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Chatteris Wire Weaving Stories – I thought Fen Tiger was an animal

Wire Weaving in Chatteris, photos by Rob Morris

In early January a group of participants from across the Fens joined us for a 2 days Wire Weaving Workshop. The participants listened to the story of Fen Tigers by Polly Howat, which gave them the inspiration to create terrific wire sculptures with Kaitlin Ferguson. Over these 2 days, participants accomplished basic techniques of wire weaving and 12 different ways of bending and twisting and shaping! 

THE STORY OF FEN TIGERS:

The first heroic Fen Tigers came about in the early 17th century when already impoverished Fen-men and surely women, protested and took action against the drainage of thousands of acres of land financed by wealthy influential men, that would rob them of their livelihoods and access to food through wildfowl, fishing, bird trapping plus materials with which to build their rudimentary homes. Consequently, foreign labourers were brought in to execute the undertaking and the ‘Fen Tigers’ dealt with them as ferociously as real tigers, hence their nickname. After a long and dangerous struggle these people were overcome and lost their cause, yet even today many indigenous Fen people are proud to retain the name of their forebears who put up such a good fight to save what they considered to be their right.

Kaitlin Ferguson, the facilitator of the wire weaving workshop said,

It was great to be involved with the Chatteris Wire Weaving Workshop. The participants were a great group who were really creative and pushed themselves to try new techniques and to produce their own wire sculptures inspired by the story of the Fenland Tigers. Working with this group was a real pleasure and a privilege for me to support the talents of local individuals. 

 

Please explore more photos from the workshops by Rob Morris and read some of the testimonials from participants.

The workshops were very enjoyable. The storytelling by Polly was fascinating. Kaitlin shared techniques generously and encouraged self-development. It was a great chance to meet and work with people and develop wire making skills – Prue

Really enjoyable. Good mix of structured teaching and letting us get on independently. Encouraged collaboration (sharing of ideas) which was good. Kaitlin was a really friendly and encouraging teaching. Worked with everyone individually and as a group. Willing to share her experiences and tips. Polly made the story enthralling. Would love to do more of their workshops – Amber

Really looked forward to it, and enjoyed it very much. Polly and Kaitlin are very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. Really enjoyed doing this workshop and would love to do more! – Lesley

Innovative, exciting to learn a new skill. Interesting people’s concept of the same story heard. Kaitlin made it easy to learn the skill and offered us advice when needed using her experience to help us fulfil the finished result. Well worth taking a day off work learning a new skill in a relaxing friendly atmosphere. – Susan

Very different from anything I have tried before but have enjoyed the experience. Kaitlin has been inspirational and very generous with her ideas and time. She has been able to help and encourage when people were struggling. I consider it has been very worthwhile and would like to do something like this again. – Sandie