Updated: May 3, 2019
The community art project is finished. The one with the butterflies.
This is the story of how it came about.
The vicar Richard Lloyd explained that the church would like some art on the walls at St Mary's Church in East Molesey near Hampton Court. Budget = £0. No ideas, toyed with something to do with seasons, but had no great ideas for a couple of months.
In January, Made In Molesey did the hedgehogs workshop. The Methodist Church saw this online and offered us old hymn books. They had tried to give them to Africa but they were too old and no good. Recycling them was really hard as the covers were not paper so they couldn't just be pulped. They really didn't want to bin them though. I took them. All. And there were way more than a few. I started to work on ideas for workshops for Made In Molesey and taught myself book-folding, workshop coming up in May. I used them for decoupage and I tried to make bookmarks with the spines which looked pretty bad. I even spent days trying to get paper roses right and that is now the June workshop.
I hit google for ideas, but most of them were a bit primary school ish and I was still thinking something good crafters would do.
Then a friend sent me photos of the doves in Salisbury Cathedral. They are paper doves hung high up on strings above the congregation. Maybe we could do something similar? So I went to Pinterest, the not so secret source of most of my craft ideas. There were tons of
similar things and I found the instructions on how to fold the butterfly. So I tore a few pages out of one of the hymn books and tried it. My first one was flat and awful but still sort of a butterfly. The next few weren't much better but on about the fifth one I got the hang of it and realised this would be it. We would all fold these and then string them and hang them like a waterfall. I love the look of the type on the old pages, they looked fab.
I knew the wall was white though and needed a colour background. But we had no money. Could we paint the wall? Not really, not easily and you can't change the fabric of the building without permission of course. Could I blue tack loads of coloured paper behind? Yes but would look a bit rubbish. Could I hang fabric? But no money. I was toying with paying for it myself or taking it out of Made In Molesey money or something when I happened to be
chatting to a friend at church. I don't see him much, but there was a do and we got chatting about all sorts. After a while I was explaining what I was doing. I hadn't told many people as it was still early days, he is not a MIM person but he does go to church and loves the Lord and is just a nice guy. Anyway, he asked me how much I thought it would cost, so I told him and he opened his wallet and gave me the cash there and then. Job done. (Thank you to that person, that was amazing for me) We were having our first choice of fabric - purple satin. A great look for the church as it is warm and regal, plus it shows up the butterflies brilliantly without being too dark.
So now I needed to start telling people about the idea. Richard Lloyd first of course, he loved it, but instead of doing it through Made In Molesey church group, he wanted to do it on a Sunday morning in an all age service where the children stay in and don't go out to groups. We have those once a month on the first Sunday. Not at all what I was expecting but it could work. He'd know better than me! Plus I knew my Made In Molesey mates would fix it if it all went a bit wrong, but I didn't tell him that. So I advertised it all over the Molesey facebook pages and made a little video. At the February Made In Molesey, the crafty gang began to have a go at making the butterflies. Lots of people gave it a go and then loved it so made more. We even ended up singing some of the hymns we found at the end of the evening - the old well known ones, it was a lot of fun. We all found it quite therapeutic and relaxing.
I now had a team of about 8 butterfly leaders to help at the church service to show people how to make them. We had cut over 300 squares between us. I bought the string and had done some tests. 3rd March 2019 arrived but I wasn't well enough to go. The team did it all. They sewed the fabric and hung it. They showed all the people at church how to fold and gathered the butterflies to hang. Some people wrote the name of a loved one on the paper before folding as an ongoing prayer to them. Some people asked for the page with their favourite hymn on to fold. There was singing and prayer and people shared their thoughts. Below is the result. Well done Molesey.
We will do another Community Art Project in a few months and we already have the kneelers project lined up where the extra unused kneelers (hassocks) will be repurposed to make a wall hanging over the coming year, so we can keep those amazing pieces of Molesey history.