- bags made from milk bottles
- beads made from Christmas cards
- garlands made from food wrappers
- bowl from coiled paper
- bowl from tissue paper and serviettes
- crocodile made from straws
- angels from aluminium cans
- flowers from whatever junk was available, and
- crochet from plastic bags.
Some pictures follow for your enjoyment and amazement. These kids were BRILLIANT!
On arrival we met the CEO and the Mayor and showed them what we intended to make with the children. After an initial morning set up, we wandered the community, yarning with whoever had the time to talk with us. This was a wise move because it was the children of those we yarned with that attended the workshops.
At visit end we paraded the children’s recycled crafts through the council building and different staff were gifted pieces of recycled craft to hang on their walls or display on their shelves. Some staff wanted to purchase items of craft but they were lovingly made for the children’s mother and not for sale.
The weather was perfect while we were there (albeit, HOT) and the prawns were running along the beach. Hence, families spent their days at the beach trawling for prawns and fishing. This negatively impacted upon the number of children attending the workshops.
A learning for Jess and I was that next time, we will workshop on the beach (making fish from the plastic bottles and lids that are far too common in the beach windrows and high tide mark) where the parents can see us making things with the kids rather than being suspicious of two white women who come to town and want to round up the kids.
A second learning is that having a local gate keeper to introduce the activity and to be at the workshops is imperative. We were fortunate enough to have a woman from council craft with us for two of the three days (Thank you, Grace, you were fantastic). She embraced the concept of Smart Art very quickly and I taught her how to make plarn from plastic bags and to crochet it into bags.
An absolute honour and highlight for me was that some of the children taught us some corroboree moves, some language and told some cultural stories about totems, ghosts and lore.
I learnt as much as I taught. Thank you, people of Pormpuraaw. Our visit was WONDERFUL and we loved your country, your place and your beach.