With a generally creative childhood, GCSEs in both Art and Graphics, A-Levels in Art & Textiles not to mention an Art Foundation and BA Hons in Textile Crafts you’d think there wouldn’t be many art techniques I’d yet to try. You’d be wrong!
Each month Kim of Darn It Workshops runs a session at Crafty HQ for Tea & Tarts WI (of which we’re both members) and the general public. As well as hosting, I get stuck in! Each month I’ll show you how you can teach an old dog new tricks!
This month’s workshop was String Art, and while it’s something I have had a go at once before at a previous Darn It Workshops session, it was before I was blogging! As usual Kim had some example pieces showing a range of string art pieces she’d started and even a few she’d completed! She had encouraged us beforehand to bring in an image to work from but did have a selection for us to choose from too. This time she had also painted the wooden boards in a variety of colours so we had a choice of background which was great as last time we’d all just used the plain wood.
String art is pretty noisy, thankfully now the weather has taken a slightly warmer turn we were able to use the main body of the arcade as otherwise we’d have all needed earplugs (which she did have but you can’t really have a conversation!)! You start off by taking your image and placing it on top of your wooden background. Then you hammer nails around the outside line of the image or text making sure they’re straight, a good distance apart and not hammered in too far.
Next you take the paper off, this can be a little fiddly, but as long as you’ve hammered the nails in enough it shouldn’t be too bad (and you can always pop the nails back which may fall out).
Then the string part of the string art! Taking your chosen colour – and Kim has quite the selection – you knot one end around your starting pin, this doesn’t really matter which one but I tend to choose one near a corner, and start wrapping. Starting round the outline of the design, you wrap round all the pins and occasionally double wrapping to avoid the whole thing unravelling if you slip (this happens fairly often if you’re as clumsy as me!). Once you’ve gone round the outside edge you begin joining random pins across the design to fill in the centre, you can do them in a pattern if the shape is geometric (in my previous attempt I made a cat chasing a ball of wool so made a sort of spirograph pattern for the wool!).
As usual everyone ended up with a completely different piece of art to take home, some more finished than others, but it is the kind of thing once you know what you’re doing you can finish on your own. I was very pleased with mine, you may recognise him as a cat that does keep appearing in my work, and he looks lovely next to my previous string art piece (and mosaic photo frame from a previous Darn It Workshop session!).
The workshop was attended by many different ladies – each with a varying degree of crafty knowledge – but we all went home with something to be proud of! You can see more photographs of the session here on Tea & Tarts WI’s Facebook page.
If you’re interested in learning a new skill, why not pop along to a workshop at Crafty HQ? You can find out about future events by subscribing on Facebook. I’d love to get crafty with you soon!