When was the last time you properly unwound? With the stresses of work and daily life it’s hard isn’t it? For us we normally switch off by having a meal out, enjoying good food and drink. We were recently reminded though that there is another way; by doing something creative and learning new skills we completely immersed ourselves and lost hours in a design (and slightly Prosecco) fuelled blur. We went along to a taster session for a craft event coming to Bowood House and gardens in June.
We started with a drink (or two), and a bit of cake; got to feed those creative energies right! Our first class was silk painting, something completely new to both of us.
If you’ve ever tried watercolour painting you’ll be at an advantage, as there are similarities in part of the technique. You start by drawing the outline of whatever design you want to create, in special black or clear wax pens; a selection of printed images were provided to give us inspiration. These take a little getting used to as the wax flow rate isn’t the easiest to control, but with a little persistence you’ll get there. Once you’ve completed your outline it creates little pockets for you to fill with colour.
The silk paints can be blended and diluted to create the colours and shades you want, then you apply them to the silk with a fine paint brush. The amount of water in your paint mix will influence how much it will spread across the silk within the wax lines.
There’s no doubt a huge number of tips and tricks you could learn to improve the finished result, but for our first attempt we were pretty happy with these.
Our next session was block painting, which our instructor assured us was very straight forward, as the hard work had already been done in creating the wonderful array of carved wooden blocks we had to choose from. These were little works of art; beautiful designs from animals and flowers to bicycles.
The paint is applied by lightly dabbing it on with sponges, and then pressing the blocks into the canvas material.
The results were immediate and hugely satisfying, yet there was still plenty of room for the perfectionist to play and try and get the perfect design.
A huge thank you to the team for a really fun and rewarding evening, and if you want to do something creative, learn a new skill, stock up on supplies or simply enjoy other peoples work, have a look at www.thehandmadefair.com/bowood for details of this thoroughly crafty event taking place at Bowood House between 22nd and 24th June and unleash your inner artist!