Another week with even more creativity this week, as we re-introduce the daytime sessions for Bee Creative. It has been my aim to extend what we offer to include small group sessions that run over a series of weeks and cover a specific technique. The first series was lino-cutting and printing.
I tried to run them back in June but due to overbooking the room and me still having too much on with the tuition business it all fell rather flat. One lady was able to attend the hastily put together and advertised first session, but we ended up carving our lino in a meeting room, and then when we were asked to leave, the cafe! We had fun anyway and I was pleased to be able to re-instate the sessions if only so she could learn more.
Until last year I had never done any lino-cutting before and knew nothing of the ways of choosing a suitable design, carving safely and effectively and producing a quality print. I was fortunate enough to attend one of Fiona of Minifi’s classes and was treated to an excellent introductory session to this versatile print technique. Fiona’s teaching style is relaxed and encouraging and she gets you involved straight away so you can follow what she is explaining.
I wasn’t blown away with my first attempt but I learned a lot, and her positive and constructive feedback made we want to try again. A lover of all things floral, I didn’t account for how difficult it would be for a beginner like me to produce smooth even curves and ended up cutting off a little more ‘block’ than originally planned due to going off course. More than that, I was thrilled to be learning a new skill! I started to think of useful applications for this whilst making my textile creations.
You might recall a printing experiment I did at the end of last summer which definitely produced some pleasing results, it’s amazing what a bit of practice can do! And I was lucky enough to get myself on another one of Fiona’s classes a few weeks ago which gave me the confidence I needed to be ready to share my newly acquired skills. I got some more tips from Fiona and felt a lot more successful this time with my technique and design, I also started to consider how prepared I really was for teaching lino-printing last time.
This time I put out a lot of advertising for the classes and I had a fair bit of interest. Obviously being the summer, there are quite a few people away of holidays, or with holidays booked, so I designed the sessions to be pay as you go and although skills will be built on each week, it really won’t matter if you do miss a week because you can catch up. I am sure that Fiona has cleared the shops of the three-layer soft lino that she uses in her classes and so bought some of the moreexpensive, but delightful to use, Speedball.
The group has thought carefully about what we discussed regarding suitable designs and chose images that they felt suited their confidence and ability. They weren’t all simple either! Julie opted for a complicated tribal lizard design and I have to say she pulled it off really well, including many of the details that the original design shows. Not only was she quick, she was really accurate with her carving, having only tried lino-cutting once before many years ago and with the old-style hard lino sheets.
Helen has been perfecting her hibiscus flower design in a few projects in our Monday night sessions. I think it first appeared on a jar in a glass painting session, then on a piece of silk in our silk-painting evening with Karyn of Creative Paths. Helen’s creativity has really blossomed too over the year! She has often added her own creative flair to many of the projects she has been involved with and produced some beautiful things. This is by no means an easy image to carve out either but she did well and completed it at home, ready for printing this week.
These two ladies went for simpler designs but added some clever details to make them more intricate. I am looking forward to seeing them all printed.
I have stocked up on Speedball, as it would seem that word has got out and we might have a few more people joining us this week. Also this week we have a special Monday night session, which will be led by Morag and will focus on producing stock for the Fabulous Fundraiser, hosted by Transform charity.
This event is part of the new #timetotransform project, raising awareness of the importance of emotional education and resilience and giving back to help those most in need in our communities and the group are looking forward to making a contribution.
It’s great to see how links are being forged in our community.
Until next week
and keep it community.