Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Merry Spinning to all!

Don't worry anymore about the long winter evenings; Come and spin with us at River Bourne Community Farm.

We have had our first spinning workshop last week 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

It was lovely to meet, chat, learn, teach and share skills as well as have tea and cakes together.

It is is a free event!

You come and learn to spin or simply spin in company.

Any spun wool goes to making the final artwork. If you wish, you can take some wool home to spin and bring it back for the project.(call me at 01722 340161 or pop in at the farm)

Watch out for more dates as I am planning to set up a regular evening spot for spinning , carding, and shaping the work.

To start in January 2012

What's next?

Bethlehem Village comes to the farm! Once again the farm plays host to Bethlehem Village, organised by St Mark’s Church and St Andrew’s Church.
Come along on Sunday 18 December at 4pm and enjoy an evening service.
Mulled wine and mince pies available See you there -
dress warmly!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas Fayre

at Salisbury Community Farm River Bourne

Laverstock Salisbury

December 3rd

10.00am to 4.00pm

A Thousand Sheep;

Come and see Laurence demonstrate the process of carding, spinning and dyeing with Madder and buy your own hand spindle kit.

Art, Craft, Food stalls available

Mulled wine and mince pies


Thursday 8th of December

6 – 8pm - at River Bourne Community Farm, Laverstock, Salisbury

Free adult and youth workshop in the Long Barn -

SPIN FOR A THOUSAND SHEEP – come and contribute to the project All wool provided, spinning wheels and carding machines welcomed, hand spindles and carding combes available.

All abilities welcomed – Beginners - come and learn how to card and spin.

Experienced spinners, come and share your spinning and carding skills with the group

No limit on numbers

RSVP to Laurence on 01722 340161

For more infromation on the project, visit the blog http://athousandsheep.blogspot.uk

Refreshments available (donations).

Friday, 18 November 2011

Spin for A Thousand Sheep!

River Bourne Community Farm
Thursday 8th of December
6 – 8pm -

Free adult and youth workshop in Long Barn - SPIN FOR A THOUSAND SHEEP – come and contribute to the project –. All wool provided, spinning wheels and carding machines welcomed, hand spindles and carding combs available.

All abilities welcome – Beginners - come and learn how to card and spin.

Experienced spinners, come and share your spinning and carding skills with the group

No limit on numbers
RSVP to Laurence 01722 340161

Refreshments available (donations).

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A fabulous Big Draw event!

As promessed to all participants, here are some of the best moments of the Big Draw event held at the farm last week.

Thanks to all for visiting " A Thousand Sheep".

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Big Draw event!

event: Friday 28th October 1.30 to 3.30
cost £4 per child, free for accompanying adults
I have partnered with the Salisbury International Arts Festival to invite people on a " Drawing Walk" with a twist; I will take people around the River Bourne Community Farm walking trail to create drawings in the landscape.
We will take a new look at the landscape and draw shapes with different materials, including our own body, at different sites. We will add each moment of the walk to our maps.

Come and take part in this experimental walk and put forward ideas for more art to be created on the farm land.
Please book with Salisbury International Festival on 01722 332 241

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Talk:"The Horn of Plenty"

Talk;" The Horn of Plenty"

Saturday 15th 5.30 to 7.00pm

Laurence will be presenting her Arts Council Funded project, "A Thousand Sheep" and will be discussing artistic process, being at the farm and using its natural resources and managing an Arts Council Grant.

Laurence is expecting guest speaker David Burton, from Natural England and possibly further speakers tbc.

The first part of the event will take place in the field where Laurence has been working for the past 5 months.
The rest of the talk(from 6.00pm will be in the Big Barn of the farm yard(fully wheelchair accessible)

Please bring walking shoes/wellies and torches.(please note that the field is a 500 yards walk from the farm and has uneven grounds.

The event will end with a chance for you to sample some of our best products from the local Farmers' Market and a complimentary glass of wine to accompany this.

Cost £5(please book at the farm, 01722 330 667)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Exhibition and Talk


8 to 16th of October

River Bourne Community Farm

Cow Lane, Laverstock


As part of Salisbury Art Trail; http://www.plainartssalsibury.co.uk/

Open 10am to 5pm daily

Working with sheep fleece and natural dyes, Laurence is in the process of making a large installation involving volunteers and groups of all ages and abilities.

