So for the past few days I have been down in Chichester, West Sussex for an engraving course ran by the one and only Katharine Coleman. It was fantastic. Completely worth it.
The location of the course was absolutely stunning. Held at West Dean College, it was formerly the home of Edward James, a poet and influential Georgian gentleman. An eccentric man, he ran away to mexico and left his home to the Edward James Foundation, which converted the house into an art college, specialising in conservation. The college is, as I liked to refer to it (somewhat jokingly) Hogwarts for middle-aged women.
So after a 7 hour coach, 2 hour train, and another quick bus I arrived at the college in late afternoon and it took my breath away. I was then shown my rooms and after exploring for an hour it was time for the welcome chat and dinner with the rest of the people on the course. All of us on the course were students studying all over the UK. Was a brilliant bunch of people.
Throughout the 3 days we were there Katharine taught us a number of new engraving skills, including Intaglio and Relief carving, as well as lettering. If we wanted to work on our own projects we were encouraged to, and Katharine would walk around the studio and assist and answer questions.
I didn't really have a plan on what to do whilst I was on the course. Before hand I worked with Jim in the hot shop to create a few blown sample pieces with colour. I ended up lugging this super HEAVY and thick Swedish overlay piece all the way to Chichester and back! I did a variety of things whilst I was there, mainly because I just wanted to have a taste of everything. I did indeed end up sandblasting and engraving the overlay to make a graal. I learnt A LOT. I think that my new technique I picked up from the course is to use lace and PVA glue as a sandblast resist. I thought my bowl looked a bit like a Pokeball when I was doing this.
I did ask Katharine to show me how to do lettering. Mostly for personal reasons rather than thinking I might ever use it in my work. She showed us this great way of getting a design onto glass using Saral wax paper. But alas, I wasn't very good at it. Practice needed me thinks.
Also, this soap smelt AMAZING!!!!