Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts

On the recommendation of my friend Fiona I attended a day of workshops at Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts two weeks ago. Recently moved into a new building on Blair Street in the Old Town, Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts is an organisation providing space and facilities for artists and designers in Edinburgh while also running a series of workshops and courses in various printing techniques, bookbinding, ceramics and more. This particular day ECC was offering a menu of six different workshops over the course of a sunny Saturday and for a pretty reasonable price you could come along for the day, take part in four of those workshops, have all your materials provided and be filled with tea, coffee and food at regular intervals. About 30 of us participated for the day and it was a great opportunity to try new techniques, revisit old ones and make some cool stuff to take home.

I kicked off my day with a workshop in bookbinding, which is something I've never done before (pictured above), making a little accordian notebook with additional sheets stitched inside the folds. I followed that with a pottery workshop, getting the opportunity to try my hand at throwing for the first time. I'm glad to say the bowl I made wasn't totally wonky, which I'm pretty proud of (no pictures of that cos it's not been fired yet). After lunch I took a workshop in lino printing, a technique I really liked in school but haven't done since. We made a set of greeting cards which you'll see photographed further down. Lastly I got to screenprint for the first time, making two patterny tote bags (pictured at the bottom, along with another participant's bird bag).

It seemed to be a really enjoyable day for everyone who came along. For me, the quickfire nature of each workshop (just an hour and a half to crank something out) was brilliant - it meant making something without getting too bogged down in what the idea was behind it or whether anyone would actually want it in the end. It served as a good reminder that making things is fun, and that perhaps I should do it a bit more often :)