What it was like to take part in the Christmas Workshop

December was certainly a very busy month fitting in Pop Up shops, Christmas fairs, designing and running a Christmas Workshop too.

My blog today is writing a little bit about the workshop and showing some photographs of the fantastic work completed by the participants.

The workshop was held in Barton Stacey village hall about three miles from my home in Wonston and took place on 5 December running from 10 till 4 pm. The workshop encompassed learning how to create repeating patterns, image placement, effective use of scale, embellishing with other types of media and use foiling as a decorative technique.

But First Coffee!

The day started with a relaxed coffee and this gave me the opportunity to find out a little about my participants and for them to find out a little about my background in art, design and education.

The practical aspect of the day started with the decoration and embellishment of gift tags. I introduced block printing, embellishing with metallic gutta, cutting christmas shapes using metal die cutters. I had prepared examples beforehand and also demonstrated each technique so that every step could be observed. Starting with gift tags is a good way of building confidence as the pieces are small and people feel more secure starting with a small space to decorate rather than an expanse of paper for gift wrap etc.

Some great work was produced and some are shown here:

Confidence in their ability had grown tremendously since the start of the workshop and after about an hour we stopped, looked at the work produced and discussed what was successful and which aspects needed either a little bit more care or refinement of technique.

We then moved onto Christmas card designing, embellishing and decorating. I also introduced the technique of foiling. This is a fantastically adaptable technique and can be used to decorate paintings, designs, mirrors, furniture etc. I spent time talking about image placement and basic repeat patterns as this would become more important as the day progressed. Again the results were very impressive and a few samples of their Christmas cards produced are shown here:

Christmas Cards Produced

We stopped for a quick lunch, more time had been allowed, but everyone wanted to get back to designing, decorating and learning. In the morning we had started small with gift tags, then increased the scale slightly to Christmas cards and now the next jump was designing and printing gift wrap or fabric napkins, (or both).

Fabric printing was the unanimous decision and if time printing gift wrap.

I showed examples of napkins that I had already printed and demonstrated block printing on fabric. I had prepared samples of fabric so that testers could be done first so that any problems printing could be overcome before moving onto the actual cotton napkins. The ladies were very quick learners and produced some beautiful repeat patterns, lovely image placement and good use of colour. Gift wrap printing was left aside as the ladies wanted to print enough napkins for use at Christmas, so instead I showed examples of gift wrap that I had printed as examples and went through the printing process so that this could be done at home.

Napkins Produced by Workshop Attendees:

Just before we finished the workshop all the products were displayed so that everyone could see how much they had learnt and how confidence had grown in their abilities throughout the day. These skills and techniques can be transferred and used in many different ways.

There will be a range of different workshops running in 2016 so do sign up so that details can be sent to you.

Christmas Wrapping Examples

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