So...It happened, I led my first ever workshop as Handy with Scissors!
It is strange you know because I have managed and been part of countless kids workshops in my role as Coordinator of Kids and Families Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art ,Australia but to lead a workshop of my own, under my own name was somehow terrifying. I think in retrospect this workshop in my mind had become the culmination of all the work I had put into Handy and all my insecurities about where it all may lead. Would the kids like my ideas? Would they like me? Would they listen? Seriously, you would think I was right back in the playground in grade 5!
Turns out I really had nothing to worry about. The ideas were strong, the materials beautiful and the kids enthusiastic, interested and engaged. Did I have fun? Um, yes but by then it was almost over. It is fine though, it just means I need to do another one QUICKLY. And then another, and another, and another...
So now to share a little about the materials, prep and the workshop itself!
I loved Meri's original idea for these hangings which predominantly used mixed yarns. Naturally though I wanted to find a way to make these that made use of recycled and re purposed materials. After some experimentation I found some white sheet fabric at Reverse Garbage which I tore into strips and attacked with dye on my clothes line. I'm not going to provide too many details about this as I don't know that the method was very scientific but lets just say it involved dye, liquid watercolours, food colouring, water and LOTS of mess.
Next I collected lots of lovely drift wood from the beach, went back to Reverse Garage TWICE to buy flowers and then toured NSW charity shops in search of yarn. It was around about this point I was really glad I was still on maternity leave and wasn't charging for my hours!
Finally because I think I must have assumed about a million people were coming to the workshops I went back to Reverse Garbage TWO MORE TIMES to but meters of donated lycra which I rolled into sausages and cut into strips.
Now for the WORKSHOPS!
10 lovely little ladies booked in on the day for the workshop which was held at Sydney Fringe HQ. The workshop itself was part of the Sydney Fringe Kids program coordinated by cultural warrior and super mum Kerri Glasscock.
We arrived early (way too early) and set up the space and waited with baited breath till the artists arrived...
And arrive they did! After a quick demo of the basic technique of looping the fabric onto the sticks and a bit of a chat about colour and design, everyone got started. It was such a delight to see how differently all the girls approached the materials. Some chose carefully and spent a long time deciding on which colours to use, others just went for it, mixing in a little bit of everything. Then there was the friend at the end who just threw it all out the window and went straight to flowers!
Half way through I introducedthe cardboard pom pom maker and while the kids thought this was pretty cool, the mums that stayed for the workshop thought it was AMAZING!!!
The time had been set for an hour and in retrospect I think an hour and a half would have allowed a little more time to create a slightly more meditative feel but an hour was enough for some to finish one piece and others two. I wish I had had time to take more photos because the pieces were all so adorable and so different but below are a few I managed to capture.
When can i do it again!!!