Earlier in the year we held our first Muswell Hill Creatives workshop led by Tania McLaren of The Kitchen Table Florist to showcase the teaching skills of members of our collective. Here, Tania, together with fellow creatives Martina Latimer of at sarah's and Rob Jones of Romor Designs, talk about why they love teaching and running workshops. We also hear from some of those who have taken part.
Finding your way with flowers
The Kitchen Table Florist's contemporary and affordable workshops are designed for absolute beginners who have an interest in learning how to create simple, stylish arrangements for the home, in the home. They are a perfect alternative to a girls' night out, hen party activity or for busy women who want to switch off for a couple of hours, relax and learn something new.
Tania: "The thing I love most about running a floristry workshop is the way those attending come in with no self belief and leave with pride in what they have made - just like I did the very first time I worked with flowers. I love to show customers not to be afraid of flowers but just to create something they love in their own style. I really enjoying seeing how a large group, all given the same materials, can produce work that is entirely different - just as each florist develops their own style over time."
A word from one of the participants: "With Tania's impeccable choice of flowers and endless patience, it was impossible not to create a beautiful arrangement. I enjoyed the workshop very much, there was a relaxed atmosphere and I learned a great deal. "
Book a workshop run by Tania here.
Putting together the pieces
Martina Latimer of at sarah’s runs patchwork workshops for beginners and intermediates at craft shop Fringe in Muswell Hill. She has also taught staff at the London Metropolitan University and in September 2016 started tutoring contemporary patchwork classes for the autumn/winter semester at Sutton College.
Martina: “The moment when it clicks...... Going to a class is not always easy for people, learning something new can be intimidating. I just love to witness the transformation from insecurity to "oh this is fun, I can do this". The challenge to teach different personalities, to teach the same thing in different ways, is what drives me.”
A workshop client comments: 'I got so much out of my workshop with Martina. She's a very good and patient teacher and her creativity and use of colour are inspiring. She let me work things out for myself but also passed on so many useful hints I can't wait to do my next workshop with her!'
Dyeing to learn a new skill
Rob Jones of Romor Designs teaches Shibori techniques at workshops in a number of London venues and in Forest Row, East Sussex.
Rob: "As a long term workshopaholic, I've had a lot of experience of what makes a workshop enjoyable and a good learning experience. So, when an opportunity presented itself last year, I jumped at the chance to run one of my own. For me the pleasure is in seeing people grasp the basic techniques and then get down to testing out their pieces in the indigo. The delight at seeing work emerge from an indigo vat is always a pleasure as people get to see their white fabric emerge acid yellow, turn dark green and then indigo blue before their very eyes. Everyone has a different style and new ideas and I have to say I've learnt a few things myself from tests people have done on my workshops.”
Rebecca attended one of Rob's workshops at Fringe in Muswell Hill: "Rob is an excellent teacher and, for a novice new to the art of Shibori and making an indigo dye, I found his instructions clear and easy to understand. He packs loads into the day and we all managed to create great pieces to take away. I felt I had learned so much in one day and would highly recommend the course to anyone. It has made me want to explore further about Shibori and natural dyes.”