See a piece of work in the making and photographs of Laurence's thinking process.

see http://www.laurencerushbyart.co.uk/ and a thousand sheep blog!

Talk;" The Horn of Plenty"

Saturday 15th 5.30 to 7.00pm

Laurence will be presenting her Arts Council Funded project, "A Thousand Sheep" and will be discussing artistic process and the use of natural resources.

Laurence is expecting guest speakers from the farm and possibly further (TBC)

The event will take place in the field where Laurence has been working for the past 5 months.

Please bring walking shoes/wellies and torches.(please note that the field is a 500 yards walk from the farm and has uneven grounds.(limited disabled access can be arranged, please call for more infromation)

The event will end with a complimentary glass of wine and food tasting.

Cost £5(please book at the farm, 01722 330 667)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Wishing Tree event!

The Earth Wishing Tree is now officialy open; If you have not had time to visit last Sunday, you can still come and visit me; the wishing tree will be there for as long as I am and probably longer, so come and make a wish on any of the dates posted in the last post or whenever you see me in the field(see note on the gate).

Don't hesitate to come for a chat and a wish and find out more about " A Thousand Sheep" project.

Look forward to see you soon.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Summer workshop photos and Autumn program!

Hi everyone,
I am now back from a long, well deserved break with a fresh mind and plenty of ideas in my pocket, none of which will be possible without your help!
Event;" Earth Wishing Tree" Launch
on the 18th of September is the last cream tea of the season at the farm and we will take this opportunity to launch The " new look " of the field with an "Earth wishing tree"; the tree has been enthusiastically started during the children workshop" Sculpture in nature"(see photos) of the 9th of August and they are all looking forward to see how other people will follow in their footsteps and make the space a Community Hub filed with your ideas and wishes to make the farm and the surrounding landscape a better place.

In the meantime, I need you to come and help clearing the space and prepare the trail and signing as well as continue the fleece washing task(only 12 days of work to go to complete the challenge).
Next dates are as follow(please note that if you are available on other dates not mentioned here, it is possible for me to shape the program around your availability and add them to the calendar or even swap so let me know what you are up to and keep checking the dates on the blog. Please, always text me before you come(07870536303) and report to the farm office in our volunteer green book at arrival).
September dates;

Monday 5th 9.30 to 3.00

Tuesday 6th 9.30 to 3.00
Monday 12th 9.30 to 3.00

Tuesday 13th 9.30 to 3.00

Tuesday 20st9.30 to 3.00

wednesday 21st 9.30 to 3.00

Thursday 22nd 9.30 to 3.00

Monday 26th 9.30 to 3.00
Tuesday 27th 9.30 to 3.00

October dates;

Monday 3rd 9.30 to 3.00

Tuesday 4th 9.30 to 3.00

Tuesday 11th 10.30 to 5.00(as part of Salsibury Art trail demonstration) Wednesday 12th 10.30 to 5.00(as part of Salisbury Art Trail demonstration)

Other events linked to the Salisbury Art trail;

  • Saturday 8th to Sunday 16th of October, open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm.Exhibition of photographs by Laurence Rushby and sculptures by Charlotte Moreton, The Long Barn, River Bourne Community Farm.
  • Sunday 18th of September; "Earth Wishing Tree" launch, 3.00pm to 5.00pm as part of the last Sunday cream tea, come and make a wish for the earth and learn more about the project.
  • Come to our special opening BBQ on Saturday 8th of October 12.00am to 3.00pm
  • Free Drop in workshop; "Natural plant dyes", 11.00am to 3.00pm
  • Fleece washing demonstration Tuesday 11th and Wedsnesday 12th of October 10.30am to 5.00pm.
  • Saturday 15th 5.30 to 7.00pm, " The Horn of Plenty", artist talk, with the participation of David Burton From Natural England(other possible speakers to be confirmed) cost £5, please book at the farm office 01722 330667.(special group visits at the shed will be scheduled during the day prior to the talk, you can book these in advance)
Look forward to see you at the shed!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

At the shed this week!

