A workshop involving much Thrift and Alchemy.

I’ve been teaching Thrift and Alchemy, a re, or should I say, up, cycling textile collage workshop at The RBSA Galleries in Birmingham, in the past two days. Never have a group of students worked so hard making excellent pieces of work from such unpromising materials! So much everyday stuff is ignored, and with a theme of some sort and some paint and glue,  thread and ingenuity, such good work can be made. The room didn’t even look too much like a rubbish dump, which I had feared would be the sight welcoming the students on the first day, when they would be faced with all the detritus I had provided, which I was intending to convince them were valid materials for a creative textiles workshop…

Here are some images.

All hard at work on the first morning.

Imogen making a wild and wonderful large woodland piece, Laura at work on  her exquisite portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, and Carolyn, musing over  beautifully considered mixed media pieces,  with Jean’s work in the foreground; delicately painted maps, and a subtle use of colour and tone forming the basis of garden based collage.

Ella, Sophie and Pheobe. A very productive threesome, all very creative with fabric, paint and stitch. They didn’t waste a minute of the time on the course, and enjoyed the freedom of the approach, in contrast to their rather regulated GCSE Art course at school. I have noticed how GCSE and A level Art is increasingly regulated, and even BA courses. Is this what art should be about, homogeneity?

Kathryn was working on a city scape based piece of work, using an exciting mix of fabrics and papers to create an electric urban scene.

Anne’s work in the foreground, a series of city bird scapes in papers and recycled fabrics, very rich and luscious, with David who was making a delicate and gorgeous bookbinding.