Wednesday, 12 July 2023

A Great Time Was Had By All!

 Well, at last the Old Potting Shed Workshop took place last Saturday and judging by the lovely emails I have had since, it was a great success. It felt so good to be back creating once again in a classroom environment! The setting of the small barn at Thame Barns Centre (Oxfordshire) was just lovely, so I am planning on running all future workshops from there if possible. My old mate Robin Britton, who is now long retired but who used to be a professional dollmaker and workshop colleague, dropped by during the day which was nice. 

It was a hot and humid day, so windows and doors were thrown open until the intermittent thunderstorms meant that we had to close them every so often. But everyone beavered away regardless, amidst some friendly banter and some rather fascinating conversations:) As always, I encouraged everyone to work at their own pace because they were all of different abilities. What is really lovely and which I had often previously found, is that some of the more experienced crafters are genuinely encouraging and helpful to those that are not so experienced. 

It is difficult to gauge how far we would all get in the project, but my suggestion to everyone was to try and get the main walls constructed by the end of the morning, so that in the afternoon they could embark on some of the more interesting elements. I think most succeeded and some even got their windows in by the end of the day. 

Some found the measuring and cutting with a craft knife harder than others, but help was always on hand for those who were not so confident. As we were creating in 1/12th scale, we worked in inches, so for those of a slightly younger generation who grew up thinking in centimetres rather than inches, it can take a while to grasp the concept of inches...(let alone 1/4 of an inch and 1/8th of an inch). I am of the older generation and metric teaching in schools did not come in until a couple of years before I left school, so I still think in inches and pints!

I am a firm believer of using recycled materials as much as possible to create our miniature scenes, in fact I would go as far to say that I am passionate about this. 

And the surprised reactions from the attendees were a delight as they gradually came to realise that the "wooden panelling", the "flagstone" flooring, "stone" walls and "tin" roof, were all to be made from various forms of recycled cardboard! 

This was a massive project, the bulk of which will be finished off at home at leisure, as everyone went away with their kits which included all materials, paints, glue and a booklet of instructions. 

I have been assured by all that attended that they will email me photos of their completed projects, so if permission is granted, I will show their results on here in the near future. 

UPDATE: Ann sent me this picture the next day, as she was so hooked that she wanted to make a start on her stone wall. What a fab job she made of it too. When they are painted and grouted they are going to look amazing. Well done Ann!

NEXT WORKSHOP: I am considering running half day workshops (two separate simple projects on the same day of early 1900s German style kitchen elements) at Thame Barns Centre, possibly in late autumn if space at the venue is available. Plus a big all day project next year (project to be confirmed soon)....maybe in the spring. So if you would like to be added to the "Possibly Would Like To Come To Workshop List", please get in touch asap. Spaces will be limited. 


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