Regular readers will know that my main mission in life is to learn! After the bootmaking Ceci was asking What next? And so were we!
I love travel, exploring nature, meeting new people, eating food especially food I have never tried before – novelty attracts – but most of all I like to know how things are made. I like to discover the “secrets” of a craft.The ah-ha moment when I realise what makes a shoe a shoe, or how patchwork really works, how sourdough bread only contains flour and water, how pattern cutting works, how to knit certain shapes and motifs. Oh my word! There are so many things we the world only appreciate superficially until we engage with them and learn all about them. Discovery, and then learning to replicate what we have seen, is so thrilling.
We went to boot making as I had wanted to learn to make shoes for ever, especially as my Mum’s family were all in the shoe trade. The fact that my cousin (the son of my mum’s brother) gave me lasts from the factory makes me feel very connected to my personal history. With a father in textiles and a grandpa in shoes is it any surprise that I have the passions that I have?
I researched shoe courses but they are rather expensive and intensive – as Mary Funt mentioned they are aimed more towards the semi-professional. I would very much like to have another go one day. But for now I have other considerations. I want an evening course – our weekends are for relaxation in the country. Nick is happy to come with me, and is leaving the choice to me this time (obviously this is my opportunity to select ballet!).
Here are our thoughts to date.
- Upholstery. My Mum suggested this. She did upholstery herself repairing and improving chairs. She made tapestry seat covers and they are rather nice items. I will get some photographs over Christmas. We are tempted, mainly because we have a nice old leather chair that has been wrecked by naughty little kids jumping on it. We would enjoy restoring it and recovering it. Also as Nick’s carpentry will soon move away from cupboards into furniture I thought it might marry up well.
- Pottery – we have both had a go at this before at school or adult ed classes. It is such a lovely primal thing, sticking your hands in clay and creating plates, cups, jars and vases. We might be able to create a collection together with a theme for the country house. Nick wants to make big things, and I want to make small, delicate things.
- Spinning. I see pictures and videos of this and I am very keen to learn. Obviously now I can knit this is a way to get the raw material for my craft. But also, in the Cotswolds, we are surrounded by sheep and local sheeps wool is widely available, straight off their backs.
- Weaving – related to spinning and sheep and wool. This was always an option at my school but I thought it was far too slow. But inspired by my friend Bridget Cass, who has a loom at home, I would love to do this one day.
- Textiles. I have done a few printing, painting and dying courses, and I really love making textiles. I can’t get enough of this.
Plenty to be getting on with.
But at the weekend we decided on photography. With a proper camera rather than a phone. I feel I owe it to you, my kind readers. I expect you are equally dissatisfied with many of the pictures I put on the blog and some of my learning will be in taking pictures of myself that are not bathroom “selfies”. I want to learn what all the knobs on cameras do and I want to know the basics of editing.
My brother was a professional photographer. And my first, late, husband John did photography and video at collage, and was a keen and very precise photographer his whole life. He had a dark room in our first flat – a Council flat in Wandsworth – and there is something about the red light, and the smell, and the excitement of pictures slowly developing and hanging up to dry. And my Uncle Stuart was a keen amature. So I had plenty of people around me who took pictures. But I have never taken a proper pictures myself.
Nick and I will be going to photography classes next term (from January). Hopefully you will find my blog photos improving as I learn.
Last week I met up with Lois. We talked about three choices for where anyone might go next
- Set up a business/develop your business
- Get a job/develop your career
- Do a degree or an in depth course.
The last one was what interested us both and we talked about an Art Foundation course. That would be bliss for me. To learn all those arty things that I have never really tried like life drawing and sculpture. Of course the cost of doing a full time course and not earning at the same time would be impossible for most of us.
@Lois.h is on Instagram and takes lovely pictures. We are going to meet up again so she can give me some Instagram and iPhone tips.