Making paintbrushes from the bark of leilandii, sticks of willow and other foraged pieces, creating works and taking inspiration from the Wye Valley and Sitting, Pen-Y-Graig’s wonderful tree!
The first step was to forage sticks that felt nice in the hand, in way of handles. As well as two large flat stones, for pounding the leilandii bark into fibrous material, which was a rather laborious but enjoyable process. The fibrous material was then wrapped around the sticks, and secured with hessian. Thus creating brushes of all sizes and shapes, to mark-make with.
Then, using a pestle and mortar to ground up charcoal (made in Lauren’s small holding) into a fine powder, which was then mixed with water, to experiment with different viscosities and make inks and paints.
We then went for a walk through the woods, and investigated capturing shape, light and shadow. Using the tools and paints that were made by hand and we used to draw and paint on birch bark. One of the first papers known to man. The outcome was some very sculptural, primitive tools that, when used, created juxtaposing soft and delicate marks. As you can see, the participant’s end results, given the primitive nature of the tools are incredible.