In the November issue of Suffolk Magazine I get to grips with Waveney Rush Cutters…a Suffolk based company which is keeping the age old craft of rush weaving alive!
“Paddling my kayak up river on the picturesque River Waveney near Homersfield, I’m fighting against the surprisingly strong current, through the freshly cleared and cut bull rushes. The reflection of the sun bouncing off the water, the air filled with the sound of country life ticking by and the odd splash of the river as another fish gasps for air.
After 15 minutes of tough paddling I finally gain sight of the rush cutters, up to their waist in the crystal clear water, pulling, cutting and tying incredibly lush looking bull rushes. The rushes are gathered together pushed down river to the next cutter, who trims, ties and forms a bolt (bundle of rushes) which are then loaded onto the metal barge.
The team of three men have been busy for a few weeks clearing this stretch of the river, gradually making progress deep into the heart of the countryside “It’s been really tough” admits Paul the maintenance manager of Waveney Rush as he hauls yet another bolt onto an already fully loaded barge.”
About Julian Claxton
My passion for photography is supported by experiences gained on exciting travel adventures and through working for fantastic photographers.
In 2006, I made the exciting step of realising my dream of becoming a freelance photographer. Since this pivotal moment, I have held numerous exhibitions, been featured nationally & internationally in print and won numerous awards, including being a finalist in the National Geographic Photographic competition in 2013 with one of my documentary images from the Sudan.
From an early age I began to enjoy taking pictures of my daily life, basking in the thrill of sending the film to the printers and eagerly awaiting the pocket sized prints.
My first foray into the world developing and printing strangely began at school when I was asked to produce a descriptive photo for the school newspaper. A front page shot later and I was destined to start the long arduous journey of becoming a photographer.
In between exciting travel adventures and working for fantastic photographers, I graduated from college and at a crossroads in my journey to becoming a pro photographer, I embarked on a career working as a medical photographer. Learning new skills and dabbling in video production as well as progressing design skills, I yearned for the challenge and freedom of becoming a freelance.
I have been fortunate enough to work on some amazing assignments which have included shooting a documentary assignment with an air ambulance, gaining full access to a British Pro cycling team during an international UCI tour, cycling to Rwanda and creating a photographic documentary of my journey. The experiences continue to grow, meeting wonderful people to photograph and telling the story of their journey. The list of events and striking moments that have played out through my viewfinder continue to grow and provide me with ever increasing snapshots of life to capture.
One of the highlights of my career thus far has been staying in rural Uganda, teaching photography to the kids from the region, in a project I set up in late 2014, entitled ‘Give a child a camera’.
The basis of the project is to supply 35mm cameras and film to the rural schools in this region of East Africa, teaching the children how to shoot photographs. After a week of taking photos of their life, an exhibition is held at the school and the children leave with their very own album, camera and film.
One of the images I shot at Eden school in rural Uganda, during morning chapel won the 2015 Travel Media Tourism and Photography award. A great honour and one that I wouldn’t have picked up had it not been for the wonderful children of East Africa.
For further information please visit www.julianclaxtonphotography.com
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