Courses At The Quay

I visited Quay Arts one weekend to find out what courses they had on offer. They directed me down to Jubilee Stores (used as a grain store in the 1920s) where the artists who rent out studio space there were having an open day to show the public what creative opportunities there are on the Island. 

The courses are offered to locals and tourists who might want a little break while learning a new skill or for people wanting to explore their creative side. 

I was fascinated as I watched the artists at work and it was a great chance to ask them questions. I had always wanted to have a go at silk screen printing, and one artist offered this, but instead onto fabric. She told me it was more forgiving for beginners in that you have more time to do the printing before the inks dry. I had an idea to make my own curtains with a simple printed pattern. Ideas started to spark in my head and I thought I might decorate my whole house in hand made items.

Another artist specialised in jewellery and Jubilee Stores has a very well-equipped workshops where a beginner can learn all the techniques to create a simple metal ring, either to be worn or used in simple sculptures. 

One lady was knitting, passionately. At first I kept away from that table because I have never really been interested, but as I watched, fascinated, at the seemingly multi-coloured random knit-work she was creating I thought it looked like those mindful doodle drawings. I came over to watch as she added ever more varied patterns to the knitted garments hanging on a mannequin. I discovered she was doing the equivalent of jazz for kitting - freeform kitting and crochet! She told me the course she was offering was really more for advanced knitters (nutters?), but that she also ran beginners classes in kitting and crochet. 

I am really excited about a course I booked where I will get to make books by hand and use various binding techniques and mixed media in the process. I hope to get away from my computer and just enjoy the simple act of craft and making things with my hands.

Artists I met ranged from book binders to potters, knitters to professional jewellers, and all are currently offering courses and workshops that can be booked through Quay Arts.

Enjoy using the creative side of your brain. Go on, book a course on the Isle of Wight!

Philip Bell Author Photo by Chris Cowley

8 October 2018

By Philip Bell in The locals' blogs

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