ways. That being said, sometimes it's about surrendering preconceptions completely and just allowing the basket to tell you what it wants, revealing its form round by round.


It's easy to get caught in comparison traps, but it's important to find your own hand and expressive style.

What do you think it means to be creative? Has creativity always come easy to you or have you had to work on it?

I've always found joy in creativity but learning and mastering new skills can require discipline and dedication. Being creative means embracing the challenge of initial experimentation and acquiring a toolbox of techniques you can dispatch at will. It's easy to get caught in comparison traps, but it's important to find your own hand and expressive style.


Aside from the creative aspect, what do you think drives us to make? What inspires or drives you to create your wonderful work?

Making restores the balance in my life. It allows me to move stuff around - with my hands, but also emotionally. It allows me to find new solutions to problems. To me, it's as essential and life-giving as breathing. Sometimes it's an anchor, at others it's an escape. I am inspired by nature and its teachings. My latest body of work explores elements of the grassland nature reserve near my home.


If you have participated in one of our online or face-to-face workshops and would like to tell your story please contact us at create@craftschooloz.com We love sharing what you do!


If you'd like to know more about our online courses you can check them out here:

ONLINE COURSES


Need to buy craft materials? We buy our raffia from The Raffia Connection and String Harvest.

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