Regular readers will know that one of my prime motivations in life is to keep on learning. Even on my death bed I will be interested in studying its effects and its impact on those around me.
I like dressmaking and pattern cutting as there is always something new to learn and stretch me. This year I have really learnt several new skills – especially making pockets, and knitting. And I have been logging my jewellery making classes where I have now made three items (I will share the second ring soon). The best development over the past few months has been learning alongside my husband Nick. This has, itself, been a learning experience. I was pretty surprised that he was rather good at doll making, especially in terms of using a needle and thread. His precision didn’t hold him back, in fact it produced a finer product. I was also impressed by his willingness to tackle a “feminine” craft and especially how his connection with his granddaughter Maia was strengthened through making something for her. At the jewellery class Nick’s skills are superior to mine – he loves the tools and most of the skills are familiar to him already. Although he doesn’t wear jewellery himself, he has been making items for his daughter Charlotte, so she will be getting a ring and a pendant for her birthday. Isn’t that nice?
The jewellery making has been lots of fun and we are considering returning to the same great class, with the same great teacher, at Morley. Nick has really enjoyed the process – cutting, filing, soldering, hammering, polishing and finishing. I found it very exciting, especially how ingenious the methods were and how varied the tools. But I found the sawing and filing pretty hard work and I guess my hand-eye coordination is not that good. The second term (intermediate) starts with an optional project to learn a new skill, allows the student to do their own design, with a second interesting technique being introduced after half term. The initial project this term, for the intermediate students, was riveting, followed by reticulation.
So I asked him if next term he wanted to do another course, and he agreed.
These are the options
- Basket making
- Textiles (probably digital)
- Creative writing
- Ballet (not a chance, but I keep putting it on the list)
- Patchwork and Quilting
- Jewellery Intermediate
- Drawing and Painting
- Shoe making
- Knitting and crochet
- Furniture restoration
- Saori Weaving
Most of these are courses in London, where there is tremendous choice. But we have been looking at what is available near our new Cotswold home, although with summer coming we want to get outside really.
I have given the list to Nick as everything on it appeals to me! Having created a short list I am intrigued to see what he choses.
What course would you do, given the chance? And what about doing a course with a friend, spouse or child? Esme and I attended a couple of courses at Goldsmiths a few years ago – I did Introduction to Journalism while she did Sound Engineering. Gus and I went to Short Story Writing together. When our teacher read out the register she called my name “Kate Davies”. I said hello. Then she read out “Gus Davies – no relation!” thinking only that there must a coincidence of surname. Gus had to say “Actually she is my Mum!” That was such a fun class and it was illuminating for me to appreciate Gus’s take on books, styles, genres and writing. This week he heard he had been accepted to do a degree in Linguistics and French at Birkbeck (2-3 evenings a week over four years). I am so happy that he is going to study a subject that really interests him, alongside his job.