WOOLLY BUNTING TO WELCOME THE OLYMPIC TORCH TO DOVER
When the Olympic Torch passes through Dover on 18 July it will be welcomed by a host of hand-crafted woolly bunting and an Olympic Archway, comprising colourful pom poms placed at the entrance to the Underpass leading from the tiwn to the Esplanade. The bunting and pom poms have been mostly made by craft makers in Dover, as well as school pupils and young people, but we have had generous contributions from Maidstone, Slough, Milton Keynes, Beijing and Brisbane.
Bunting Forever was launched on 23 July 2011 as part of DAD's open weekend 2011 events. At the launch, a group of volunteers from the Dover Community Craft Group sat around The Table, a sculpture created by artists Anthony Heywood and Uwe Derksen from the University for the Creative Arts, and were joined by localshoppers and tourists of many nationalities, as they knitted and crocheted triangles of Woolly Bunting.
Julie Bishop has been leading Bunting Forever workshops since the launch and in that time 100 people have come together to make the thousands of individual pennants that will be needed to become a mile of bunting - each pennant distinctive, some in Olympic colours. Leftover balls of wool have been donated and felt sourced from unwanted blankets and jumpers.
“We thought there were many more advantages in hand-crafting woollen and felt bunting, and inviting members of the public to take the time to knit or crochet each pennant themselves. This way people can feel they have made a personal contribution when the Olympic torch comes” explains Julie Bishop whose enthusiasm and craft skills, are key to the success of the Bunting Forever project “We can involve everyone who wants as it’s a very accessible method, and each pennant is a different design, reflecting the character of the person who put the time into making it”.
2012 is a year where sporting values are to the fore – hard work, determination to be the best you can be, excellence - and this project is very much part of the zeitgeist. In times of austerity, the handmade is re-invigorated and re-valued. In a culture of instant gratification, the art of making takes time, skill and commitment. In an economy that favours mass-produced disposable items, a unique object is hand-crafted by repurposing material that would otherwise be thrown away. In a society where family and neighbourly connections are weaker, it unites strangers in a shared endeavour in which everyone’s work is equal and equally valued. Where individuals are often disempowered by civic processes, it enables meaningful contribution and participation that may not otherwise have taken place. Bunting Forever is one way in which the general public can have a stake in the formal celebrations that will take place during the torch relay. And importantly, it is this individual contribution and participation that can become the foundation for a lasting creative spirit in the town post 2012.
If you'd like to take part, come along to one of the workshops or if it is difficult to get to the workshops you can try following the patterns attached below. Julie also leads a Knit and Natter session on Monday afternoons between 2pm and 4pm at Amina's Cafe: 22 Biggin Street Dover, CT16 1BH.
Another way to get involved is to donate any unused yarn or any woollen garments or blankets. Drop them in to Julie at Amina's or contact Clare or Joanna at firstname.lastname@example.org
To make bunting flags in the Olympic colours you will need wool that matches the following pantone colours:
Purple – pantone 254 Orange – pantone 171 Yellow – Pantone 3945 Green – Pantone 368 Blue – Pantone 312
Workshop 1: 6 August 2011, 10am - 4pm, Old Sorting Office Charlton Green Dover, opposite Morrisons Workshop 2: 29 August, 2011, 10am - 7pm, as part of Kent Miners Festival, Aylesham Village Centre, near Dover, Workshop 3: 17 September, 2011, 12.30 - 4.00pm, Old Sorting Office Charlton Green Dover, opposite Morrisons, preceded by knitting in the Market Square, 10.00 - 12.00am during the screening of Dovertime. Workshop 4: 8 October 2011, 10.00 - 2.00pm, Shepherdswell village Hall, near Dover, alongside Macmillan coffee morning and craft fair Workshop 5:29 October 2011, 10.00am-4.00pm, Old Sorting Office Charlton Green Dover, opposite Morrisons Workshop 6: 26 November, The Curve, Dover Discovery Centre, Market Square 12.00pm-4pm, to coincide with Dover Town Council Christmas event Workshop 7: 18 February 2012, The Curve, Dover Discovery Centre, Market Square 10.00am-4pm Workshop 8:Family bunting workshop, 24 March 2012, St Mary's School, Laureston Place, Dover CT16 1QX Workshop 9:18 April, Dover Discovery Centre Cafe, 09.45am-1pm, as part of 100 days to go celebrations Workshop 10: 19 May, 2012, The Curve, Dover Discovery Centre, Market Square 10.00am-4pm Workshop 11: 21 May 2012, Dover Discovery Centre Cafe, 09.45am-1pm, as part of 100 days to go to the Paralympics Workshop 12: 3 June 2012, bunting forever and Olympic Archway workshop as part of the Big Jubilee Lunch at the Big Screen in Dover's Market Square led by Dover District Council, 11am-5pm Workshop 13: 4 June 2012 - jubiliee themed bunting forever and Olympic Archway workshop as part of Dover Town Council's jubilee celebrations: Additional workshops: 16, 23, 30 June: Olympic Archway workshops in Dover's Market Square: 10am-4pm, The Curve, Dover Discovery Centre, Market Square 10.00am-4pm
Interviews with Julie Bishop: Julie Bishop interviewed by Hugh Kermode: watch here
Patterns for downloading and interviews with Clare Smith:
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