Earlier in the summer I was invited to demonstrate at the Abbaye de Boschaud near Villars for the Fête “Flânerie Artistique”. This has become quite a well known and well attended show in the area and I was fortunate enough to be able to set up my stand in the old abbey. I have to say that in my time I have given demonstrations in some fairly amazing places around the U.K. (stately homes, palaces, castles, including Windsor Castle, and some beautiful woodlands too) as part of my work with Living Heritage and the RHS in the 1990’s but this place was really special. I set up beneath the partly fallen down dome of the Abbey and hoped that none of the precariously positioned cut stone would cut short my demonstration!
It was a very hot, sunny day which was only intensified by being within the white stone walls of the Abbey and this may have been the reason why nobody stayed around long enough to buy anything! Although this was possibly one of the worst shows I have done financially, it was one of the most rewarding emotionally!
Whilst demonstrating in front of crowds, sometimes large, in the U.K. it was very rare that I ever heard a question or comment that I hadn’t heard several times before. I always had a stash of comical, witty responses that would generally make everyone laugh, I went with the crafty idea that if they were smiling and happy they would be more inclined to put their hands in their pockets!! (I’d worked with a few knarly old timers who taught me some tricks of the trade!)
At the Abbaye I recognised many of the same old questions and comments in french and was able to respond, I got them chuckling and created some banter which was great. Obviously there is still work to be done as nobody was parting with any cash. I’m hoping that had more to do with the economic crisis than it had to do with my french or the quality of my work, but it was a start!!
The experience has re-invigorated me to do more weaving which is what got me started on this journey all those years ago. Happy Times!