On Thursday evening, after my self-publishing workshop day with the Part B Fine Art students at Loughborough University School of Arts (which I will write about next), my workshop day continued with facilitating an evening papercutting workshop class at Leicestershire Craft Centre in Market Harborough. This was the first workshop I had done for the venue – a quite large studio/workshop space above a Monsoon clothing store decked out floor to ceiling in all things arts and craft – so I was incredibly excited to meet the new faces and minds attending that night and get a working feel for the LCC.
The workshop ran from 7pm until 9pm with all eight places sold out. It is great to be able to do a workshop with a full group. The ladies (all females this time) were very lovely people, all so different in their creative take and vision of papercutting. I’ve only done three-hour papercutting workshops before at other venues, so I was initially apprehensive as to how much we could squeeze into this session…but there was nothing to worry about at all! Some took no time at all having a familiarity with design and craft tools, flying through the paper layers at ease, whilst others were taking the time to become familiar with Chinese handmade rice papers and their fibrous fragility – I’m still at this stage too as can often be a little heavy handed sometimes. We all got there in the end, as you can see below.
One participant started to layer papercuts to create a more theatre set and fable-like quality to the work using iridescent card to provide a bit of punch to the scene. Another worked with a Chinese handmade rice paper, noticing it’s slightly translucent quality, deciding to layer it over a stark, solid salmon card, where the earthy tones really complimented each other. Contrast seemed to be quite a theme in the session too.
One lady on the course had repeatedly visited China for business trips to visit shoe manufacturing companies and their factory (which I know are an eye-opener and certainly give you a real flavour of China in more ways than one). She mentioned how she once watched a young Chinese girl create intricate papercuts with a small pair of scissors in what seemed liked seconds. Every so often throughout the evening, we had China interlude chats about Shanghai…a nice sense of familiarity that bought back a lot of memories. I’m lucky enough to get to catch up with two Shanghai friends at the end of the month as they are visiting London. I can’t wait! China next year too!
Find below some images from the two-hour session…it always surprises me how different the final cuts can be…as you can see! Thanks to all of the ladies for coming that evening, and for opening my mind as usual. I will be doing another papercutting workshop at LCC in the Spring and hopefully some bookbinding ones too. I’ll keep you posted…