Weaving Yarns with Heather Wastie

Heather Wastie seeks inspiration beside the Axminster loom
Heather Wastie seeks inspiration beside the Axminster loom

We are very pleased to announce that local writer, humourist and musician Heather Wastie is our Writer in Residence.

Heather approached the Museum in Spring 2013 with this wonderful idea. She succeeded in getting Arts Council Lottery funding for the project as well as a grant from Worcestershire Arts Partnership. We at the Museum have had the most exciting time working alongside Heather all year to support her work.  And we hope it’s not over yet!

In her role as Writer in Residence, Heather has organised a number of workshops for adults and young people during which she has led participants into creating their own written and verbal yarns.

Heather was hooked from the outset: “When I first came into the Museum and saw the looms, I was taken aback at the size of them, and once they began to run, the noise was incredible, so loud! And to think there is just one running at a time in the Museum. The galleries themselves are bright and the displays informative. It’s great that we have the Museum as the carpet industry was the life blood of the community for so long. I want to meet people and write about their experiences for my blog as Writer in Residence, and with the workshops we want people to have the opportunity to give their own interpretations.”

Paula Kovacs, the Museum Manager, says, “We are so excited to be able to work with Heather; she has done some great work researching the carpet industry and this will be another piece in the jigsaw of the heritage of Kidderminster. I’m looking forward to the intergenerational workshops and the swapping stories between young and old.”

With musician, Kate Wragg, Heather performed Kidderminster Stuff, a combination of songs, poems and reminiscences inspired by or collected at the Museum of Carpet as part of the Kidderminster Arts Festival in August 2013.  The event was a sell out and Heather is now seeking funding to extend the project work.

You can keep up with Heather’s work and progress by following her Weaving Yarns blog.

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