Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Youth Workshops in Peckham

An interesting start when the day you should be working is the morning after the riots the night before, but being pigheaded and persistent I am determined not to let my students down I plunge straight into civil unrest land...and its eerily quiet. Apparently rioters don't do mornings. And everyone more sensible is staying behind closed doors. So I am enjoying the lack of traffic, an easy drive for once!
5 days of activities planned over two weeks. We are recycling old jewellery, making stretch bracelets and illusion necklaces and some funky contemporary polymer name badges during days 1- 3. After that the focus is switching to textiles and we will be felting some little bags and/or pictures and embellishing them. The group is aged 10-16 so quite a range. My wing woman for the week is the coordinator at VAPA, the lovely Louise, a talented artist in her own right (and how she manages to follow all the instructions, make lovely pieces and keep an eye on a bunch of young people I'll never know!)
Recycling old jewellery.
A couple of the students have managed to bring some things but that is all, so it was lucky I had raided my own jewellery box and persuaded my Mum to raid hers too! Also on the table are ribbons, buttons, findings and new beads. Taking one or two pieces of old jewellery we get the sketch books out and proceed to plan. This is a great one for odd earrings or broken pieces as well as stuff that isn't worn any more. The sketchbooks encourage consideration of dismantling pieces and how the parts could be used before we move on to adding fresh materials. My sample piece is made from a dismantled single earring, an old watch bezel and a button is added for balance. The result has a very Art Deco feeling. The students get to work on breathing new life into bracelets, earrings and necklaces by transforming them into new wonders.
Day two brings stretch bracelets. We talk about colour combinations (and I encourage the pick one, two or at most three to try and encourage the " it isn't necessary to throw everything at it" approach!!) and using smaller beads so that the piece doesn't become too heavy. Then after a demo of headpins and coiling we are off...this one is going to keep them occupied for a while....it takes a considerable amount of time to get round the bracelet. By the end most of them are experts in coil making and threading and the bracelets look great. In the time remaining we make some quick illusion necklaces.
Polymer Clay.
Last time we covered some basic caning, marbling and some funky shaped necklaces. So this workshop we followed on with some more canes. We made checkerboard canes, zipper canes and more; with some more discussion about colour use (I learnt the hard way on that one!). We also looked at using gold/silver composition leaf. This was followed by applying them to sheets of clay in a considered way and using letter cutters to create the funky names for our badges! After baking we attached them to kilt pins using chains and brass charms to make them even kookier!
this post will be edited when I get more imagery!

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