I brought the sun back from France and we have been working on our sun tan this week whilst washing fleece and sorting out the field.
I am currently working on a new plan to clear the space and improve access and health and safety as well as presentation; I hope to start to operate in a bran new setting from september onwards.
In the meantime, if you have a bit of spare time, come and enjoy the sun with us on the following dates.(we now have tea, coffee and cakes on each of the washing days).
I would like to send out a special call to spinners and knitters who are desperately needed for the development of the work. Please email me, call me, pop in ....
Further dates;

Thursday 4 August, 10 to 12.00am for clearing up of field and barn
Friday 5th of August for fleece washing 10 to 4.00pm
Monday 8 August 9.30 to 12.00(and maybe longer if volunteers help while I go teaching)

Please call or email if you can make these dates.If not , please send your available dates and times.

We only need to do another 12 days of fleece washing during september and we will reach the amount needed for the work so well done to all helpers so far.
I will be off work from 11 to 26 of August but will be back for more dates in September.

All to come in September;
New set up in the field, a wishing tree, a wine and chat evening for all interested volunteers and a teacher taster day for school projects.

See you at the shed!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Back to Work!

I am coming back to work at the shed on Monday 1st August from 9 onwards.

I will be there this week on Monday 1st, Tuesday 2nd, for sure and maybe more; if you can help on other days, I can be flexible.

I have just had a week in France and the sun and the sea has brought me back to life.

The project, in the past 3 months has had ups and downs. The ups are definitly the moments spent at the sheep shed and in the field, working with people, experimenting on colours and welcoming the public to view the progress.

The downs are more computer times searching for futher funding to carry on with the project.

I know too well that this is part of the job and one does not happen without the other.

I already feel extremely lucky to have received the Arts Council grant in this time of recession. Thanks to it, I feel that I have the responsability to carry out the task I set to do; not only make the work but engage a great deal of people with it.

The making is a very slow process; I still am unsure about the final shape of each piece and I must continue to experiment. At present, I am looking for ways to reuse the lanolin extracted from the fleece during washing and am making this my next challenge.

I have run my first adult workshop, learning to dye fibres with plants. The day was most successful; we all had a great time and the colours came together beautifully. There was also space for trial and error and some of our mixes did not produce anything. The participants enjoyed the unformal, experimental and playful aspect of the day, ponctuated by plenty of tea, cakes and a picnic in the farm yard(see pictures for results)

Next workshop coming is a children day of creative sculptures in the field, where we will create installations in the landscape, using various natural materials and extra materials recycled from other work or the rest of the farm. We will take pictures of the work and the children will be able to take some home.We still have a few spaces left so book now at the farm, 01722 330667.

August 9th from 10.00am to 3.00pm,cost;£20

bring a picnic lunch, drinks and sun cream and hats(or rain coats and wellies).

see you at the shed!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Fleece washing days and volunteers!

Great day at the farm today!
A team of volunteers is starting to build up and the project is moving forward.
After a long day of work in the field, I just wanted to add a few dates to the calendar;

Tuesday 6th, I am sorry, I will not be at the shed as I am moving out of my studio.
I will be back there on the following days.If you wish to come and help, you can post your times and dates on the blog so we can all start to organise a rota. If you are not sure, you can call me on 07870536303.
Thursday7th, from 10.00
Friday 8th from 10.00
Saturday 9th; Don't forget Dyeing with plants adult workshop! 10am to 4.00pm, £55 with Buy one get one free offer.
Monday 11th from 9.00
Look forward to see you there.
PS always call in at farm office to mention you are in when coming to volunteer.(Thanks)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Workshop dates and a Change in the fleece washing dates!

New Workshop dates;

“A Thousand Sheep” workshops;

9 July; Adult workshop; Natural Plant dyeing

10am to 4pm. Cost £55 Inc material

Student discount £45(limited spaces)

5 August; Children make paper with plants;10 to 3pm.£20

6 August; Adult make paper with plants; 10 to 4pm. £50

9 August; Children make a temporary sculpture in nature (Explore space, time and nature and get creative)

10am to 3pm cost of each day £20

(Ask for siblings discounts) Book at the farm; 01722 330 667

I am also unfortunatly due to move out of my West Dean Studio next week. If anyone knows of an artist studio for rent, please pass on my details or call me ASAP.

The following fleece washing dates have been cancelled as I will be exhibiting in London next week at the Parallax AF show, in the Royal Opera Gallery. Do feel free to visit the show if you are in London. If you are not in London, then you should go; the show will be presenting the work of many artists from uk and all over the world.(view my event blog for more details)
23rd June
24th June
28th June
I need to focus on finishing the work for London and also wanted to take a time out to think about the project and the farm in a new way.

