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Educational Arts and Crafts Workshops

Shimmerfire offer workshops across a wide spectrum of arts and crafts, broadly grouped, they comprise Computer Based Art and Practical Arts and Crafts workshops. Do email me at susan.graves@shimmerfire.co.uk if you are interested in commissioning me to provide a workshop; Nottingham, UK only, though I can provide tutorial materials (printed, web-based or CD-ROM based) internationally.

Computer Based Art Workshops

My aims for computer-based workshops are to instruct the participants how to use a number of pieces of creative software. I invite the participants to integrate techniques generating an image, and then perhaps inserting it into a webpage for publication on the web. Traditional printed output could also be generated either using local desktop printers (or via my contacts in the print industry to generate gallery quality prints).

I am conscious of different ability levels and student age groups, and am able to tailor my workshops to suit all ability groups. I am also very flexible and can deliver solutions using a disparate collection of equipment and software available at schools, as well as utilising freeware from the web. In addition I am also keen to utilise digital cameras other input devices such as scanners, video capture etc and associated software to deliver complex creative techniques.

I am able to teach children how to produce their own websites using web authoring software, and incorporating appealing visual imagery to stimulate the studentís interest. This would be a useful technique for development in the IT curriculum area.

I have also been researching the use of video camcorders and movie making software to enable me to make short films about the processes involved. This can then be retained by the client as tuition material for teachers and also for marketing and promotional activies.

Practical Arts and Crafts Workshops

Skills and techniques I can bring to craft workshops are:

  • Fashion & Textiles: Garment making, Pattern adaptations, Alterations, Applied Design & Surface Decoration, Environmentally friendly garment adaptaions, Soft-furnishing making, Silk Bag-making, tie dye, salt dye (silk), applique, embroidery, machine embroidery, batik work, costume making, historical costume making, fancy-dress costume making, patchwork, quilting, block-printing, stencil making, silk painting, screen printing, tapestry, recycling, reusing, t-shirt printing.


  • Textiles; Embroidery, Weaving, Batik, Felt-making, Painting Landscape, Issue based Murals; fabric painting, monoprinting, silk painting, silk screen printing,

    Shoe-making: Designing, last-work, using found objects and recycled materials, embellishment, making up into shoes;

  • Wool & string: Knitting, Crochet, macrame using strings and wool, finger-weaving, french knitting techniques, stick-weaving techniques.

  • Craft: Glass painting, jewellery-making, beadwork, dough craft, rug making, furniture painting, glass etching, clay modelling, flower pressing, resin moulding, candlemaking, Soft Toy making, puppet making, Mask making, mosaics, Fimo bead making (millifiori techniques) and modelling, shrink plastic, friendly plastic, embossing – metallic and powders, rubber stamping (over 800 stamps in my collection and rising! ), ribbon work, mosaics,

  • Papercrafts & Printing: Brass rubbings, box making, calligraphy, decoupage, 3D Decoupage, encaustic wax art, lino printing, marbling, papier mache work, origami, paper-making, dyeing, scrapbooking, ATC making, card making, Christmas Decorations, vintage work, shabby chic, memory pages, memory books, journals, punch work, die cutting work, background papers, .

  • Film-making & Documentary Work: Pre-production, production, post-production, storyboards, genre, film-work, soundtracks, scenery, costumes, location work, documentary work, Fly-on-the wall work.

  • Digital CAD/CAT software; Illustrator, Freehand, Streamline, Artlandia, Heesch tiling, fractal software, Paint Shop Pro, Painter 5, Photoshop, plus many many other pieces of software too numerous to mention.

  • Digital work; photomanipulation, illustration, fractals, vectors, desk top publishing, mobile phone art, mobile phone themes, abstract fine art, macro art, photography, morphing, animation, t-shirt printing,

  • Multimedia; Digital, Video, DVD, post-production;

  • Printmaking; Linocuts, Woodblock, Monoprints, Silk Screen printing

  • Graphic Art; Graphic design, Illustration

  • Ceramics; Kiln building

  • Jewellery-Making; Non-precious metals, Precious metals, bead-making, wire wrapping,


  • In addition, I am also keen to utilise digital cameras, other input devices such as scanners, video-capture, etc and associated software to deliver complex creative techniques.


My background in Fashion Design enables me to guide on integrating the above techniques to produce:

  • Garments to all sizes produced using patterns of my own and commercially published designs.
  • T-Shirt and textile printing.
  • Handbags This simple idea is very effective and suits all skill levels.
  • Soft furnishings for interior design.
  • Soft toys for younger children or parents with children.

I have used many of these skills to present the workshops in the section below.

Workshops recently undertaken

Park Road Resource Centre, Mansfield Woodhouse - 11 December 2004 - Candlemaking Workshop I was contracted to provide a candlemaking workshop as one of a number of guest artists demonstrating various creative techniques in a busy community fair. My usual hot wax method was clearly unsuitable due to the large volume of people moving around so I provided a beeswax based workshop - a material which is worked cold. The workshop was a great success and my pupils were able to take their beeswax candles home for Christmas! See some of the candles made at the workshop at at Gallery 045.

