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An older lady knits. She is wearning a knitted hat and cardigan.

Yarning

Yarning

A new play by Trevor Pitt

A rustic wooden shed on stilts containing a kiln and other tools, displayed in a gallery..

Will Shannon: The Closet Craftsman

Kiln House

Will Shannnon

A small vessel woven from willow.

Made in the Middle 2016

Made in the Middle 2012 exhibition

Maggie Smith: Willow Ware

Large boot shaped forms woven from chunky sectgions of dried grass.

Radical Craft

Grass Boots Replica

Joanne B Kaar (after Angus McPhee)

Jewellery shaped like simple black birds.

Shelanu

Migrating Birds range

Black enamelled sparrow series. Priced £15-22.

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Comment Book

Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution

looking forward to see you down in plymouth!!!

Maria Puga

Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution

I went to see the exhibition last thursday it was really intresting. I loved the whole experience. It has given me a really good starting point for my dissertation and filled me with inspiration. Cant wait to pop up and se it again

Thankyou

Laura Keogh

Crafts=Skills for Life

Session 6
For me this was the session that the others have been leading up to and I was most looking forward to myself; felting LED fairy lights into flat sheets and 3D shapes. The children made a variety of different objects depending on their understanding of feltmaking. The objective is to start laying out fleece as normal for whatever is being made but half way through include the fairy lights ensuring the battery pack (taped up for protection) remains outside the fleece area before continuing to lay down more fleece.

Items made included small flat sheets, narrow sheets the length of the fairy lights wire, rolled sticks, cones and cylinders. As they finished we untapped the battery packs, inserted batteries and turned down the lights to see the felt glowing up in a variety of colours. The children started wearing cones on their heads and the long strips as scarves and showing other teachers. A visit from the head teacher of the Junior School that some of them attended made their day and they were keen to show her everything they'd done during the project.

We spent the final hour of the day looking at everything they'd made, from the first flat sheets to last weeks printed felt lamps and today's LED work. We discussed what we could make as our product to sell, who would be our target market and suitable colours to use. We decided that adults would be the best customers as they have more money to spend and we identified colours adults like by revealing how our parents had decorated their homes and the clothes they wear. Whilst we thought lampshades in natural browns and creams would be best, some playing around with things we'd made (folding cylinders onto their heads and flat pieces into 3D broachlike flowers) suggested that some fashion accessories might also be an option.

Jamie Lewis

Crafts=Skills for Life

Session 5
We started the day by getting straight on with the work we had started last week sewing, creating patterns on Photoshop and further feltmaking.

Earlier in the week I had visited the school to see how the hot dye press worked and bought some manufactured felt sheets to test it out with. Once all the children had created a pattern with Sunny and printed it out onto special A3 paper we printed the designs onto the manufactured felt. I'd brought a selection of colours for the children to choose from and we checked that they would match the colour they had printed their design in. One by one we printed each child's design onto the felt using the hot press. There was a fair bit of waiting while the timer counted down and the children used it to ask questions about making and selling and talk a bit about the direction of the project. They were all impressed with how the design looked printed onto the felt.

We then designed shapes that the felt could be made into to stand up on its own with a battery powered light underneath. The children were encouraged to use more sheets of plain felt in other colours to add to their design. Some cut holes in one coloured sheet before laying over the printed sheet and sewing together in cylinders or cones. At the end of the day we demonstrated how they would look over table lamps.

Over the weekend the children were going to work with Mr Young at the school Open Day demonstrating feltmaking to visitors and they were looking forward to showing off the things they had made over the last few weeks, particularly the ones involving light.

Jamie Lewis

Crafts=Skills for Life

Session 4
We started this session with a short recap on what we'd already done. We heard that last weeks session had caused a lot of interest from teaching staff who were impresses that the children could make 3D felt around balloons.

The children used discs cut from the first week's spiral felt sticks as a base for an LED bulb and battery and cut a hole in the felt spheres so that they could sit over the bases. We turned off the lights and saw all the spheres glowing on the table. Each had a different effect ; really evenly made felt produced an even glow in one colour all around the sphere while some only glowed in places and looked rather like images of planets. We also cut the flat felt made last week into triangles.

At 10am we set off for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with some digital cameras for the children to take photos of patterns or images that inspired them. The idea is that if we could take inspiration from things in Birmingham it provides a link that could be exploited for retail purposes, perhaps in the BMAG shop.

Back at school we split up into three groups, alternating between working on the sewing machine to sew our triangles together, uploading our digital images to photoshop and creating repeat patterns from details and further experimenting with felt.

On the machine the triangles were assembled into a large light sculpture or lampshade. Photoshop and digital design is Sunny's forte and hopefully he can bring an element of design to our feltmaking that I wouldn't be able to and ensuring we are making really original work.

In the feltmaking corner we tried trapping prints on various fabrics that Sunny had already prepared for us between layers of fleece or even on the surface. One group looked at making simple designs inside out by wrapping yarn around a resist and then laying down the fleece. There were looks of recognition on some of the children's faces as we cut open the felt and removed the resist with the yarn now stuck to the surface. We than shaped the felt tubes around household objects like square and round bottles, cups that get narrower at the bottom. Quite a busy day all in all

Jamie Lewis

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Photographs © : Richard Battye, Joanne B Kaar
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Developing people, ideas and opportunities through contemporary craft.

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