Last term in the studio

The past term has whizzed by and lots of things have been happening in the studio.
We started our new project Knitting Communities Together and it is going really well and reaching our expectations and more.  Also, our Crafting for Health and Wellbeing project has welcomed two visiting artists which have given participants new ideas resulting in some fantastically creative work.

Lindsey Warnes Carroll and myself repeated a session we delivered for Wellbeing Hi-5 exploring poetry and using this as a spark to create wallhangings.  We talked about our memories of holidays and each of us were encouraged to create our own poems based on our holiday memories.  The session was very thought provoking.

Following this session we had a go at some monoprinting in preparation for a visit from artist Jemma Rix.  Monoprinting can be a bit unnerving for some as you have little control over what the end result will look like.  Additionally, being faced with a blank sheet of paper can be daunting at times.  Luckily we have lots of inspiration around us at Cross Corners, a beautiful garden and a book shelf with lots of lovely images to choose from as well as a wealth of textiles, and other bits of treasure, to work with.  The group soon warmed up and lots of great prints were produced.

For the session with Jemma, we had a go at making cyanotypes.  This involves transfering a relief image to a surface prepared with a photo sensitive solution.  We mainly used paper and fabric.
Here you see a fabric piece with an arrangement of acetates with printed images and lace ready for transfer to the UV lamp for developing...

A cyanotype being developed under the lamp.

A cyanotype being fixed in water.

More examples of cyanotypes developed onto paper and other pieces for collage making.

Jemma also demonstrated a form of monoprinting using tissue paper which can be glued and layered over collaged work.  This results in the image becoming transparent...

Here you can see a mixture of painting, monoprints and cyanotypes with a final layer of monoprinted tissue paper which has been glued over the entire collage.  The glue makes it transparent so all the layers can be seen.  The lady who made this piece of work described the process as 'liberating'...

Work in progress.  The studio has been a beautiful creative mess with lots of material gathered from a variety of sources such as tissue paper from shoe boxes and salvaged sweet paper and discarded clippings from the garden.

This lady was only able to use one hand at this session but was still able to make her mark.

Finished collage pieces.

The piece of work, below, was inspired by the poetry session.  The lady who made this told us about her mum who used to tell her that 'if there is and obstacle in your path, there's always a way around'.  She wanted to create something from these words and, over a period of about 3-4 weeks, made this wall hanging from a mixture of textiles and leaves and twigs.  The twigs, towards the bottom of the picture, under the words, are from an oak tree planted by her mum...

I love running these sessions hearing the wonderful remarks that people make about their time in sessions.  I encourage them to write down what they have achieved and how it made them feel and hang them on our 'feedback tree' (see centre of picture below).

Here are some of the comments made last term.

This one is so lovely.  And this is why we do what we do.

This term, in the run up to christmas, we shall be sharing some of our own craft and participating in a project by Falmouth University called The Wellmaking Craftivist Garden.  We'll also be indulging in a spot of pottery with Bridget McVey who will show us how to make christmas tree ornaments.