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Creative RevolutionHERies Making Fantastic Progress

Our Creative RevolutionHERies have been making remarkable progress over the last couple of weeks, and it's been a joy to see them grow in confidence, while developing new skills.

Week 2 continued with covering the basics with amazing carpentress Siobain O'Farrell, who really has inspired our RevolutionHERies. It was interesting to hear that so many of them have tried woodwork in the past, only to be taken over by a husband or father who insisted they could do it quicker and better, rather than allowing them the chance to explore, gain confidence and find their own way. It's also a depressingly familiar story that we've been delighted to turn around, as our RevolutionHERies have learned how to competently use a range of power and hand tools.

Getting to grips with routers, brad guns, rip saws, chop saws, mitre saws, palm sanders and belt sanders, the RevolutionHERies built upon what they learned in the first week to create small frames. The enthusiasm and confidence building was infectious. Not only was everyone empowered by the sessions, they also gave Siobain the confidence to explore delivering more woodwork sessions for women.

For the third week, Coco from Rusty Nutt Metalworks guided the groups through welding and metalwork. They began by learning how to use angle grinders, which everyone loved, and which was a great introduction for the following week's welding.

Automata creators Fi Henshall and and Clare Barr were also on-site during the 4th week, working on a massive automata sculpture for Rockaway. It was the perfect opportunity for the RevolutionHERies to see what's possible with creative metalwork and inspired lots of conversation and ideas about design elements for the planters and benches.

Joined by female welder Ashleigh Swain, who assisted Coco with a day of marking out and pre-cutting, the RevolutionHERies are well on their way towards construction and plasma cutting in the final weeks.

Coco said: "Both groups have been getting stuck into the designing, measuring up and cutting the steel for the frame of the planters. This week everyone was laying down some impressive first welds and there were smiles of satisfaction on grubby faces! Looking forward to the next two weeks finishing the fabrication, woodwork and decorative elements."

It's been so rewarding to see this gorup of women blossom at Rockaway each week - from intimidated and slightly nervous to confident, happy and competent with tools and techniques. The skills they've learned are also a fantastic foundation for building upon with their own projects once the workshops are complete.

We can't wait to see what they will finally produce for the Somer Valley as more ideas and possibilities are shared amongst them each week!

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