For some people, getting into arts and crafts can seem a bit of daunting prospect; material cost, learning the basic skills to create the various things buzzing around in your head and figuring out exactly what you’d like to try first can all appear to be insurmountable barriers.
Trust me though, they aren’t.
If you’re looking to learn some new skills, or just polish up some rusty ones, I have some good news for you.
I’ve recently been on a crafting for beginners course run by the WEA through Unravel and Unwind, it was great fun and covered a wide range of different art materials, giving a taste of what it’s like to craft in a number of ways.
The course is open to anyone; although for those in receipt of disability, sickness or jobseekers payments, the course is completely free.
On the first week of the course we worked with clay, pressing leaves into slabs and cutting around to create a realistic leaf sculpture as well as working slabs of clay to produce door plaques.
In the first session we were taught about properly rolling clay to prevent air bubbles and the explosive consequences of leaving them in, as well as scoring and slipping to affix separate pieces together.
Our finished sculptures were taken away and fired by the tutor, Mickey. and returned on the third week for use to colour and glaze.
During the course we also had the option to work with pastels, acrylic paint and practice our drawing and still life skills.
We painted landscapes using photographs and artwork supplied by Mickey going over the basics of colour theory and the properties of contrast and complimentary colours.
Dry brush and wet techniques were explained, as well as stippling and the general properties of acrylic paint.
We all got to work on primed canvas sheet. A little different from a stretched canvas, but more or less identical in texture to a normal lightly primed canvas that you’d pick up in a craft shop.
On the whole, it was a lot of fun, everyone took away something positive from the experience and I’d highly recommend this for anyone curious about having a go at something creative. The course gives learners a broad range of things to try in a supportive environment without the worry of material costs or grading.
The next round of Crafting for Beginners starts on March 7th, bookings should be available soon through the events section of the Unravel and Unwind Facebook page, as well as the main Unravel and Unwind site. In the meantime feel free to drop us an email, leave a message on Facebook or sign up to our weekly email newsletter.