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Follies for Follies is more than a single artist labouring away in her studio. Each 'follification' will go hand in hand with opportunities to engage and create, and after a meeting with James Brunt from Cannon Hall yesterday, I am very happy to announce the first two Folly Workshop dates. 

TUESDAY, 3RD APRIL 2012, 1-4pm
Come to Fairyland and, using natural and local materials, create your own 'Folly for a Folly' - a fairy for Fairyland. The activity is drop-in and should take approximately 15 minutes. It is free, but donations towards the Follies for Follies project will be gratefully appreciated. No need to book.

SATURDAY, 24TH JUNE 2012 (time tbc)
Help create a colourful window for the remaining openings in the Follies wall, including texts around the concept of Vigil and Waiting. Texts taken from participants via the blog will be featured in this work. Booking details to follow.

 
 
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There is *so* much more to any of these follies than meets the eye. Planing, thinking, organisation, management, calculation, and...buying. And a couple of days ago, I bought roughly 30kg of glass, or, if you prefer, about a mile of it. It arrived today, and I have included a tall four-year-old to provide some sort of scale. At the same time, I am talking through health and safety issues (most of them related to working 30ft above ground) and designing a rig that'll hold the whole caboodle once in place. And of course, it would be no good to forget all the other follies while I'm working on any particular one, so I'm designing plans for a new site - it's a good one, so keep your fingers crossed, and also going back to Cannon Hall on Monday to plan the future visits with Vigil 1. I can tell you one thing - it's never boring!!!

 
 
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Right, here it is! At the start of the project, I promised that there would be chances to get involved in Follies for Follies - this is the first one. I am hoping, during one of my return visits to Cannon Hall, to create 'windows' for the remaining openings, with the help of a rather large number of children - and you! In line with the written letter that features on 'Vigil 1', I am hoping to feature writing on these other windows (although they won't be made of glass. For that, I need your help. If you don't mind sharing, please tell me your response to the concept of 'Vigil' - it might be a one-word association, it might be a feeling, a story, a poem. I would love to hear them all, and to feature as many as possible! To show that this part of the 'follification' will have been created by many, many people, I would love to be allowed to use some information. Your first name, for example, or your age (since I'm also hoping to involve school classes in this). So, if you wouldn't mind, since I won't know everybody who comments, please write in your comment EXACTLY what you would allow to be put on the window, e.g. 'Vigil means xyz. Joe Bloggs, Leeds, 56'. You get the picture? I am a bit nervous about this first call for participation, and I would really appreciate it if you could spread the word - thank you!!!!
PS: I will also share this on Facebook and invite comments there - you don't need to comment twice, I will gather them from both locations!

 
 
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A project such as Follies for Follies does not exist in a vacuum. Being a project that intends to engage people, it needs - well, people willing to be engaged. Which means it needs to get known (if not famous ;o)). And even though it has partial funding through the Arts Council, it needs funds. Which again requires people. Thankfully, in the last week or two, people have helped me left, right and centre to achieve a first step on the ladder for both.
Beginning with the fundraising activity ("sponsor a strand of Rapunzel's hair"), money is trickling in. On Tuesday, Look Local newspaper published a story on Follies for Follies. This local coverage is very important, since it is reaching the public to engage with the six Wentworth Castle Follies, and the Cannon Hall folly for the rest of the year.
Yesterday, the lampworking converged at my house ('descended on me'? :o)) for a get-together-come-fundraiser. I had a chance to destash some books, magazines, tools, etc., and they had - erm - a chance to buy them and support the project (in addition to this, I also had the chance to spend the day with a bunch of truly lovely people, many of whom I definitely don't see often enough)!
Then, today, University of Sheffield Enterprise, who helped me out with a business start up grant a couple of years ago, blogged about Follies for Follies here.

I am very, very glad to have so many people care, this early on in the project. And I truly appreciate it. The fundraising activities will continue for the full three years (and if you fancy, there are many more Rapunzel strands to be sponsored ;o))