Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Craft Workshop… Day 1

I am shattered.  I really am not used to multi-tasking anymore.  By multi-tasking I am referring to standing, walking and talking for a few hours at a time, nothing more complicated, and definitely far less than I used to be able to take so confidently in my stride.

So what have I been up to?  In my quest to convert the world to adore natural fibres, and justify my total absorption with traditional textile crafts,  I have been working on some workshops which are more inclusive and flexible than the traditional styles on offer through Guild or Shops/Suppliers. 

This came about as I have been offering the troubleshooting for dyers workshops for a while now, and a few of those who have attended wanted to take things a little further.  Play ideas were requested, along with practical solutions to getting fibre from sheep to back or wall, depending on whether you were knitting, felting or weaving. 

So this week I have been – not sure what the correct word should be here – leading? mentoring? facilitating? assisting? refereeing? counselling? advocate?  a thoroughly adorable group of craft people. 

When they asked me to assist a few months ago, I saw it as a challenge.  First of all to work out what they actually wanted from me, and then to see how it could be provided.

It transpires that they were all at different levels of experience and knowledge, but all loved fibre and colour.  So therefore this seemed like a good place to start..  Colour and lots of it….


(photo taken from a previous workshop)

So we “did” Dyeing….at all levels, shades and sequences…. kettle dyeing with fibre and blending colours to match the watercolour exercises that we had started the day with.   It is such a shame that the use of watercolours or pastels aren’t more widely used in these kind of workshops – they yielded some terrific and unusual results which I found very inspiring  don’t know about everyone else. 

I had also brought along swatches of fabrics, wallpaper, crepe and tissue paper along with knitted samples, which when combined with the paint doodles made works of art all around.  I don’t know about a dyeing workshop, I think a couple of the attendees were going off to find some art classes to play further. 

We also spent some time going through my notebooks and files/folders which have been built up over the years.  I surprised even myself with some of what I have done! it is surprising how time can diminish energy and inspiration.  I get the same creative kick when I clear out my workrooms.

We then worked on filling in the gaps of knowledge, which you can only do with a pre-existing group.  None of the formalities of getting to know each other are necessary, and so with the time saved more can be done !

So I am proud to announce that ten newbie indi-dyers are now safe to be let loose on the world.

Ready for Day 2….. working title “What do I do with it now…”

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