We walked in on Thursday morning to find a bicycle set up with a backdrop of velvet curtains and sidelit by a pair of spotlights. Yikes! We have to paint that?
Yes. With ink, water, brush and stick, and white conteh. Working with tone again.
I sat and thought about it. Decided to focus on the velvet, how the light fell, where the folds were. Then I used a stick to roughly sketch a bike on top. Some bits worked ok, some bits didn't, so I started another. And a third. At the end of the session I was reasonably satisfied that I'd captured something and learned something. My paintings were praised by the tutor and a couple of the students. Wow.
Onto textiles and two techniques to cover in this class - silk paper and soldering. Soldering? Really? Yes, we get to fuse man-made fabric using a soldering iron. I was in the silk paper group first and really enjoyed the process, full of ideas as to how I could use it for my vessel project - embed words cut out of newspapers, mold it to a shape... We all felt rushed when we swapped tables, there was grumbling in the ranks about not enough time or resources (2 soldering irons and 2 sewing machines between us), but I mastered my wobbly moments when sat in front of the sewing machine making everything go wrong - old traumas from Secondary school days which have prevented me from sewing anything at all except by hand ever since.
Friday was the wonderful relaxation of ceramics again, further pot coiling, we had to make them big, with in and out bits, and when they've been biscuit-fired we'll have to smash them (in a controlled manner), decorate them, fire them again then glue them back together. Interesting. I've been playing with the clay I brought home, making a range of thumb-pots and engaging with my daughter across the kitchen table. She made a volcano model to take into school with bicarb of soda and vinegar...
And a new technique in life drawing, focusing on the curves, drawing a series of ovals from big to small, to end up with something like a Michelin man. I wasn't too good at that bit, but overall I think I'm improving at judging angles and relative sizes.
It all feels good. And I'm gutted that we have no classes this week or next, Inset days followed by half term. I was just starting to get the hang of things.