On Friday I attended Emily Quinton’s photography workshop Makelight for Makers and had what felt like a massive light bulb moment. Honestly, I’ve struggled with photography for years and I don’t think I have ever taken a photograph as nice as the one above, ever. I attended because I wanted to improve my instagram feed and, whilst I will probably always use professional photographers, I wanted to be able to take the odd product photograph and it not look bloody awful. I feel like Emily has given me the skills I need to do just that, which is so exciting!
Emily’s studio is a light filled industrial space in South London and is incredibly inspiring. It is full of beautiful props and pieces of ephemera. Emily is so friendly and relatable and the skills you learn are simple, life-changing (honest) and memorable. The following day I took the below photo with my phone for instagram, and i’m really happy with it. It wasn’t a quick snapshot: I painted that background especially and I waited for the light (the weather was horrible!) but the extra effort and patience were well worth it.
I would hugely recommend an in-person workshop. The people I met were all fascinating, talented people and I expect we’ll all keep in touch on social media. And if you fancy it, please check out my instagram feed… i’m a lot happier with it now and plan on having lots of fun.
One thing I wanted to do after going part time at work was to do the occasional day-course. I think it’s important to try new things, learn new skills and get out of the house! A few weeks ago I spent a day at the St Bride Foundation in their print workshop where I had an introduction to letterpress. St Brides is tucked away in the back streets south of Fleet Street, not far from Blackfriars station and is housed in a beautiful victorian building.
I had booked on a one-day Adana course, just wanting to learn something new and have a go, thinking that the Adana route may be the ideal intro. It turns out I was the only one booked in so I had a one-on-one session with Mick. Mick is a real character, formerly a compositor on the Fleet St newspapers, he was a brilliant teacher, amused at my colourful language and patient with my inability to calculate ems. After getting to grips with the Adana, he generously let me loose on the other presses, and let me have a go with woodblock type, the result you can see above.
At the end of the day he took me on a tour of the building where I got to see the archive, the library, the beautiful function rooms and some of the treausres the foundation holds such as a William Morris Kelmscott Chaucer which is unbelievably beautiful. I can’t really express how wonderful my day was and how spoilt I felt. I honestly can’t recommend a class at St Bride enough – and it’s not just for designers!
If you’re interested in Letterpress they are having a wayzgoose (love that word!) on Sunday 17th May, where you can buy letterpress kit and printed items.