I mentioned some time ago that I have been feeling increasingly unhappy at my paid work and have been looking for ways to re-balance my life with more of the creative work that I love. Last year I gained my PTLLS qualification through Artworks Creative Communities allowing me to teach and take workshops sharing my love of ceramics and making in general.
This time last week I was in the middle of my first Hive/WEA weekend workshop teaching coloured clay techniques.
I’ve been planning & preparing for this class since last autumn, so I was confident that I knew my subject well, but this was the first time I would be tested with a class. I was quite nervous to start with, and this increased when the WEA assessor arrived to see how I was getting on. In the event everything went well, I was quite overwhelmed by the talent and enthusiasm of the class. They made some wonderful pieces, everyone added their own different talents and approaches to the basic technique producing varied and exciting work, and I learned as much as everyone else did last weekend. If I can I’ll post pictures of the work when it is fired. In the meantime here are a few of my own coloured clay pieces.
I felt very privileged to be teaching, and I think other people thought I had done alright as well. On Monday immediately after the coloured clay weekend I was asked & agreed to step in to teach the Sewing Bee at Hive on Fridays at short notice. Sewing?, well I’ve always sewn, practically since childhood. My interest then was in making patterns; firstly for dolls and then for myself, soft furnishings and upholstery.
Nowadays I use pattern making and fabrication techniques in model making, fabricating from sheet tin and soldering in place of sewing, and in clay when creating vessels and objects from rolled clay sheets. I've always been interested in print and fabric design, here I've taken inspiration from 1950's textile patterns and interpreted them in coloured clay.
I've applied to teach more ceramics courses at Hive next year, so watch this space for more news, and if the Sewing Bee is a success perhaps I could call myself Ceramifabricals.