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Sunday 22 August 2010

Summer crafting highlights

Over the summer months I've been busy spreading the crafty gospel by running an assortment of crafts classes across London for children, young people and adults.

My favourite was the 'boho chic jewellery' course I ran back in July as part of the Greenwich Summer Uni programme which gives young people under 25 the chance to learn new skills for free through a variety of courses.

What I liked about the course is how my students were really inspired by my own work and used my love for bright colours and bling to create their own unique jewellery collections.

The student above became fascinated with acrylic stones and used them to make some amazingly sparkly items! 

Another one of my students who was just 15 created had a natural talent for design and composition and made this beautiful necklace, which I think is so much nicer than a lot of the hand made pieces you get in gallery gift shops.

On closer inspection you can see how she embroidered into each bead to add detail.

This student kept it more simple by adding anything and everything on to ring and earring findings.

On the 'Bollywood Crafts' course my students had the chance to make some of the projects that feature in my book including these gorgeous decorative bowls, handbags, books and photo frames.

One of the fun parts of running the courses was souring the materials. I picked up these rolls of sequin trims for just £1.50 each from Creative Beadcraft - superb value - you get 100m on a roll and if you buy 1m from a haberdashery they normally cost 40p per metre. 

I also ran a textile project over six weeks with mothers from a local school in East London in conjunction with The Women's Library. The project entitled 'My City' was an exploration of each woman's relationship with her local area. 

The best thing about teaching crafts is seeing students produce work they are really proud and getting inspired by their ideas myself! It's been a fantastic summer of crafting but I'm now going to wind down on the teaching front until next year.....come the Autumn, I have some other exciting projects to plan - crafts for my wedding!  

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