Thursday, 6 January 2011

Back to the real world . . . .


My first teaching session this year was at Harrow Way Community School in Andover on Tuesday the 4th January. I had been invited to design a workshop for students who are extending thier access to new textles techniques. The school has a great reputation for Art and D&T. Sylvia Harvey is the Head of Art & Design and is highly aware of the importance of art textiles within education.

 torn, painted Bondaweb decorated with artichoke heart seeds, skeleton leaves and glitter

I had an exhausting, fascinating, exciting and very educational day. As most of you know I teach adults and have very little experience with younger students. But I am learning very fast!! Because I have a stand at The Design & Technology Show every year I have become very aware of the lack of textile teaching in many schools, whether it comes in the form of fashion/dressmaking courses or art textiles. This is not the fault of the schools, they can only teach what they are told to. I think this will change over the next 2 years from what I have heard speaking to teachers in the last 6 months. Greater value is now being placed in the teaching of textile techniques. Long may it last. I have several workshops in schools coming up - it should be very interesting.

 torn, painted Bondaweb decorated with seeds, sequins, skeleton leaves, bows and just a small amount of glitter!!!

Sylvia and I had decided the best way to show the most basic Hot Textiles techniques was to teach the students how to use painted Bondaweb with decorations and a quick tour of Tyvek including making beads. I had 3 groups of students during the day, each for an average of one and a half hours. Bearing in mind these students have never tried anything like this before they created some fabulous samples.

 torn, painted Bondaweb decorated with seeds, skeleton leaves, heat transfer foil and glitter

I was very impressed with the speed in which they picked up all my instructions and how they all worked very well together sharing tools and materials. The students were generally proactive and whilst some of them got very excited they were never unruly and behaved beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and was delighted with the results of a very fast paced workshop. It was a very rewarding day and I hope to be going back to this school later in the month for a longer workshop.

 a selection of samples showing  painted and decorated Bondaweb, distressed polyester organza, Tyvek samples

more samples

a pile of delicious textures including Tyvek beads
The third group of the day were older students and were staying behind after school had finished.
I demonstrated some of the possibilities of working with Spunbond and how to cut the Spunbond with a soldering iron. The students worked very hard and produced some excellent samples which they will be able to use for their course work.
pre dyed Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron and then distressed with a heat gun

Several of Sylvia's colleagues popped in and out of the workshop during the day and 2 were able to take part in the workshops. It was great to meet such interested, lively and dedicated teachers. Having been rather reticent about teaching younger students I find I am now really looking forward to my next session. 


Coming up -
I'm off to stay with my lovely friend Mary Day (wonderful silk painter) in Chipping Campden tomorrow then I will be delivering a workshop for the Cotswold Embroiderers Guild on Saturday. Sunday I am spending with Brenda Killigrew from Inkberrow Design Centre and Castanea Craft Courses to discuss some new specialist workshops for Textiles, Art and D & T teachers.

It's going to be a great weekend! 
 x


No comments:

Post a Comment