Waltraud weaves her way around country on a wellness tour

Milliner Waltraud Reiner (at centre) demonstrating how to make a feather using masking tape and florist wire during an Outback Arts Weaving for Wellness workshop in Cobar on Saturday with participants Carol Pritchard, Elizabeth Whiteman, Kay Stingemore and Meredith Broughton.

Well-known Melbourne-based milliner, Waltraud Reiner, was back in Cobar on the weekend with her Hatmobile, this time to conduct a Weaving for Wellness workshop.

A regular visitor to Cobar, Mrs Reiner’s Weaving for Wellness workshop this year was coordinated and funded by Outback Arts.

Outback Arts’ president Kylie Harvey was one of the 11 participants who attended the  two day workshop at the Cobar Bowling & Golf Club.

“Looking at workshops that are focusing on wellness and connection are really important especially in a place like Cobar where sometimes people can feel disconnected because they might be new to the town or have been here a long time and all their friends have left,” Mrs Harvey said.

“Workshops like this really are helping in creating that connection.”

She said there were a number of participants from previous Hatmobile workshops who had returned to participate this year in the weaving workshop.

“We’re really excited about the change up this year in looking at something new,” Mrs Harvey said.

“We started the morning with a circle and a little guided meditation which was really different for some of the participants.

“It’s an interesting group—someone said all the faces were familiar but they didn’t really know some of the people.

“The skills are here, it’s just creating the opportunity to come together, and that sometimes means inviting someone from outside in to facilitate it,” Mrs Harvey said.

Mrs Reiner was impressed with the “amazing designs” that were being created in her workshops.

“The artwork tells a story for the personwho makes it, each is individual,” Mrs Reiner said.

She said the many of the works are metaphors of what’s going on in people’s lives and what they are feeling.

“If you want more strength then you need more structure, then you use more wire,” she used an example.

“Just like the way we do in life, sometimes we need more structure, we need more people to hold us up, we need more ways of coping in the world,” Mrs Reiner said.

Weaving for Wellness participants were able to try their hand at loom weaving as well as learn a number of different craft techniques to make a canvas, a wall hanging or a cushion.

They brought in various materials to create their own unique piece of artwork including a collection of one family’s t-shirts which were made into a unique wall hanging while another participant made a cushion from her nan’s collection of wool scraps.