Healthy amount of work made in one sitting as TEXTtile makers exceed recommend 5 a day!
Someone call the fire brigade, the TEXTtile makers are on fire! A phenomenal amount of print work was harvested last week in a foodie inspired creative frenzy, which was lots of messy fun. So much work in-fact, that I couldn’t get the whole, beautiful buffet up on the blog, so here is a little taster of fruit and veg prints for starters…
Food and drink, it’s the one topic that I retained from project to project. Why? Because it never fails to get everyone talking, reminiscing, swapping recipes and stories and creates a genuinely enthusiastic, creative vibe. Cooking and food preparation is an interactive, hands on, creative activity and so lends itself to participatory crafty endeavours. Everyone has a favourite food or food memory, every culture celebrates with special foods, every country has its own specialities. It is on an equal par to music for guaranteed, genuine, emotional responses. So, what better medium to create the work with than the utensils we cook with and the food itself? But first, something smelly….
We kicked off with some smelling jars and touch bags. We paired up and got our nostrils and finger tips to do some work. Mystery jars, cloaked in cloth jackets, were laid out for our makers to have a sniff, guess the contents and share a memory of whatever they thought the smell was. Small cloth bags of mystery food stuffs were passed around to feel and guess what was within from texture alone, and give a memory of that food or texture. The result were memories around, ground ginger, malt whisky, almonds, TCP, pine disinfectant, vinegar, monkey nuts, star anise, parma violet sweets, rice, pasta and lots of wrinkled noses and chin scratching.
“I know that smell! I used to work as a nurse looking after children. There was one boy who was six years old and every time he saw me he would run to me and give me a huge kiss and cuddle. He called me Fish finger. When I asked his parents why, they said it was his favourite food so I started calling him beef burger, which is mine. He passed away but I still think about him. I will never forget him. He was a very special child.” – Fely, TEXTtile Maker.
Senses stimulated and table suitably protected from the barrage of peel, paint and general enthusiasm about to hit it, we get our teeth into some printmaking…kitchen style!
One maker made a comment which resonated with the whole group…
“Ohh I haven’t done this since I was 8, 9, 10 , 11 years old. I don’t know why, it’s so much fun! You just don’t do things you did as a child when you are grown up, do you? You feel silly. Why do you feel silly? Feeling silly, that’s silly!” TEXTtile Maker
Everyone had a good fondle of the fruit and veg on offer, chose what they would like to start with, swapped recipes from war times and exotic holidays and eventually got down to using the potato peelers, meat tenderisers, fish slices, potato mashers, potatoes, aubergines, pomegranate, mini corn (as make shift paint brushes), carrots, apples, red cabbage, sponges, fingers and Nicole’s own beautiful Indian wood blocks to get printing.
“This is the best drawing I’ve done today! I can’t see much but I can see the patterns and I think that this one is quite good!”
J. TEXTtile Maker
“I used to play with potato stamps when I was a child because they were the cheapest thing you could buy. My mum thought it was a waste of food but I used to enjoy it.” -TEXTtile Maker
The group grow ever confident in their arty abilities. Fely takes her design to the next level, choosing to up cycle an ink drawing made by a maker from a previous arts and wellbeing project working a corn and woodblock design around Sheila’s inky cat and uses letter stamps to name it.
All the prints made today will become illustrative patterns, which will accompany the stories we tell whilst making. The book grows each week, by sometimes small amounts and, like this week, sometimes large amounts. Here are some shots of the painty aftermath…
To my mind, a good workshop is one where the activities introduced become a shared experience around which the participants can enthusiastically rally. A good workshop becomes a great one when the participants take ownership of the activity and push it in new directions. If we get feedback about something that has been enjoyed in particular we feed it into the next session. The structure of classes remains fluid to incorporate participant input. Messy, chatty, interactive and entertaining a great atmosphere created by the ladies today!
“I really liked what we did last week with the touching and feeling” – Margaret, TEXTtile Maker
“I have taken this on board Margaret and will endeavour to keep sessions interactive and multi sensory.” – Alex, TEXTtile Lead
We also managed to squeeze in #CClasses workshop No.2 but this needs its own oldblog post all to itself! Keep tuned to hear all the latest news form the TEXTtile Project here on the oldblog or on #TEXTtile and @Senetweets. Share, like, retweet and leave a comment folks, all feedback welcome.