Saturday, 12 March 2011

Ship Ahoy Bangle

Did I tell you that at the beginning of February that I was  inspired by another blogger, whose name escapes me, to make a promise to finish one craft item from my plethora of incomplete items each month?  Well I'm going great guns. Already, I've got three things to show for my efforts.  So far they're  all jewellery projects but my bird needlepoint  migrated into the house for the winter and now it is only a few stitches away from completion.  I may well be in a position to turn it into a cushion before the month is out.

Here's my latest creation, a completed silver, copper and brass bangle, the end product of my evening class design project.   With Lizzie's expert tuition and my own hard graft, I've produced a piece that has surpassed my own expectations.  There's a exhibition of work produced at Bovey Tracey's prestigious Contemporary Craft Fair  in June.  I've always admired the pieces on show there but  never in my wildest dreams thought that I'd produce something that would be good enough to exhibit.  Yet here I am, considering submitting an entry!

I now have the confidence to go on designing other pieces which incorporate whimsy, movement and a range of different materials other than silver.  This is a great advert for much maligned adult education classes and the quality of work that can be produced in settings that are less than ideal.  Our course held in a pre-fab outbuilding with poor lighting and  adult sized versions of the wobbly in Louis' classroom.  No fancy jeweller's benches or fume cupboards here. This type of simple environment fostered a resourceful approach which translates well to the non specialised home environment.  Can't see properly because it's too dim? - wear a headtorch.  Using noxious chemicals - work outside!

It's a shame that these classes are so expensive these days now they've lost their subsidies. The range of courses run by the public sector seems to be shrinking too and the focus is on provision that leads to qualifications which inevitably increase costs and leads to a piece of paper that the participant neither wants or needs.  The much wider health and social benefits of encouraging people to engage in activities that  give additional meaning to their life seem to have been forgotten .  If only occupational therapists could run the world  how different things would be!

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