I firmly believe in the importance of making art and being creative and working with materials that are very easily available and accessible for all ages. The workshops are simple to resource as I use materials that are easy to get hold of. The activities aren’t too messy either as paper is easy to clear away after a workshop! I generally use coloured paper, tissue paper, PVA glue, scissors, pencils – with maybe some newspapers and a variety of drawing materials like pens and oil pastels or graphite sticks for making rubbings.
I firmly believe in the hand made too, to make art out of things that don’t need a power source. Making art that involves touching and feeling materials in your hands.
Developing Core Skills
Working with paper may seem simplistic at first but it actually develops children’s core skills. Cutting with scissors improves hand eye co-ordination which directly helps with hand writing and drawing skills. The act of cutting and sticking stretches a child’s planning and thinking skills as they need to work out spatially how the picture they want to make is formed. There are constant micro decisions that have to be made about size, colour, shape, texture, balance, symmetry. It’s a subtle process of evaluating that is at the very heart of what I do and they get to do too.
Cutting into paper gets pupils to experience a new art form. I often bring examples of other types of paper art to workshops to show the range of contemporary work that is being made by other artists now. With older students I often get feedback from staff that the students use what they have learnt to directly use in their exam pieces and course work after I have visited. It’s great to see how they have gone on to use paper cutting.
I always encourage students/adults to go on a creative journey of discovery. Playing with the paper and experimenting with what happens to it when you cut it, bend it, fold or tear is all part of exploring individual creativity. Drawing is an important part of the process too as it makes you able to look at things in the world in another way or notice shapes and details that you have never noticed before. Often children don’t get this chance to have a freer rein at home or at school. Many projects in school have a defined end product to ensure everyone does exactly the same.
I design projects that:
- Build self esteem through learning new techniques
- Make children and adults use their hands to experience making art in a tactile way
- Projects that have clear timings, with deliverable and realistic outcomes
- Projects that are designed to suit all ages with extension tasks for more able students
- Projects that are suitable for adults and children to learn together
- Develop core skills of materials handling, drawing and planning skills
- Sessions that can be run as part of school day, after school or weekends
- Activities that are suitable from ages 6 and up