Saturday, 23 April 2016

Banner Making Workshop

One of my sample pieces for the workshop

This weekend I ran another textile workshop at Tullie House. This one was entitled 'Textile Banners, and it was a really lovely session. Most of the participants had done one or more of my workshops in the past which was great because it meant I already knew a little bit about most of them so could more easily offer suggestions suited to them and it also is a very nice confidence boost; I must be doing something right if people want to come back for more!

Choosing fabrics

Choosing fabrics

Choosing fabrics

I love running workshops, I find them a really satisfying and enjoyable part of my work. I get to do something I love and to share my interest and skills with other people. I think my favourite thing about running workshops is when I'm able to inspire people and help them achieve those mini eureka moments, whether it's mastering a certain stitch, completing something or finding the perfect technique or material for a piece. I was very gratified today as one of the participants bought a beautiful owl piece in she'd made inspired by my 'Embellishing Printed Textiles' workshop, I was also pleased to hear that other participants from that workshop had been really inspired to keep working with some of the techniques I'd shown them.

Adding stitch and developing designs

Adding stitch and developing designs

Adding stitch and developing designs

I sometimes (often) worry that I  don't 'do' enough during some of my workshops but with certain things, particularly hand stitch, I think it's really important to just have time to work on things without being constantly bombarded with information. I try to strike a balance between showing new techniques and giving people the opportunity, time and space to be creative and find their own path. I'm sure I don't always get it spot on but I think in our busy lives it's important to take time to work slowly, with our hands and to just try things and see what happens. As one of my participants today said "I'm just here to play, I'm too old to take it too seriously." Whilst I contest the too old part I think the part about not taking it too seriously and allowing ourselves to play is very important.

Adding stitch and developing designs

Adding stitch and developing designs

Adding stitch and developing designs

With this in mind I worked on a mini banner of my own today which I used for demonstrating techniques but also as an opportunity to play. I used fabrics and threads that I might not use in my 'proper' work but one of the things I am learning is that everything is connected. So, whilst I might not count this as a 'proper' piece of work there will be something in it that will feed into another piece. Often these play pieces allow me to make discoveries, sometimes big sometimes small, that will allow me to take my practice forward. They also offer me an opportunity to do something I love and that in itself, I believe, is very important.

Adding stitch and developing designs
My example/play piece


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