Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Holiday Craft Workshops

This week I've been running children's craft workshops from my studio for the first time. It's Thursday morning so I've done three out of the five days on offer this week, and I'm exhausted but happy! So far six children have been with me this week and we've worked on papermaking, felting and - once our handmade paper was dry - book making.

A bucket of paper pulp to start! I soaked the shredded paper on Sunday night and on Monday morning the kids helped me blend it up into 'Paper Soup', and then sieve it into 'Paper Porridge'.

These are my moulds and deckles in A3, A4 and B5 sizes. The kids were great at sharing AND at cleaning up after themselves!

Ordinary cleaning cloths like these are used between each sheet of wet paper...

Here we are working outside on the verandah, couching fresh sheets of paper onto wet cloths and layering them up into piles on rectangles of 'felts' (or in this case, cheap carpet!)

We squeezed the paper piles between boards using clamps. The children had a lot of fun trying to tighten up the clamps!

We unpacked the clamps and used a rolling pin and a brayer to roll individual sheets of paper up onto the newly-cleaned windows! There were enough windows so that we could have one each plus a spare for the paper I made 'for everyone'

These are some of the books we made yesterday

We made simple pamphlet books, tried out Japanese Stab bindings, made a star book from folded coloured papers and a wagon book. The children were much more interested in the process of constructing different kinds of book than actually creating the contents, and were trying to squeeze as many different binding techniques out of me as possible!

It's been a really interesting learning experience for me, not least because my group this week has been equal numbers of boys and girls, with ages ranging from 5 to 12 so I've had to be flexible enough to teach across a range of ages and skills. Later on today some of the group will be back to learn how to knit. I'll let you know how I go...


  1. Looks like you had fun and the kids will have some nice things to take home with them.

  2. ahhhh this could be from my piccie album! I love seeing kids get all inspired and intrigued by the process of making..... the books look fantastic btw!

    good luck with the knitting - my boyo actually loves to crochet (my leftie little girlie just finds it all too much of a brain drain - but she's a demon concertina booklet maker!)

  3. That looks like you all had the best time - what lucky kids to be able to do this with you. They'll have great memories and some of them will remember in the future and think they'd like to make books. Or paper, or knit seriously.