A productive weekend

It has been a productive and creative weekend – I have spent the last two days block printing onto fabric with the Khushi group in mind. I have been toying with the idea of doing some block printing with the group for a few weeks now but have been unsure. I have two vintage wooden printing blocks which I have never used, until yesterday, when I finally decided to give them a go and find out if they work.

This is what I discovered…

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Spurred on by the success of these prints I decided that two printing blocks would just not be enough to keep everyone in the Khushi group busy. There are often at least 8-15 in a group and we only have an hour in which to do things so it is paramount that I have enough equipment to keep everyone busy for the full hour – otherwise the time is wasted as the ladies wait for equipment.

Therefore I took to the drawing board – One of the images is a line drawing of the Goddess Durga – inspired by the theme of the work we are creating at the moment – celebrations – Navratri is the next celebration in the ladies calendar I thought the image would work well. The other is a boldly decorated elephant – I like elephants.

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Next was to try these lino blocks on fabric. Because the wood blocks worked so well I was unsure whether the lino would – they are much smoother than the wood blocks and I wasn’t sure whether this would affect the print.

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Of course some prints came out better than others, as is the nature with block printing and to me part of the beauty of the process. But I think they worked well enough to be used by the group. I only hope they enjoy the process as much as I do.

 

Back on track

It has been a while since my last post as I have been visiting family in the North but I have had to hit the ground running since my return as things are in full swing back here in Loughborough.

On Thursday 20th August I attended the launch of Charnwood Arts RawArt groups latest exhibition – Flotsam and Jetsam – at the Bradgate Unit, Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. We had a really great turn out and the work was really well recieved, thank you to all for the lovely comments. A big thank you to Jemma Bagley (Community Arts Development Co-ordinator Charnwood Arts) for her lovely introduction to the work and thank you also to Kev Ryan (Director Charnwood Arts) and Tim Sayers (Co-director Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust) for their kind words. Thank you also to all the participants and artists for their work.

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The group have being creating works on the theme for about a year and the exhibits include paintings, dry point etchings, collages, 3D work and textiles. 15 artists are included and each artist has explored the theme in their own way. There are 48 works in total. The Bradgate Writers group that meets at the unit has responded to the work with new writing on the theme. This will be displayed alongside the artworks. The exhibition continues until September.

I have also spent the last two weeks working closely with Jemma Bagley on another project, also in Leicester – Look-A-Ladies-Ukulele LALU – On Mondays we have the art sessions whilst on the Thursday the Ukulelel sessions take place. Some wonderful work is taking place on this project.

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To find out more about the group or to get involved yourself please visit the projects website here: www.projectlalu.wordpress.com

At yesterdays LALU session I also ran a workshop for the Khushi ladies at Peepul Enterprise in Leicester. This was my first session with the ladies for some time. Before we have been doing little sewing projects to help the ladies gain confidence on the sewing machines. Now we are working on some textile artworks that will be exhibited at Peepul Enterprise for the Navratri and Diwali celebrations, therefore the focus for the works is celebration.

This week we focused on making a background for the ladies to embellish and add to in the comming weeks. I chose to teach some new skills in the form of patchwork. We had some fun looking through material in the beginning and then things were in full flow as the ladies took to the machines. Althought at first the steps to the patchwork were difficult for everyone to grasp once started the penny would drop as I illustrated the way the patchwork would come together. We made some great progress and I hope that next week everyone will have their backgrounds completed and then the really exciting bits can begin. We should be doing some applique and some free machine embroidery in the coming weeks.

RADAR – Show Me How for Families

Market Town

Show Me How for Families – 11th July – Carillon Court Shopping Centre.

On the 11th July I ran two crochet workshops for LUArts (Loughborough Universities contemporary arts programme) as a part of their Market Town project. An arts project which is designed to illustrate the potential of our town.

Artist Ania Bas designed the Show Me How element of the project – a series of workshops led by local makers designed to illustrate how our town could be a place of skill sharing.

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In an unused unit in Carillon Court Shopping Centre the makers, artists and organisers gathered along with members of the public who signed up for the free making sessions.

Super Hero side kick Nelson also made an appearance – he loves being around crafts and crafters.

I ran two beginner crochet workshops, focusing on the chain which is normally used at the beginning of every pattern although it is very rarely used on its own. I decided to show that the chain is just as versatile as other crochet stitches so we made flowers out of our chains.

The first of these sessions was crammed – such a lovely turn out with at least 4 families attending, including a young lad who had never even intended on coming to the crochet session but got the chance to learn this and  Marquetry with one of the other makers later that morning.

