Family Art Workshops 2013
The 2013 programme is now underway, and the lead artist brief can be found here.
Applications are now sought to lead the following:
DAN Family Art Workshop in Crediton
An opportunity to run a Family Workshop during the exciting Crediton Arts Festival which starts on June 1 and runs until 13 July 2013
The workshop will take place on 1 June and the theme is to create something innovative and exciting with families to celebrate the Arts Festival.
Artists should hold a current CRB check. The fee for the workshop is £250 plus £50 for materials
Proposals to Bridget Arnold
email@example.com 07766342723 by the 1 May please
Report on the Second 2012/13 Family Art Workshop
Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Sunday 7 October
First 2012/13 Family Art Workshop
Thelma Hulbert Gallery drop in Print Workshop
Thursday 16th August
I ran a family drop in collograph workshop in Thelma Hulbert gallery on Thursday 16th August to support the Open exhibition “Equality and Endeavour” .
The day was was very well attended by families with children. Throughout the day we had a constant stream of visitors and all ages joined in and made prints - from very young children only just able to cut and glue to elderly grandparents. We ran the session in both the art room and also in one of the gallery spaces as we needed the extra room.
Most people were able to first look around the exhibition to get inspiration for making their prints. Children made direct reference to the exhibits but also made their own responses to the theme. The workshop comprised of making simple drawings of an idea or design. These were then cut out like a basic jigsaw. The pieces were then glued down to make the printing plates. We used cardboard and textured papers glued down onto mount board. These were then printed in a range of colourways using a portable printing press. Most participants made 5 or more prints each. Children became enthralled by the printing process - inking up the plate in different colours and excited by the revealed image as it emerged from the press.
In our original plan we had intended to print type using letterpress but given the time and the numbers of people we never managed to fit that in.
The day was supported by the Gallery Curator and three volunteers.
DAN Drop-in Family Workshop
Hatherleigh Festival, 28th July 2012
The theme for the 2012 Hatherleigh Festival was ‘Round and Round the Garden’. For the workshop I designed a wallhanging on the theme of a tree that would be made in needlefelt. I planned it so that participants could add birds and leaves to the tree. There was an optional border planned in case more participants appeared than there was space for leaves and birds!
I purchased sheets of needlefelt in white and two greys and and some of these were dyed by me over the preceding weeks using sustainable natural dyes. The dyes used were indigo (blue: from a project in Tamil Nadu); cochineal (reds and pinks: from a cultural project in Lanzarote); madder (brick red: from a company producing dyestuffs for the textile, food and cosmetic industry in western France); and weld (yellow: sourced in the UK).
Some tannins from locally felled trees were used for dyeing browns. Over 40 different felt colours were made available. To involve the local community I asked local people, and businesses such as pubs and the restaurant, to collect onion skins. Onion skins produce a range of beautiful golds and greens on wool.
The particular felt I used was from wool sourced in the South West and was made on machinery used to manufacture carpet underlay by Axminster Carpets; in this way I incorporated a link to my local farming community.
The technique of making and adding elements to the hanging was needlefelting. By prodding through layers of felt with sharp, barbed needles, wool fibres can be made to tangle together and will join layers together permanently. A range of equipment is available for this technique including simple tools with protected needles which are ideal for young children, although they must still be used with supervision. I was grateful for the support of DAN member Norma Walton who joined me for the day; in this way we could oversee two children at a time.
I prepared the hanging before the workshop so that there was a background, trunk and branches, sample leaves and a bird already needlefelted in place. Paper templates were supplied and participants chose the felt colours they wanted to use. Younger children were helped to cut felt shapes. Beads or buttons were attached by needle and thread to make eyes for the birds.
Over the course of a day, about 25 participants added elements to the hanging. The mixture of participants included grandparents with grandchildren, parents with children and adults on their own. The local Knit and Natter group are going to help complete the border and discussions are under way to decide where the hanging will be finally be placed.
Shadow Puppets at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter - Sally Rich
Monotypes at Ivybridge - Simon Ripley
Fish Making Workshop - Karen Hawkins
Appledore Arts Festival 9 June 2012
Using ‘underwater’ materials to create waterproof fish we used mesh, split pins, wire, bubble wrap, foil, aluminium can, cellophane and recycled milk bottles to create a shimmering ‘shoal’. Based inside a pair of gazebos on the quayside in the workshop caught the passing crowds getting particularily busy in the afternoon. Bad weather on the Thurs & Fri meant the shelters were put up later than hoped which meant a little later start than planned, however about 60 people attended making approx. 35 fish. These creations were later attached to the slip way jetty to form the ‘Shoal’ which ‘swam’ when covered at high tide. Some people addressed an envelope so that their fish could be posted back to them after the festival.
Fleece Weaving Workshop
Contemporary Craft Festival, Bovey Tracey.
The brief for workshops in the children’s tent at the Contemporary Craft Festival was that they should feature wool. My workshop introduced children to the simple basics of weaving without involving them in the complexities of a commercial loom. I ran the workshop on Friday 15th, and ‘trained’ Joanna Radford and Bridget Arnold to take over on Saturday 16th.
I have a set of wooden frames within which a very simple loom can be assembled and to which a cotton warp thread can be wound. The ‘loom’ comprises two sticks (gathered from the beach or woods) about 17cm long held in place by attaching them to the frame with string. They are kept under tension by the warp itself. Once the child has finished weaving, the top stick and weaving can be cut free and the weaving taken away. The frame remains with the workshop and needs to be re-warped, which is a swift process. Some weeks in advance of the workshop I bought a Ryeland fleece from Torrington, scoured (cleaned) it, and with acid dyes dyed it a wide range of colours. I obtained oddments of multi-coloured, thick, experimental yarns from a spinner. A simple display sheet, with an image of Doris (the Ryeland ewe), was designed to explain where the wool came from. Not all children knew that fleece was actually wool, although most did know wool came from sheep!
With the assistance of helpers I was able to accommodate and supervise about seven children at any one time. The tables were set with a baskets of fleece and yarns from which the children could make a choice for their work. They were initially encouraged to tease and twist fibres in their hands to make a very basic thread, and also to select yarns so that a variety of colour and texture was achieved. The principle of ‘over, then under’ for the first row was explained, and when returning across the warp the ‘overs’ became ‘unders’. Some of the children had done paper weaving at school so recognised the principle. With the widely spaced warps on the frame looms, it was very simple to teach children to lift every other thread and pass the fleece or yarn underneath. Children picked the idea up quickly and many required no major technical supervision after they had completed a couple of rows. Clearly, some children needed more support and they were individually encouraged to persevere until they were more confident. Old table forks were used gently to beat the horizontal weaving up towards the top of the frame and make it more firm. Once weaving neared the base of the warp, a helper would cut pairs of the warp and knot them together so that the weaving could be taken away.
As I have some years’ experience teaching this type of workshop, I know that children love the activity and find it fun to do. It is tactile and colourful, they have lots of choice, enjoy handling unfamiliar materials and equipment and can take something unusual home with them. We all found the CCF children enthusiastic to try different colours; some of them were very deliberate in their choices. The high level of concentration shown by some participants resulted in weavings that were neat and painstaking, often achieving classic rows of tabby weave using thread. Other children were more impulsive, pushing big chunks of fleece into the warp so that the work grew quickly. On the first day we estimate that about 60 children, parents and carers participated, and on the second as many as 70. This is an excellent result and I was delighted with the outcome of this workshop.
June 22nd 2012