Old trampolines will result in a creativity bounce among children in the Borders

Borders children are being encouraged to bounce off their creative ideas by weaving them into an innovative project in which old trampoline frames are being converted into looms.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 1:40 pm
In the frame. (Photo: MIKE HARKIN)
In the frame. (Photo: MIKE HARKIN)

An exciting weaving project in Earlston which taps into traditional skills and explores new approaches is proving a big hit with kids this summer.

The project at Birkhill House crafting centre in Earlston, in conjunction with the Beyond Earlston youth group, is part of a free 12-week weaving programme for P7-S6 group pupils that has been fully funded by Creative Scotland, Youth Borders and Scottish Borders Council.

As part of the experience old trampoline frames are being strung with wires and converted into makeshift looms.

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Innovative weaving. (Photo: MIKE HARKIN)

Birkhill House’s Lara Armitage chose weaving because she wanted the children to “weave positive messages and behaviours into their lives”.

But the project soon took on a different direction.

She explained: "So it started off as a kind of metaphor and then I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing to give them actual weaving skills, given the history of the textile industry in the Borders?

"So I set about finding a lot of weavers in the Borders who we could bring into the programme.”

Participants include Janis Embleton, a traditional loom weaver from Swinton, Duns-based Eta Igham-Lawrie, a freestyle weaver, willow weaver Carys Dawes, from Gordon, and Lucy Baxandall, a paper maker from Berwick.

Lara added: “My teaching with the kids is based around reclaimed materials. It’s a 12-week programme and for the last five weeks from mid-August to mid-September we’re going to be weaving using feed bags and farm plastic onto seven old trampoline frames that have been strung with wires to make them into looms, and they will eventually be on display at various places in the Borders. As a taster we also used plastic that was destined for landfill with rescued slip ‘n slides and wove them together as a wee taster for the kids to show what is to come in the last five weeks.”

The trampoline sessions are fully booked but there are places remaining for the last four weeks of the weaving sessions. To find out more go to wwwatbirkhillhouse.co.uk