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I began this session by illustrating the basics to the whole group however I find that it is often better on a one to one basis so I went round to every family and showed them individually as well. I spent the rest of the session bouncng around the room – largely going to where there were confused faces. This usually works!

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It is sometimes easy to forget how difficult it is when first learning to crochet however I often get left handers coming to workshops to learn how to crochet and I always try to turn things around so that they can see how it’s done. This is a great reminder for me of how difficult I found it when first learning to crochet.

I use stories about mistakes I have made and daft things I did when first starting out such as when I snapped the yarn because I could not get the tension right. These stories are often helpful when teaching beginner crochet, they help to aleviate frustration and they generally cause a smile or laugh. It is always good to remember that we were all beginners once.

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Artist Ania Bas helped a lot with teaching.

It was great to have Ania on hand to help me – she is a wonderful teacher.

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What was really lovely was when family members started to help each other. I find that this often happens in workshops, and I think this really embodies what Show Me How is all about – teaching and skill sharing between people.

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The second of these workshops was much smaller but no less amazing. The skill from the participants was awesome. Everyone picked up the skills really quickly and before I knew it we had some lovely flowers.

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This little girl was an absolute whirlwind and managed to make two little flowers which she turned into a necklace – ingenious!

And Nelson also got a hug for his hard work welcoming visitors.

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A huge thank you to Ania Bas for welcoming me to the project and giving me the chance to work with some marvellous people. Also a huge thank you to all the particpants who came to the workshops – I hope that they enjoyed them and that they will continue to work with yarn.

Thanks to Kev Ryan of Charnwood Arts for the Photographs. To view more images from other Show Me How for Families workshops visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129849401@N04/sets/72157655863344471/with/19679476032/

 

Farewell to Our Knitted Story

After  month in Charnwood Museum it is now time for ‘Our Knitted Story’ to come down.

It doesn’t seem that long ago since we were running round frantically putting the exhibition up and it is going to be a sad day tomorrow when we take all the work down. We have been working on this project for over a year and it is close to our hearts, we will be sad to see it go.

But this is not the end for some of the work is being sent on to Cornwall and London and should be exhibited again before too long.

Thank you to all who have been involved and who have made work for the exhibition, we couldn’t have done it without you.

As a result of this year-long project we have also made many friends along the way and I hope that we can continue to grow and foster these connections and perhaps we will work together again in the not too distant future.

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RADAR – Show Me How

Thank you everyone for such a brilliant workshop this evening.

So much going on my head is still spinning.

This evening at the Organ Grinder from 6pm – 8.30pm I ran a free crochet and knitting workshop, one in a number of workshops taking place as part of Show Me How by artist Ania Bas for RADAR’s Market Town project.

The focus of my workshop was the use of unusual and FREE materials to crochet or knit with. This evening we used plarn, or plastic bags. The reason behind this unusual choice of material was it’s inherent use in activism or Craftivism. It is a great material to have in your arsenal if you wish to create a yarn bomb for your town or city as it does not get soggy the second it rains.

A number of participants were new to either knitting or crochet or both, but despite this the progress made in the room was extrordinary and I was very chuffed. I had to ping pong between people a bit to show everyone the basics but I hope that everyone got enough time with me. Thank you to everyone for your patience whilst I made my way around the room.

I hope that the workshop has inspired everyone to go away and get crafty. Well done to the 3 guys who came on a whim, you did brilliant and I would love to know if you have kept it up.

A great big thank you to Ania for all your help and encouraging comments.

I look forward to the next session on the 11th July in Loughbrough Carillon Shopping Centre.

Unfortunately I was so busy bouncing round the room that I failed to get any photo’s.

Green Festival of Making and Mending

31st October 2015

11am-5pm, Friends Meeting House, Queens Rd, Leicester.

A free festival day made up of making and mending activities such as advanced sewing and clothes repair skills, how to mend or maintain your bike, making Christmas decorations from reclaimed materials, repairing electronic items, making toys from old junk and coldframes from old drinks bottles.

Check out how much more is on here: http://www.leicesterfootpaths.org.uk/

Show Me How for Families

RADAR – Market Town

Saturday 11th July

Carillon Court Shopping Centre, Lougborough, LE11 3TX

As a part of LUArts latest project, Market Town, a programme of commissions that sets out to re-imagine the future of Loughborough’s High Streets.

