Today we did an amazing workshop on printing leaves and flowers with artist Emily Hayes at our partner organisation Hulme Garden Centre - which definitely deserves a Breathing Spaces badge of honour!
If you haven't yet been to Hulme Garden Centre we wholeheartedly recommend it - not just for buying beautiful plants, flowers and vegetables but the community gardens at the back and sitting spaces offer a true respite from the busy city and the sounds recede as you are enclosed in a mature garden of overhanging apple trees, herbs, flowers and more. Sitting here is Forest Bathing - Shinrin Yoku. This is an oasis in the middle of Hulme and we are thankful for all of the hard work and effort of the people who work and volunteer at the centre for this continuing community resource. Check out their website to find out what is on and how the project is growing and flourishing just like their plants: https://hulmegardencentre.org.uk/
In the second workshop of four we created print designs using the Hapa Zome technique.
We started the session with fresh mint tea, to warm up and relax from the heavy rain.
The workshop was held at Hulme Community Gardens Centre, where we had the chance to explore the gardens, picking flowers and leaves. Exploring the different textures of the autumn season plants.
The Hapa Zome technique involves hammering flowers and leaves between two pieces of natural fabric, we used thick branches to hammer with. Everyone did a small sample piece and at least one composed final piece. Each person took a different approach, some being very precise and creating Mandela patterns and others more wild natural scenes.
There was a wealth of creativity throughout the session with people making up their up techniques such as, hammering with tissue instead of fabric. Coming together at the end and sharing everyone’s art highlighted the enthusiasm the session had created.
We finished the session off with a small walk around the gardens as the rain had stopped and talked about the need for green spaces in the city to escape to sometimes.
See these links to find out more about Hapa Zome and Tataki zomé, how to do it and some beautiful examples of Cherokee Traditional American Quilts created with this method.
Here are some images of us choosing our leaves:
And beginning to learn about the 'pounding' technique
Emily demonstrates for us and then we have a go:
And then we make an actual design ourselves: