John Burbage us off with an explanation of the different types of material commonly used for seat weaving, and explained the relative costs an benefits of each type. As students we were working with some nice seagrass, which was very consistent and very well made.
John explained how to splice (join) lengths together, which we all achieved with relative ease.
As the seagrass is in bundles which tend to become a messy jumble very quickly, and are hard to thread, john handed out H section shuttles and we set about winding the seagrass on these. As expected a few people got into a bit of a mess, and had a spaghetti jumble to untangle.
In the background the spinners and spooners were toiling away with their projects, as were Mark (still making leather tankards), Len (Felt mushroom making), and a couple of people were busy carving.
John showed us the technique for starting a Rush pattern weave, so most of the team set off weaving, a couple of people decided to try a check pattern weave which had a slightly different starting technique.
Meanwhile Harry was demonstrating how to use River Rush. The weaving technique is the same but you need to soak, squeeze out the water and flatten it. He then matched the thin end of one part with the thick end of another, and began weaving, twisting as he went.
The seats were coming on well and it was time to install the padding, which traditionally would have been straw, so most of us began stuffing our chairs with as much as we could jam in. this is a messy job and soon the floor was covered in straw and wood chips from the spooning team.
By the end of the session the chairs were looking pretty good, the rush pattern woven seats were all complete, but the check pattern team were struggling for time, we discovered that the superb seagrass we bought was not very stretchy so getting the weft in was a bit of a fight.
Jon was really suffering with his cord which he bought from Sri Lanka, it was to say the least a little scratchy, but the seat was looking good
Jill made what looked like a huge pile of spoons, she is the spoon making queen.
Robin carved some nice figures which looked like mini-me's of him and Mark, who was still making Leather tankards
A few people went away with a little homework, especially Harry as he pointed out that once wet the River Rush needs to be used right away or it rots, so we know what he will be doing Monday.
Photo's as always