Artist Ania Bas is working with local makers to develop a number of workshops that encourage the exchange of creative skills.

On Saturday 11th July in the Carillon Court Shopping Centre there will be a number of creative workshops led by local makers, so if you fancy trying your hand at learning some new making skills with your family please come on down.

You can come to one or all of the sessions, the decision is yours but capacity is limited so please be sure to book your place on the workshops you would like to get involved in.

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I will be running a session on 11th July between 10am – 12.30pm teaching the crochet foundation chain and exploring ways of using this simple technique to make lovely little flowers that can be used as hair decorations, accessories, attached to bags, keys, clothes, the possibilities are endless!

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If you would like to join me on Saturday 11th July don’t forget to book your place here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/show-me-how-for-families-crochet-for-beginners-10am-11am-led-by-sarah-green-tickets-17424031748

Please note that these sessions on Saturday are for families with kids, we will be unable to book single adults onto the sessions. However if you are interested in learning new making skills check out the adult only prgramme, also run as part of the Market Town programme.

I will be running a crochet/knitting session next Tuesday 30th June, 6pm – 8.30pm, Organ Grinder pub, Loughborough, LE11 2YT.

plarn bug close uppattern by Lauren O’Farrell and can be found in Stitch New York.

Show me how, call for participants, FINAL

Charnwood Arts Tells ‘Our Knitted Story’ in New Exhibition ….

Charnwood Arts’ “Big Knitting Group” is currently presenting ‘Our Knitted Story’ an exciting new exhibition at Loughborough’s Charnwood Museum Gallery.

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The exhibition encompasses everything from knitting to embroidery to soft sculpture, focusing on the connections, bonds, memories and stories it creates through generations and across cultures.

The use of the word Knitted in the title of the project is deliberate, referring to its other meaning as a term to describe unity, coming together, becoming closer and bonding.

The focus of the project is on personal histories of hand-crafting and brings together stories and memories of knitting, crocheting and other textile based activities from the local community. With items and quotes both from people who are members of groups and people who craft alone.

‘Our Knitted Story’ is Charnwood Arts Big Knitting Group’s latest research project and incorporates a project undertaken by The Craftivists Collective and Falmouth University called the Craftivists Garden.

Members of the group attended the launch of this project in London last summer and then worked closely with the organisers and various groups, creating over 100 flowers for the project.

These were then sent to London as part of an event at the Toynbee Hall in January. About a third of the flowers produced by people from around the UK are displayed here.

We also set the first year textiles students at LUSAD a challenge to respond to the theme. Over 70 students created work as part of their coursework and samples created by15 students are displayed in the exhibition.

There is also a host of fascinating knitting facts supplied by Big Kniting Group member Liz Dunajewska, as well as illustrations by Paul Gent, poetry, a yarn-bomb and a super hero! And in case that’s not enough, there is also a ‘History Pod’ containing many vintage items.

The exhibition continues until Sunday the 5th July at Charnwood Museum, Granby Street, Loughborough.

Entrance is free and the show will be open during the usual Charnwood Museum opening hours.

Phil Redford print exhibition

Phil Redford lino print exhibition at Charnwood Museum

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There are some absolutely amazing and awe inspiring prints on display at Charnwood Museum by the painter, book artist and printmaker Phil Redford.

A retired seniour lecturer in printmaking at Leeds Metropolitan University Manchester he now lives and works in Leicester.

The works currently on display at the Museum are based on the composer Richard Wagner’s epic music dramas, ”The Ring of the Nibelung” and ”Tristan and Isolde” and are composed into hand printed concertina bound books.

To find out more about Phil Redford visit his website here: http://www.philredford.com/

 

 

 

Picnic in the Park 2015

Picnic in the Rain!

A big thank you to everyone who braved the rain and joined us at the Museum yesterday for Picnic in the Park. I hope you all enjoyed the exhibition and our lovely story telling by Tahlita.
Here is Tahlita doing her thing with Marion on the spinning wheel.

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Thanks guys for making our Enchanted Garden installation come to life.

We also had a great flurry of activity in the education room of the Museum with all kinds of craft activities on the go, all inspired by the current exhibition ‘Our Knitted Story’.
Some excellent mushroom making, I think we have some great sculptors and textile artists in the making here.

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And we also had some fabulous peg looming happening too, what do you think to this lovely blue piece, looks rather like a landscape to me.

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Thanks to all the Charnwood Museum staff as well for being wonderful as always and helping us with everything, and for letting us use their kitchen and kettle for refreshments.