Hunting the Wren is a custom which continues in some parts of the British Isles in various forms. My version involves textile wrens with no harm coming to anyone. The hunt traditionally takes place on St Stephen’s day, which is the 26 December, making it a brilliant activity in my version for entertaining bored, post-Christmas children. The Pomegranate version is really a variation on hunting the Easter Bunny.
In the first part of the day we will have a brief discussion of the custom and why it is linked to St Stephen. We will also talk about adapting a game specifically for your family. We will look at a variety of textile wrens, and do some experimenting with various techniques. In the afternoon you will begin to make your own reusable set of wrens.
There will be a short, informative and accessible talk on the custom of hunting the wren by Peter Fleming, Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at the University of the West of England.
In the morning we will look at the following wren-making techniques:
- Simple printing on fabric
- Crocheting wrens
- Stuffed fabric wrens
- Paper wrens to stick in plant pots
Because the wrens can be as simple or complicated as you like we will think about getting the children to make them with you, which will provide another half day or so of entertainment for them. You can also use the wrens as decorations up to Christmas and then take them down on St Stephen’s day for the hunt.
In the afternoon we will begin to make the wrens of your choice and develop some prototypes.
What you will get out of the workshop:
- Two sets of activities (potentially) for children during the Christmas holidays
- Heirloom (potentially) set of wrens which you can use every year to form a holiday tradition for your family
- Your own personalised, bespoke Christmas game
- A set of Christmas decorations
- A link back to a forgotten folk custom, with a short talk by Professor Peter Fleming.
- Experience of a variety of techniques creating textiles
The workshop will run from 10.00-4.00 pm. You will need to bring your own lunch, but tea, coffee, soft drinks and cakes/biscuits will be provided. There will be two brand-new superstores open at the bottom of the road, five minutes walk away, or a nice pub round the corner.
All materials will be provided. You may want to bring your own sewing kit if you have favourite needles or thimbles.
Parking is on-street but there is usually plenty at the weekend.
The price is £50 per person, with everything included.
Please note: we have two small dogs. They are friendly and used to people. I can keep them totally separate if you are allergic or don’t like dogs.