Last Thursday I went to Luton to attend a four day workshop with Ricky Otis and Deanna Tyson (two other artist also selected from Cambridge) as part of the Carnival Crossroads project. It was absolutely fabulous all of our expenses were paid for. The people I met there were very warm, interesting and friendly and everyone willing to share their knowledge. The hotel was excellent and provided a fabulous breakfast every morning with gym, sauna and swimming pool available for our use.
The cafe at the Carnival center provided us with two, hot, tasty meals full of Caribbean flavours every day prepared by a chef with Trinidadian roots. This tasty food meant that I ate way too much and along with the tea and cake breaks, I am sure I gained a few pounds over the weekend. I enjoyed every minute and really am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this.
On Friday night we danced away to a live band of African music and stumbled back to our hotel rooms in the early morning to prepare for another full day of working.
I really enjoyed being pampered and am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this and along the way to have also met such wonderful, fun loving people.
The Vat Former
The workshops covered a range of techniques and many new materials and equipment were introduced.
Vat forming was a new technique where special sheets of foam were heated to make moulds
shapes glued onto plywood (mould)
Shapes to be moulded were placed on the bed of the machine, the table was lowered and a large sheet of foam placed above it in a special frame. The foam was carefully heated and then in quick succession the table raised, the sheet moulded and air removed. The result was a clean crisp shape in plastic
Two designs created
There is so much more to learn about Carnival Costume making process and four days was no time at all to even get the basics but my eyes have certainly been opened and I am eager and excited to learn more. I was not sure what to expect before I attended the workshop and I somehow thought I might have done the making of the actual costumes but instead it was more of an insight into the processes behind the scenes. I am sure I will have more to blog about Carnival in the future, in the meantime I have made many new friends and look forward to meeting them again soon. http://www.youtube.com/carnivalarts