Monday, 7 February 2011

Artist Residency Coffee Morning Group

This week I have worked with another group from the community. Some of them already use Frankley Library, they attend adult education classes or a reading group. A couple of people were members of the public who had read about the Coffee Morning that I was hosting with a talk on Hat Making, demonstrations and the opportunity to make a fascinator or head decoration. The work that I did with the group was new to everyone except 2 people who had attended some of the Thursday workshops that I have been running.

The demonstration went well, there were several questions about the hat blocks and different materials used in hat making such as : Sinamay, parisisal straw and felt.
I had examples of a variety of hats made using different materials and a range of fascinators.

It did not take long for everyone to start trying on the hats and soon everyone was wearing something on their head.

After the talk and demonstration, everyone started working on a fascinator. They really liked the range of materials, colours and decorations that they had to work with. It was interesting because all of the group had done sewing in the past but most of them had not sewn for a very long time, so this experience was giving them chance to renew skills that they already had and also to think about; quote; " using sewing as decoration not just to repair something". 

All of the work was done by hand and it was quite intricate. The great thing about it was that everyone helped each other, threading needles, starting off, adding decoration etc and all the time there was chatter about past sewing experiences, at school, at home, and the type of things that were made. One person said that she had given up sewing a long time ago but this made her feel like starting again and she felt that she could do this at home because it was small scale and easy to manage.
We all ran out of time but all of the group are coming back next Thursday to finish off their fascinators. They all completed evaluations for me at the end of the session and the comments were great: "I got a chance to sew again", "Annette explained everything to a tea", "I enjoyed the enthusiasm and help".

This week I also visited the City Learning Centre again for some more training, this time using the laser cutter. This has so much potential for my work in terms of: cutting multiples of a single unit of shape for decoration and hat shapes, mass production of 2D shapes ready for assemembling into 3D forms and for speed of production.

The image on the left is laser cut felt done in the blink of an eye! The work on the right is a felt piece being blocked with my trusted steamer in the fore ground. The work itself is one that I am developing with a view to using laser cut shapes for decoration and embellishment in the form of applique and mola work.


1 comment:

  1. Yes, laser cutters are fantastic and open up a new world of possibilities don't they? I've used them in the past to make my own acrylic & wooden buttons...if you set the laser to a lower power you can etch a pattern onto the surface rather than cut right through it. This works well on leather and thick felt too.