I attended a talk on Constable exhibition responses by 2 contemporary artists yesterday evening, at the Salisbury Arts Centre; the comments on the work of the two artists as well as on Constable's work made me realise that I needed to see the farm and the materials I am using from a different point of view.

In the meantime, if you have any spare time to go and cut some of the palets next to the shed to prepare for fire wood, this would be great help. Please report at the farm before you go to the shed.

Look forward to see you back there on the 4th of July.
I will also publish more july dates very soon so keep watching.

Monday, 13 June 2011

New Dates for Fleece Washing and sorting!

Come and join in the project;
It is now time to really get stuck in and get on with the work; I have been given quite a lot of fleece over the past two weeks and am planning a serie of fleece sorting and washing days.

If you wish to help. please contact me so I can organise a rota.
You can come for as long as you can spare during the day.
Dates are as follow;

June Dates;
Thursday 16th June
from 9.00 to 3.00

Monday 20th June from 12.30 to 3.00
Tuesday 21st June
from 9.00 to 4.00

Thursday 23rd June from 9.00 to 3.00

Friday 24th June from 9.00 to 3.00
Tuesday 28th June from 9.00 to 3.00

July dates;

Monday 4th July 9.00 to 3.00
Tuesday 5th July 9.00 to 2.00
Monday 11th July 9.00 to 3.00
Tuesday 12th July 9.00 to 3.00

Please keep an eye on this blog before you come in case of changes . I will be publishing more dates for dyeing and shaping the sculpture so watch out. Alternatively, you can also offer to do some fleece washing at home if I show you the method, this should be a good way to get more done.
We might cancel the day in case of bad weather.
Bring wellies, picnic, water, sun hats and suncream when you come along!

Hot drink and biscuits breaks!
Look forward to a great time with you in the field!

Don't forget to come and see the new range of postcards and prints for sale at the Farm Shop!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Open Farm Sunday, 12th of June, River Bourne Community Farm!

Here it is! Time for the biggest day of the year for the farm and we all have been working flat out to get everything ready!

I will have a drop in workshop, prints and postcards for sale, a planner for workshops and hands on days, and more infromation and updates on the progres.
If you wish to volunteer to take part in the project, This is the time now!

Help is now coming my way and I am feeling a lot more positive about the project;
From doing my Free Cycle request for me to assisting during workshops and prep, people are starting to show interest.

I will publish a planner of hands on days on this blog from next week onwards so we can start getting some proper work done.
Watch this space for new dates to come and wash some fleece, plant madder and dye with madder, and a lot more workshops to brush up your skills or entertain your kids for the summer.

Don't forget to post your comments here or on facebook, email, text...

Look forward to to see you all on Sunday.

Soon on the blog: discover our new range of home made Tee-Shirts; each volunteer will get to make their own!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Problem solving?

I love the way a research guides you from an encounter to another. This is when the making sets out to be a social experinece as much as a physical relationship with material.
Passing on knowledge seems to be part of human nature; I met Sarah Waters this week, a felt maker from Woodgreen, New Forest, a grerat wool specialist who started from breeding the sheep before she got into felting.

I discovered new types of wool to use and tips as to which one felts or dyes best, how to wash it...
Then, she put me on to Judy Hardiman, expert in natural dyes, living near Romsey, who gave me two young madder plants and a weld. She also gave me precious historical information about madder and army coat dyeing.

However, the more I seem to learn about madder, the more the task I set to do seems impossible;
The scale I wish to work in makes the technique irrelevant; natural plant dyeing is such a lengthy and random process that It will not respond to my expectations of finding a specific colour for a large amount of material. So why was it used to creat an army, I wonder?
But the real question is, can I recreate , for the sake of one project, the process that was originaly used out of no alternative?

My first major problem is the amount of madder needed to achieve the depth of colour I am going for.

Monday, 16 May 2011


I have just set-up a base for experimental work at m,y studio in West Dean. Over there, I can heat up water much quicker and try all sorts in a small scale.I am working on getting the right colour RED and the search for it is a quest filled with encounters, a mix of witch craft, and scientific experiments, recepes traced online, tips from here and there and water PH testing. For the latest, I have collecting water from River Bourne, River Avon in the New Forest, where it is rich in iron, rain water, tap water, and even stale water... Each water type will change the shade of red I will get.

