I’ve been itching to write a post about the writing workshop I went to at Walford Mill in Wimborne, Dorset, led by Simon Olding and Sara Roberts. It was called ‘The Craft of Writing; Writing about Craft. 3 hours Fee: £35.
Writing has never come easily to me – at school, I would write something I was pleased with, only to get poor marks and hear other brilliant pieces read out in class. Those childhood memories can hang around to haunt us can’t they!
So I was a teeny bit nervous climbing up and up the wooden stairs to the Learning Loft
However, the atmosphere that Simon and Sarah created was friendly and non-threatening.
We were asked to think of two words to describe good writing about craft and after a discussion, one word to describe bad writing.
Some excellent examples of good writing were shown to us and after a coffee break, we were given an exercise to do.
We had 25 minutes to find and object or group of objects in the Gallery, for which to write a 50 word label.
The label was to be directed at a particular group of people of our own choice. We would then read out our descriptions and receive feedback from our tutors and fellow students.
I was so glad the time was tight and I had to make a quick decision on what to write about, otherwise that process alone could have taken me ages.
As always, I was drawn to textiles and a collection of Ceramic Patchwork by Zoe Hillyard
And directed my comments to a group of creative people, maybe students or school children:
“Ceramic Patchwork to add zest to creative recycling. Doesn’t it just make you want to go home and smash a pot. Zoe offers a new relationship with the unloved and forgotten object. Where does this take you? Would you use different covering materials? Would you keep the original shape? Would you add collage and texture?
Zoe Hillyard – what will she do next?” (62 words)
The hardest part was to keep my words to 50, which some people managed to do exactly.
I was fascinated by this collection and am wondering about having a go myself, but mine would be much rougher and textural as nowadays I don’t have the patience for the amazing finish Zoe gives to her pieces.
Some of the other objects that my fellow students chose to write about were:
these exquisitely painted pebbles
a fabric representation of fungi in decay
and some wildly whirling glass bowls by:
I was amazed at what we all managed to write in such a short time and I left feeling more confident than when I walked in.
So thank you Simon and Sara, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
And Walford Mill is always worth a visit.