This workshop was done in conjunction with the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project (AG&DWP) with whom I have done several workshops before and was organised by Mandy, the Avon Gorge and Downs Biodiversity Education Officer as part of her events calendar for the year. It was held in the Education Centre at Bristol Zoo Gardens, where Mandy and her work is based.
It was a one day event held at Bristol Zoo Gardens and we had two aims for the day... Firstly to heighten the variety of wildlife and conservation interest of the area of the Avon Gorge and the Downs (an open space of land for recreation and relaxation in the city of Bristol) and secondly to introduce people to the fun of silk painting.
After an initial brief introduction demo of silk painting we walked from the zoo, where the AG&DWP is based, up onto the Downs where we ambled through the long grasses and amongst the Autumnal trees and shrubs getting inspiration and lots of interesting facts and info from Mandy on the plants and animals of the Downs. We collected leaves, berries and dried seed heads and grasses to take back with us to draw our designs from.
Back in the classroom the next task was to draw a design or image using the various bits that had been collected or from some pictures we had to hand. Then after drawing this onto the silk they applied a coloured gutta, following their lines and even embellishing them in places. The gutta then had to be dried and as the weather was cold and damp and with a short amount of time we used hair dryers to get the gutta as dry as we could before applying the silk paints and creating wonderfully coloured pieces of work.
There’s a lot to fit into a day like this, and despite having such a short time to produce a silk painting in with the problems and constraints this caused; everyone did amazingly well and I was delighted with their results…. I hope they were too.
Many thanks to Mandy for organising a lovely day again and to all the people who attended; it was lovely meeting them all, some not for the first time, and seeing the wonderful silk paintings they created.
For more information on The Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project please click on its name in my links list on the right hand side of the page.