Story and photos contributed
The artists, craftists and wildlife minders of East Gippsland are holding the first festival of the hot water bottle – or to be more precise, celebrating the art of the old fashioned ‘hotty cover’.
“This festival seems to fulfil a number of needs at this time,” said Andrea Lane, founder of East Gippsland art projects (f)route and FLOAT.
“It’s a fun way to express some creativity via a simple, functional item while in iso. It also connects you with the wider world of crafters, uses material scraps and wool, while sharing ideas and imagination.
“We encourage everyone to sew, felt, weave or knit a traditional hotty cover or two, and enter these creations into the Festival of Hotties,” said Andrea.
Local Nanna in lockdown Helen Sheil is in full swing.
“Alice Springs has its annual beanie festival, Fish Creek has its teapot cosy festival and now East Gippsland has claimed the spot on the map for the festival of hotty covers,” Helen said.
“Hotties represent a really simple comfort at a time of fairly discomforting things happening.”
There will be prizes awarded for various categories. After the display, hotties and their hand-crafted covers will be for sale.
“Given the summer of horrendous bushfires, all funds raised will go towards wildlife care and protection in the region”, said Jes John, wildlife rescuer and founder of Bairnsdale’s artists’ outlet, the Foundry store.
“This year’s colour theme is that of bushfires – reds and oranges, or the browns, greys and blacks of the aftermath. But we’re not going to be too strict on that.”
People have until 18 July to enter their covers which will be displayed at the Foundry, and other community spaces across East Gippsland. Makers from all over Australia are encouraged to submit their creations.