Creative pursuits, a yearning for learning!

22 Aug

A relatively local place to me is The Textiles Workshop in Sherwood, Nottingham. I have attended many classes there over the past few years including a couple that were set over 16 weeks, 3 hours a week, in patchwork for beginners and them printmaking which were great fun, I learnt a lot & loved having 3 hours a week dedicated to something entirely selfish, that fitted around work being available as an evening class & it’s surprising and really satisfying to see what you can accomplish when you have no other distractions.

Bit of a theme with my printing, Owls & Textile texture!

Bit of a theme with my printing, Owls & Textile texture!

I’ve also attended a day class in screen printings and a ‘make a dress in a day’ which I’ve previously written a blog post about. There’s so much on offer from them, it’s always hard figuring out what to try next. One thing that helped this year was their summer school classes, which have acted like a little taster session for their longer classes. Their 2 day silversmithing course jumped right out at me. What appealed was that it ran on a Wednesday (my day off) so few things run on a Wednesday so I was delighted. Unfortunately I didn’t act quick enough & the places sold out, but fortunately for me a few days before the class was due start I got a call to say a place had become available. At £30 for two days (not including materials) I thought that was a bargain!

My work after the first week, looking a little rough around the edges.

My work after the first week, looking a little rough around the edges.

I’ve previously done a little silversmithing, many years ago while at college and I’m familiar with jewellery making so I wanted to find out whether I really wanted to commit to a full 16 week term or whether a 2 day course would satisfy my curiosities. Over the two days we made a lovely stackable set of rings, 5 in total, some with little tops on them (I went for my favourite shape – a triangle) & some with texture to sit in between and space out the topped rings. I love the fact that although we were making a whole set to wear together you can mix & match them too, wearing maybe just the two spacer rings, or spacer rings with just one triangle… endless possibilities. We also make a pair of earrings, I haven’t quite assembled mine just yet & I ran out of time polishing them, so no photos of those at the moment.

My finished stackable rings, they photographed well on the dark surface.

My finished stackable rings, they photographed well on the dark surface, with no flash.

The 3 plain rings with their rounded triangular tops, the flash here has highlighted all the tiny imperfections - plenty of more for improvements, but I'm thrilled with them all the same & they have handmade after all.

The 3 plain rings with their rounded triangular tops, the camera flash here has highlighted all the tiny imperfections – plenty of room for improvements, but I’m thrilled with them all the same & they have been handmade after all.

My two textured, spacer rings, nicely split up my triangular design rings.

My two textured, spacer rings, nicely split up my triangular design rings.

I love the subtle contrast of the smooth rings with textured rings sat in between them.

I love the subtle contrast of the smooth rings with textured rings sat in between them.

Having completed the two days yesterday I can definitely say, Yes! I want to do more! So I filled in the forms & I’m already really looking forward to it getting started in September, so no doubt there’ll be more blog posts to follow!

Before that course commences I have another workshop to attend. The only declaration I made at New Years this year was that I wanted to learn how to make a basket & that is exactly what I’ll be doing this bank holiday Sunday. Having not been able to find a date suitable for myself I arranged a booking just for me & a few friends which Blithfield willow crafts who were very friendly & accommodating. This is a craft I’ve wanted to do for some time, I love the idea of making something so sturdy and practical out of natural materials, that I believe if done right, could last you for years & years! I can’t wait. You’ll hear all about it very soon & hopefully I’ll also be able to learn how to fix one of my Grandma’s baskets that I inherited, that currently looks a little worse for wear.

Chip chose just the right moment to photobomb my lovely basket, ah!

Chip chose just the right moment to photobomb my lovely basket, ah!

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One Response to “Creative pursuits, a yearning for learning!”

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  1. Basket Making | - August 29, 2013

    […] I mentioned in my previous blog post I’ve been wanted to learn how to make a basket for quite some time. I’ve always been impressed […]

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