We spent the morning session exploring simple book forms - the beak book, the concertina and also how pierced lettering could embellish the surfaces of the page. We made dense areas of pierced light and delicate feathers threaded through stiff card. I'm hoping that these might make illuminated letters for the published poems. The quick warm-up doodle activity stretched out into pages of drawings that might make little books to slip inside the final hard bound books.
Doodle activity instructions: doodle randomly, swap doodles, search for a picture implied by the marks you are given and tease it out with extra lines and form.
People were first a little tentative, not being sure what was expected or what they could achieve but slowly warmed to the activity as they made themselves and each other laugh, delighted by the random conjurings.
In the afternoon the energy, in a bigger group, was wild - spurts of creative compulsion - the need to try something and get it out quickly, was tempered by the need to sit and ponder carefully before approaching a task side on. In my mind an old concern raised its head - to teach didactically or to give an open invitation to free expression? Do we feel more freedom working within boundaries and guidelines than we do when left to find our own way? We made black inky double-sided monoprints to work into next week, some of the motifs included- solar systems, boxes, eyes, pirates, rhythmic marks or perhaps waves or ripples.
It's lovely to see how differently people approach creation - some dashing off expressive work in seconds, others spending minutes lingering over marks that stroke the page, adding depth and detail. Each approach meaningful and of the moment.