Part of my time is taken up running workshops in a variety of different settings so I thought I'd share some of this summer's experiences with you....

I was thrilled to be offered the chance to work for Greenpeace at Glastonbury Festival. I wasn't sure if I'd be using my creative skills or cleaning showers when I applied as you have to be prepared to do anything, but luckily, my skills were spotted on my application and I was put into a small team whose job was to run puppet making workshops for children and adults as well as taking turns to operate the "Aurora" the giant polar bear! So many people had worked extremely hard to put the Greenpeace Field together and I had a fantastic, although very tiring week. It really was amazing just how much had been created in such a short time, and how everything is then taken away so that the fields can return to farmland. Here's a few pics of Aurora, the Greenpeace field and our workshops...

My second summer festival workshop was as the lovely Lakefest in Tewkesbury where I was running children's sessions for Spare Room Arts, creating weird and wonderful fantasy flowers and creatures using scrap items. I ran a "drop in" workshop on each of the three days of the festival. Here are some of the wonderful creations that were made....

Then last Wednesday, I was up very early (for me anyway!) to make my way to Birmingham's Custard Factory and run a day long metal sculpture course for Crisis UK.

This was the third workshop I'd run for Crisis and this time it was accredited, meaning that the students taking part will gain a certificate at Entry Level 3.

An important part of the day was developing a "portfolio" of work - research, designs, development of ideas etc along with a finished 3D piece. We looked at lots of existing ways in which other people had up cycled junk into beautiful objects and then came the bit that they all moaned about - drawings! 

Personally, I think that drawing is something that everyone can do and am just not prepared to accept someone saying "I can't draw". I always respond to that by saying if you can write then you can draw, in fact even if you can't write, you can draw! Drawing is the thing we do "before" we learn to write, but then when being able to express yourself in words becomes more important, we stop drawing so much. At school, children spend every day for years learning how to "draw" each letter and present them neatly, joining into words and sentences, but drawing an image is something they only do occasionally. Like anything, it simply needs practice and the more you do it, the better you get!

OK, so with a few helpful tips and the drawing lecture over, my students started to produce some very good ideas and pictorial plans in their sketch books.

Following on from this, we experimented with making marks onto and with different tools and materials before beginning to construct the simple finished pieces that you can see below...

Working with charities is very important to me and I've had a great summer running my workshops but it's now time to devote everything I've got into preparing for several wedding fairs that I'll be exhibiting at, starting with the first one at The Abbey Hotel In malvern on September the 7th.

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