Toothill School, Bingham - Carnival Festival 2003 - July 2003 - Workshop on Fractals

As part of their Arts Week, I was asked to provide a Fractal workshop for the above school to coincide with the Carnival Festival taking place in the last week of the summer term 2003. I was asked to provide this workshop for 44 students, from all years of the school. I therefore split the class into 2 groups and tought one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The object of this class was to produce for each student:

  • Image printed onto T-shirt
  • Greetings card
  • Presentation Board

This was achieved and all the children wore their T-shirts with pride at the Carnival on the Friday; took their greetings cards home with them to show their parents and created a series of Presentation Boards for the Arts Market on the Friday evening.

Toothill School, Bingham - September 2003 - Workshop on Fractals

Toothill then asked me to come back and present the workshop to the 6th form design students. They were studying photography, fine art, fashion and graphic design. This was received very well and the feedback from the students was instantaneous, as I received a number of direct emails from the students, when I returned home the day of the workshop!

John Davies School, Huthwaite, Mansfield Dec 2003

I was asked by Groundworks to help design a Mural 4 ft x 4 ft, (approx 1 sq m) for year 5 children x 2 classes (60 children in all), which was to be hung in the main hall of the school. This was a 6 week project based on an Aztec Theme, with the main image designed by the children. We used various printing techniques including; silk screen print; batik; monoprinting; lino-cut printing; direct fabric paining and printing and various other techniques to acheive the end result. The children were asked to embellish individual patches which were then combined to a single entity. The patches were photographed and made into a slideshow presentation at end of term, in the school assembly as a visualisation of the childrens achievement and enthusiasm. Click this link to see a photograph of the completed mural at Gallery 044.

Kimberley Primary School - Open Day - 10.00 - 1.00 pm - 3rd July 2004

This workshop was orginally going to be outside, we therefore had to find things to do which did not need electricity etc. We decided to provide Make and Takes for the children using air drying clay in multi-colours and drop marbling using oil paints and paper. This was very well received by the children and adults, we were then booked the following day for 9 more workshops, located in the Broxtowe area. This workshop was facilitated by Susan Graves and my Associate, Carol Sparks.

Fairfield Primary School, Toton Lane, Stapleford - Playscheme - 10.30 am - 2.15 pm - 27th July 2004

We were asked to provide a workshop for either Encaustic Art or Candle Making for these next 9 workshops. We therefore decided to provide Encaustic Art for the first 4 workshops and then move onto Candlemaking for the next 4. At this school we therefore provide Encaustic Art for 50 children to Make and Take home with them. This workshop was facilitated by my Associate, Carol Sparks.

Brookhill Leys Junior School, Chewton Street, Eastwood - Playscheme - 10.30 am - 2.15 pm - 28th July 2004

Encaustic Art Make and Take for 50 children. A lovely sunny day, where the children were able to play lots of games outside and then come in and have a go at some encaustic art indoors !! This workshop was facilitated by Susan Graves.

Kimberley Primary School - Playscheme - 10.30 am - 2.15 pm - 29th July 2004

Encaustic Art Make and Take for 50 children. This workshop was facilitated by my Associate, Carol Sparks.

Horsendale Community Room - Playscheme - 10.30 am - 2.15 pm - 30th July 2004

Encaustic Art Make and Take for 50 children. After completing their Mini-Olympics the children settled down to some therapeutic encaustic art and really enjoyed themselves!! This workshop was facilitated by Susan Graves.

Trowell Parish Hall, Stapleford Road, Trowell - Playscheme - 10.30 am - 2.15 pm - 2nd August 2004

Candle Making - Make and Take for 50 children. This workshop was facilitated by my Associate, Carol Sparks.

Beeston Fields Primary School, Boundary Road, Beeston - Playscheme - 10.30 am - 2.15 pm - 3rd August 2004

Candle Making - Make and Take for 50 children. The chidlren really enjoyed this workshop and were amazed at the results they could acheive!! This workshop was facilitated by Susan Graves.

Hall Park Recreation Ground, Off Mansfield Road, Eastwood - Open Day - 12.00 pm - 5.00 pm - 6th August 2004

"Hands on have a go" Workshop in Origami. This is an annual event organised by Broxtowe Borough Council - this year it was very well attended and was a lovely hot sunny day with lots of activities for the all the family to enjoy !! This workshop was facilitated by Susan Graves.

Future workshops booked

Toton Greenwood Community Centre, Chester Green, Toton - Playscheme - 10.30 am - 2.15 pm - 10th August 2004

Candle Making - Make and Take for 50 children. This workshop was facilitated by my Associate, Carol Sparks.

St Barnabas Church Hall, Barncroft, Chilwell - Playscheme - 10.30 am - 2.15 pm - 17th August 2004.

Candle Making - Make and Take for 50 children. This workshop was facilitated by Susan Graves.

"MATE" - Mansfield - Fathers and Toddlers Group - 26th September 2004

Digital imagery workshop for the fathers to attend. I will be tutoring in various techniques of digital image generation/manipulation.