This weekend I assisted with a one day beginners t-shirt printing workshop at 3rd Rail Print Space!
We started off in the morning by running through the plan for the day, then encouraging everyone to either draw their design, or give us their digital design to edit on Photoshop before we printed it onto film for them. This was our first post-lockdown workshop so of course we had a few changes to make the the way we usually run the workshops- everyone needed to wear a mask at all times, we encouraged students to bring their own cups for hot drinks, and we offered gloves and hand sanitiser as well as adding extra cleaning into the day. We showed the students how to clean a screen ready for coating, and then we demonstrated how to coat a screen- usually we would then have each student coat their own screen, but to minimise the risks we had all the screens ready coated (apart from the demo screen we used). We then got everyone to bring in their artwork either on film or trace and lead them through the process of exposing artwork onto the screens and washing the emulsion off. Once the screens were in the dryer we then moved onto choosing and mixing colours, before breaking for lunch.
After lunch we took everyone through taping up their screens and setting up for the actual printing on the carousel, getting students to pair up to help each other print. Everyone left with their limited edition of 5 screen-printed t-shirts and were very happy!
Today I assisted the running of a one day paper printing workshop at 3rd Rail Print Space! It involved setting up the space ready for the participants, then assisting them and the workshop leader Melissa throughout the day, and cleaning the space and equipment afterwards.
We had a mixture of people who had never screen printed before and people who had dabbled a little in attendance, so we had to be quite hands on and thorough, dividing our attention as necessary. The aim of the workshop was for the attendees to leave with an edition of 10 prints that they designed, prepped the screens for, and printed themselves; so we began by getting them to either draw their designs then and there, or prep their digital designs to be printed onto film. We then took them through the process of prepping a screen for coating and the actual coating- each person was expected to coat their own screen after a demonstration. Once the screens where ready we took them through the exposing process (where the designs are transferred onto the screens). After lunch we then asked them to choose their colours and demonstrated how to do the actual printing- we both assisted where needed and where on hand to guide them if they needed help.
Working with adults is always a little different to working with children- if a child suggests an idea that is tricky to do, for whatever reason, they can usually be persuaded to simplify their idea- but if an adult has a difficult to pull off idea they are often adamant about doing it their way, even if they are completely new to the process. This can be quite frustrating when you are trying to run a workshop and make everything go smoothly, but it is a good way to hone conflict resolution skills and get used to being more flexible.
This weekend as part of the London City Island Open Studios event I assisted with running a virtual reality workshop at Arebyte Gallery with Studio Above and Below ! This workshop was designed for local children to engage with their surroundings in a new way by Studio Above and Below, and I was there to assist and make sure the workshop ran smoothly. We introduced the children to the concept of Virtual Reality, and using the maps SA&B had already made of the island we encouraged them to draw and add to the maps to use later. We installed the VR application onto their mobile phones, and then took the children out on a walk around the island to photograph interesting textures and colours on their phones- these were then uploaded into the application! We then went back outside to try out our new textures and shapes, using the maps and the app to make our drawings and textures come to life as VR sculptures on our phone screens! This was my first time working with VR and it was really fascinating assisting and learning more about how VR works and can be utilised to engage people in art and the world around them!
(Video clips to follow, I still need to edit them and upload to Vimeo/Youtube)