Thursday, 27 November 2014

SAW BLOG: No Common Crane

Stoke St Gregory Pupils, photo: Nisha Haq

We invited our resident SAW blogger Davina Jelley along to the Celebration of Cranes Illuminated Procession - read her account of the evening's celebrations
on the SAW blog.

SAW BLOG: NO COMMON CRANE: A Celebration of Cranes: Last weekend I got to witness the illuminated finale of many months hard work and the atmosphere was truly celebr...

The Great Crane Project Blog

Michael Wilson from the Great Crane Project writes about the Celebration of Cranes event in his latest blog post.

Read all about it by clicking here:
Great Crane Project Blog

Monday, 24 November 2014

An amazing crowd of over 500 people at the Celebration of Cranes event

Over 500 people joined the Celebration of Cranes event last Saturday - celebrating 5 years of The Great Crane Project and SAW's creative partnership throughout. The Big Noise Street Band played as 80 school children processed with lanterns and costumes singing songs about cranes that they wrote themselves. RSPB volunteers and people from across the levels joined in puppeteering huge cranes and helping in so many ways. A magical sight and huge thanks to everyone, especially Nicola and Jonathon Coate at the Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre

Photography: Jon England.  More pictures to follow soon...   

Saturday, 22 November 2014

A Celebration of Cranes - Today! - 22 November

The weather is with us, our fantastic team of people are getting everything ready - it's going to be great!

Did you catch the BBC Somerset interview this morning at 11.50?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Twenty Crane Headdresses and Thirty-four Dragonflies

Stoke St Gregory Headdresses with lights inside
Dragonfly lanterns from North Curry - awaiting their wings!

Twenty illuminated Crane headdresses made by pupils from Stoke St Gregory Primary School with artist Sarah Butterworth now join the North Curry dragonflies at the grain store at Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre. Sarah thinks the pupils may have been channelling Mondrian in their workshop? 

Preparations are building speed for our event on 22 November - Illuminated lantern procession and celebration of 5 years of The Great Crane Project and its creative partnership with Somerset Art Works. More info in posts further down the page...

Thursday, 6 November 2014


Earlier this week SAW Blogger Davina Jelley was invited to North Curry Primary School to document the workshop being run by artist Sarah Butterworth as part of the Celebration of Cranes project.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

We are Celebrating!

Join Somerset Art Works and The Great Crane Project on Saturday 22nd November at the Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre in Stoke St Gregory to mark the fifth anniversary of an inspiring project that aims to reintroduce Cranes to the Somerset Levels.

North Curry School Workshops - photos: Davina Jelley
An iconic bird, the crane has been featured in art throughout the centuries and yet has been missing from our landscape for the past 400 years - until now, surely that is worthy of a celebration?

Artist Sarah Butterworth, from Emerald Ant, has been leading workshops with schools and community groups - from the organised chaos of willow, tissue and copious amounts of glue, some amazing sculptural forms have emerged. 

Pupils from Stoke St Gregory and North Curry Schools have been creatively engrossed in constructing dragonflies and headdresses, whilst Heathfield School have made some striking theatrical costumes. 
The school workshops have been supported by InspirED Somerset

Two large Crane sculptures  took their initial test flight under blue skies, however the clocks have now changed and the evenings are now far darker, which is just perfect, as all the sculptures require the night sky to reveal their true glowing potential as illuminated lanterns.

Throughout the five year partnership of Somerset Art Works and The Great Crane Project, diverse artistic projects have created quite a buzz amongst the many participants and the Somerset community has embraced this characterful bird back into their lives - all wishing to witness the first pair that will breed and go on to successfully raise their young.

Dioramas - Huish Academy with artist Melanie Tomlinson
Throughout the afternoon you will also be able to see work from an earlier project, artist Melanie Tomlinson and pupils from Huish Episcopi Academy created colourful dioramas depicting the Cranes that are at the centre of all these celebrations. 

The procession with illuminated lanterns, music and dancing is on Saturday 22 November at 4.30pm at the Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre, Stoke St Gregory.

For a procession to be truly celebratory and uplifting you need music and this is to be provided by The Big Noise Street Band and Stoke St Gregory School Band.

Admission is free and the afternoon promises many attractions for all ages to share and enjoy as the procession is part of the annual Christmas Craft & Food Fayre which runs from 2 - 5.30pm.

Hope to see you there!

Willows and Wetlands Christmas Crafts and Food Fayre

Our Celebration of Cranes Illuminated Lantern Procession takes place during the annual Christmas Crafts and Food Fayre at the Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre on 22 November 2 - 5.30pm
The Willows and Wetlands Centre holds
 willow craft workshops throughout the year.

A festive afternoon of shopping - a feast of locally made gifts, produce and crafts. Father Christmas will be present with his Willow Wands telling festive tales around the fire. There will also be a superb raffle, willow making, refreshments from The Lemon Tree available along with Leather studio, Photo gallery, and Craft shop. You can also join in with the Christmas Treasure Trail. The Museum will also be open, as will the Willow Shop. Raising funds throughout the afternoon for Stoke St Gregory C of E Primary School.