27 November 2011
I'm tingling with inspiration and bursting with wanting to get on and do right now. The inspiration has been under my nose for a while, in the form of a wonderful book that was given to C (or perhaps to me) for his birthday this year. I was excited when we received it, because (unbeknownst to the friend who gave it to us) I kind-of know the author (also co-creator of Umbrella Prints fabric)
That's exactly how I started my conversation with her last week, when she was doing a meet and greet, talking about the book (complete with an engaging demo) at mum's local library. "I kind of know you already" I sheepishly said, to which she gave me a inquiring look. "I'm Di, from Clementine's Shoes" I went on, to which Carly burst into smiles, offering a warm embrace, and the news that the little green bag I made for her many years ago, was still in use, her favorite sewing bag no less, and was with her on this trip to Melbourne (although not with her at the time). Which made me feel quite thrilled and pleased, prompting me to burst into smiles myself.
Carly in person, is a delight, as I am sure many lucky Adeladeans already know. I was already inspired by the book (though I had done little to act upon that), but hearing her talk with such passion about children's art, and experiencing how simple it can be to put the ideas into action (C was first to yelp "I do!" when Carly asked who wanted to wield the silk screen squeegee), has my brain ticking over and ideas bubbling away. She was full of clever (top secret*) tips and ideas, as well as enthusiasm for children's artistic experiences. If we lived in Adelaide we'd definitely be going to classes at Nest Studio. Carly highlighted how things like using good artist quality materials, and being prepped to minimise mess and manage clean up, that make so much difference to the art experience for all. Her focus was very much on supporting children's artistic experience by letting children know that their efforts are appreciated, respected and worth so much more than a short airing stuck on the fridge door.
I feel like meeting and chatting with Carly has fired off a huge spark of inspiration, bringing together a few recent things- The handprinted fabric swap got me reacquainted with the pleasures of print making; C has had an artistic development spurt, producing beautiful drawings as well as being incredibly enthusiastic about all kinds of crafting and making. I'm looking forward to where this may lead us in the next little while. Mum let me know she still has the silkscreen I used when I was at high school (and some of the inks too!). I'm thinking "out with the potato stamped" tea towels for gifts this year and "in with the silk screened children's art" ones. And seeing the gorgeously wonky Christmas tree that C drew this afternoon, I may scrap my half-made Christmas cards and printing some cards with his drawing. So much fun to be had in the next month, and in the future too.
I highly recommend procuring a copy of Little Artists Handmade for your child (or yourself) and acting on the ideas inside.
*eg, if you want to set your silk screening ink immediately, place paper over it and iron it straight away. Some ink will come off on the paper, but it will be set, which is handy if you are doing repeat prints with a small screen. Ta Da!! So clever!