Over the Festive season, tucked in between Christmas and New Year, I ran my very first workshop. It was just a small group at a friend’s house and I knew everyone there, so I figured it would be a good way to test things out. Check out my team of paper folders 🙂 :
The main project I wanted to try out was the origami kusudama flower: a modular item made up of five petal units. These are the same flowers I used to make the wedding flowers I did recently. The folds are fairly straightforward, but not so simple that there’s no challenge, and the end result is very satisfying!
Step 1: I made sure I brought along everything we’d need. This is one step I got right first time – squares of practice paper, squares of pretty paper, glue, glue pot and enough sticks/brushes for everyone, paperclips, sparkly beads on wire, pearls, sticky gems… ok so I forgot a table cloth and had to borrow an old sheet, but I still think I did a pretty good job.
It being my first time, I had trouble trying to gauge who needed help, who wanted help, and who wanted to be left alone to figure it out for themselves. Everyone is different and works differently but we all got there in the end- apart from my husband, who gave up after one petal, but I’m ignoring that.
Overall the workshop took about an hour, which I think is a good amount of time. We were all there for the evening though, so carried on and did some teeny cranes and butterflies!
The experience was really good fun and I would love to do some proper workshops in the future. There are definitely things to improve on though, and I’ve come up with some useful hints and tips for anyone thinking of running their own workshop:
- Make sure you have EVERYTHING with you. I know you say you think you have. But maybe just double check?
- Have an example of whatever you’re making to show people – on a large scale if possible.
- Explain the fundamentals of the craft you’re about to demonstrate; the basic techniques, maybe a bit of history, uses in today’s society.
- Write out step-by-step instructions FOR YOURSELF. Really, do it. I’ve made well over 500 flower petals but when it came to showing other people, I had a block on the basic steps. I just couldn’t think if I was doing it right. So write yourself a how to!
- Before doing the workshop, talk through the steps you’ll be showing to someone you know well. Someone who will butt in and tell you if what you’re saying doesn’t make sense. Somethings are easy to do but not explain. “Just fold this bit here… no this bit… yeah… fold it to that other bit over there…”
- Talk clearly, explain fully, demonstrate as neatly as possible and keep looking round at everyone to make sure they’re all up to speed. As I mentioned before, it is hard to gauge how much help people want and need, but I think this will come with time.
- Time your workshop!
I think that just about covers everything 🙂 Till next time x