OPENING TODAY – Bees: the interconnectedness of all things at Bruton School for Girls 

The girls worked so beautifully hard and enthusiastically to produce a fabulous collaborative installation.

Three days, 80 plus students and a handful of staff produced a whole host of British bees which are now hanging in the gallery at the Bruton School for Girls.


‘Taught by Lydia Needle, Bruton School for Girls students will sculpt tiny, lifesize British bees in wool, representing just a few of the 260 varieties left in theUK. 

The bees become artworks as part of a whole school installation in the school’s gallery. To follow up this work, the students will research the habitats and ecosystems, the flora and fauna that rely on bees, to create companion artworks. Our objective is to raise awareness of the diversity of bees in Britain and to spread the story – using art as a medium – as far as possible.’ SAW guide 2017. 

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The Bilberry Bumblebee 

This is the Bilberry Bumblebee, paired with its companion piece by Helen Hickman of Nellie and Eve. 


This is what Helen says about her work.

“My creation is inspired by the landscape that Bombus Monticola (Bilberry Bumble Bee) and I live in.

Surrounded by species rich heath and peat bogs in the Welsh hills, Bilberry feeds on plants such as gorse, blackberry and of course, bilberries, which line banks.

As a spinner, weaver and dyer my material of choice is local wool, a much undervalued, sustainable fibre.

By carefully foraging for plants that produce rich, natural dyes for my hand spun yarns, crochet hexagons become ‘honeycomb’ inside a used ‘brood’ frame representing how it is possible to mindfully interact and interconnect with our natural environment.” 

Cat’s piece – the nomad bee

Second bee companion for sharing, this is by Cat Frampton and has to be seen to believed – the cirl buntings are so, so small but perfectly realised, and the Braille, well, it’s a challenge – can you rise to the challenge? 


It is companioned with Nomada sexfasciata.

This is what Cat says about her piece: 

‘The birds and the bees

My bee is a rare bee. A rare bee with a solitary, thieving life. It depends on another bee to steal from, that bee is also rare. These bees share a crook of land with a bird, a rare bird.

In 1989 the Cirl Bunting lived (in Britain) only at Prawle Point, Devon, 118 pairs, clinging on.

Then conservationists and local farmers stepped in and saved the birds (over 1000 nests now, all along the coast). Did saving the birds save the bees?

Farmers, rare birds and bees combine, for the good of them all.

Can you tell what the Braille says?’ 

Work in progress

So, working against the clock it seems, still about 15 pieces to make for ‘evolution’ with deadline this weekend…Hahahaha (nervous laughter)

And of course, I’m working on something completely different….well, not completely, it’s still part of the ‘Leave Only Footprints’ theme, this ones called ‘composition’ and goes something like this:

It’s an evolving thing and I might be some time….

Blow the wind blow

What a difference a day makes- gone was the late summer sun, in its place a very strong autumnal  westerly wind followed by scrawly rain. But you can’t get a bad at Brean.

So this is what we did:

We checked that the elements of  ‘erosion’ were still attached,


We helped Joy install ‘Still Going Strong’ graffiti shirts,


We set up the log burner for fresh coffee and drop pancakes for breakfast,


We added to ‘evolution’,

We ate Shaun’s mushroom soup and Brean blackberry and apple crumble,


We made a little film of the changing weather,

We admired the wool in the 1st world war uniforms,


We met a kitten, a tortoise, lots of dogs and a camera club,


We lit candles, stoked the fire, hid from the diagonal rain, welcomed 400 people and generally


Had a laugh!

Looking forward to more of the same next Thursday. Until then, dear friends, it’s back to the home studio for some serious stabbing.

Cat – another lovely donation

I was really pleased to receive these lovely threads and so enjoyed working with them – so satisfying.

I wonder how this one did last night – the wind was immense and the rain came down.