Every year, my mum spends weeks planning and organising a charity Christmas fair to raise money for a village in Tanzania that our village church has been linked to for several years.
Over time it has become more than a just a fundraiser, is also a high point in our family calendar with everyone (seven siblings, their partners, and fourteen nieces and nephews) involved in some way. Children who used to run a little riot between the tables, now run stalls – the sweet stall being particularly popular, and hence not terribly profitable! Nephews pack tables away at the end at lightning speed, and sweep the floors, having bought most of their Christmas presents earlier.
This year I ran a make and take stall – I thought it would be fun to share the magic of heat embossing with the children at the fair. It gave them the opportunity to work with craft materials they hadn’t seen at school – and who can resist the lure of those matt grey lines transform into shiny embossed lines under the heat gun.
The process I settled on:
1. Use distress stains to create a colourful background.
2. Stamp a Christmas image using a ‘Perfect Medium’ ink pad.
3. Apply embossing powder and heat to create a bold image.
4. Adorn the image using mica paint.
My customers ages spanned from two to forty something, including a toddler, a teacher and a little boy whose mum said: “He never usually wants to paint…”
It was wonderful to watch the expressions on their faces change – from curiosity to wonder to intense concentration and flow as they got to play with the intense colour of shiny watercolour paint.
Using artist quality materials and skilled instruction, anyone can experience joy and excitement in the process of making Art, and develop the skills to create masterpieces they are proud of! And that is where I wish to focus increasing amounts of time and energy on over the coming months and years.