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Art On Your Doorstep – The Delivery Diaries – Art On Your Doorstep Makes A Festive Visit

 Art On Your Doorstep – The Delivery Diaries

Claire and Jo making a Christmas wreath

 Art On Your Doorstep Makes A Festive Visit

The snow is coming down thick and fast in Sessay as I join local artist Claire for visit to see local resident Jo Bond. This is her third visit to Jo’s home, as part of the Art On Your Doorstep, which is bringing art to rurally isolated elderly people in the Thirsk area. Today they’ve agreed to make Christmas wreaths, so there’s a real festive spirit in the air.

“I’ve been looking forward to this”, explains Jo, who is unable to get out and about due to mobility issues. Jo used to be a home economics teacher, and has done a lot of different crafts in her time. Art On Your Doorstep has given Jo a great opportunity to pick up her skills again. “I was given such a long list of crafts to choose from – it’s wonderful”.

For the first session, Jo and Claire did decoupage, and since then Jo has made a number of gifts for her family. Last week, they made Christmas cards. With the wreath making session today, I comment that Jo has done well to get everything ready for Christmas. “It’s so much nicer to make things”, she replies. 


Bending the willow into a circular shape


To make the base for the wreath, Claire has specially ordered some Somerset willow, which has been soaking in Jo’s bath overnight to make it more flexible. The materials bring back happy memories for Jo and her husband Alan, who remember visiting Somerset years ago and seeing the willow farms. 

It’s hard work manipulating the willow (I tried, and I was useless!), but Jo is strong and makes light work of binding the branches with twine. “It’s like a workout!” laughs Claire. Slowly but surely, foliage is added, followed by berries, citrus fruits, pine cones and cinnamon sticks. The results are beautiful, and there for anyone passing through Sessay to see. 


The finished wreath hanging proudly on the door


Art On Your Doorstep is making such a difference to the lives of the people taking part. If you or someone you know would like to sign up to the sessions, contact Rural Arts on 01845 536 526, email or pop in and see us at The Courthouse, Westgate, Thirsk