In the past two weeks, I have had the company of a group of young carers asp part of a project for the Salisbury International Arts Festival. We have had two magical afternoons playing in the space, lighting and maintaining fires through the day, washing fleece and experimenting with colours.

It is great to see the shed filed with life and energy.

I am looking forward to a hands-on day, 1st of June 10am to 3pm, for which I am inviting the public of all ages to come and help wash some fleece for the project. Children must be accompanied by adults.

You can pop in at the farm any week day to see the progress of the research layed out on a board in the education room.

Important note;

I am still looking for more sheep fleece and would like to get involved in sheering so if you know someone who keeps sheep and wants to get read of the fleece, please let me or the farm know.

Do not hesitate to send your comments, call or pop in !

Look forward to see you at the Sheep Shed!

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Colourful day!

I have had a fab day on Saturday as I went to the Ruskin Mill, near Stroud, for a training on dyeing with plants.

Not only I learnt many precious tips for the project, but I also discovered the Ruskin Mill, a highly inspirational place with very fresh ideas for a different education.

I will surely report this to the farm as food for thoughts on a new education centre in the making.

You can come and see me at the farm on Wednesday as I will be testing more shades of red using english grown madder mixed with a few secret ingredients!

I will light a few fires and prepare many vats with different mixes so if you fancy abit of fresh air and hard work, I surely could do with help between 10am and 3pm.

I have set up a colour sample board in the education room for you to follow the progress of my experiments.I am still to find the best shade of red for the piece.

I am looking for the eprfect "Turkey Red" so if you know any tips on how to get it, please feed in this blog.

Look forward to see you there!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Monday 11th of April

7.30 am on site to test how long the water will take to warm up.

I light my first fire with the rpint of my first rejected arts council application for the project; kind of satisfying!(I kept a digital copy for record)

I have now swaped my town shoes for a pair of wellies which will stay at the farm(a new shoe rack will be organised soon for volunteers and me)

The amazing aspect of the project is to be integrated to another project at such an early stage; the education part of the farm is currently in the shaping and there is great potential in being there now.

Even the fire for the bath water becomes a way to clear the site of pallets and branches.

The sheep have come back to the next door field so I can see them form the shed. They are the life behind the project after all and it feels great having their company when I am on site.

8.00am, dog walker and artist David Podger comes to visit.

The rest of the day goes smoothly from heating up one bath and the other, transfering sheep fleece from detergent water to clean water(Thank you Ecover! to make sure i am not spoiling the field).

It is all about testing the reaction of the wool in hot water, seeing how to transport it best and then adapting the process, plan the right tools for the right job....

Volunteers and staff provide me with many ideas on the way.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

A Thousand Sheep: It is happening!

A Thousand Sheep: It is happening!

It is happening!

Week 1 at River Bourne Farm;

I moved in the sheep shed, field 3, and started officially as the farm artist in residence on Monday 4Th of April. It has been a long ride already as I came to speak to the farm about the project in May last year.

Since, I have been working on funding applications and have been developing ideas with many partners, friends, artists... I am now delighted to be on site and started with a week of heavy duty clearance of the site around the shed. For those of you who are not yet familiar with the project, here is a little background info and an invite to get involved in the shaping, thinking, clearing, ...whatever you wish. I will be based at the farm for a period of one year during which I will be making a large Sculpture/installation from the sheep fleece gathered at the farm. The idea started one morning , two years ago, when I arrived at my studio, based on ex-military grounds, to discover 1000 sheep grazing on the surrounding field. I then wished to create a large piece with the fleece. A Thousand sheep will involve many people in the making of a large piece of a contemporary art work as I am hoping to gather and process the fleece from 100 sheep. I will start washing the fleece and prepare it for dying at the shed from April 11th and would welcome any volunteers from all ages to come and take part, view, guide or question the process. As the work evolves, I will reveal the deeper meanings of the work.

I will also run workshops in schools to explore all the different use we could make of sheep fleece as an art material. This blog will be a diary for the project but is also a platform for you all to feed in. You can send comments, ideas, concerns and questions. I will post dates for hands-on days which will also be advertised in the farm newsletter.

The purpose of the residency is also to assess the potential of having a resident artist in the place on a long term basis and develop more art at the farm so you can feed any thoughts and ideas on this as well. I look forward to develop this project with you