festival of crafts 2017: q&a with Ginny Farquhar

festival of crafts 2017: q&a with Ginny Farquhar


ginny 1

At this years festival of crafts we are offering an opportunity to learn how to turn your discarded papers and magazines into wearable jewellery. Ginny Farquhar, our experienced workshop leader will be running sessions on how to make paper beads. 

This workshop is suitable for anyone ages 14+, no prior experience is needed and all materials are supplied so all you have to do is book, turn-up and learn something new! Saturday 28 & Sun 29 October 2pm-4pm, to book now and to find out more information click here. To find out more about Ginny and her work check out her website.

We spoke to Ginny to find out more about her work. Ginny, could you tell us more about the work that you do as an artist?

In my day to day role I am a sewing tutor and community crafts workshop facilitator. I spend the rest of my time in my garden growing and harvesting food and botanical dyes or in my studio playing with paper, thread and fabrics. I mostly create jewellery, textiles, and pictures. I am interested in working sustainably, using mostly natural, environmentally friendly or discarded materials. I save everything from paper bill envelopes, old clothing to plant prunings.  To me these are valuable resources which could be reinvented and transformed into something new; prunings yield colour on cloth in the dye pot, old fabrics and buttons are upcycled into new textile items and paper is transformed into bowls or jewellery.

Ginny 4How did you become interested in sustainable craft and making paper jewellery more specifically?

I grew up in a family of ‘make do and menders’ so I naturally absorbed this ethos and have always had a strong desire to make. I love nature and am conscious about the negative impact that modern western lifestyles are having on the environment so it was a natural progression for me to adopt more sustainable practices in my work. I had also co-run a business from 2001 with a friend creating textile gifts from upcycled fabrics which we sold at retail fairs. This idea initially came from necessity as we had little money but we did have some resources ie.  fabrics, saved from our previous careers in textile related industries. The more I reused the more it made sense to me to continue. I have a bin at the bottom of my stairs where I collect paper for recycling though much of this makes its way into my studio. I am not good at throwing anything away if it perhaps could be transformed. Making paper bead jewellery was one way to do this and I really enjoy making something from nothing!

What is the inspiration for your work?

Nature and wellbeing inform my work. As a workshop leader and in my own practice I see the therapeutic benefit that making brings. I often create projects for workshops which then lead into further personal exploration. The materials I source can also lead me down new creative avenues.  For me, being in nature is very healing and I am particularly inspired by plants, leaves and the colours that I see whilst out walking or tending my garden. I have recently fused my love of textiles and plants in plant dyeing and eco printing and I am looking to extend this to use plant extracts for painting and to colour papers for jewellery making.

Ginny 3What is the most complicated jewellery-making project you have done?

I tend to use simple techniques and see how these can be worked to create interesting shapes. I have a very organic approach to creating and like to see where the materials lead me.  I think my background as a costumier has helped me problem solve and experiment with transforming the flat into something 3D. It’s on ongoing process.

You are running a taster workshop at festival of crafts on paper jewellery. What can participants expect to learn from your session?

Participants will get a good overview of creating paper beads from choosing papers and materials to cutting, rolling and finishing different shaped beads. I will share a lovely stringing technique and tips for fastening with just cord and buttons. Participants will come away with a wearable piece of jewellery, either a necklace or bracelet that they have designed themselves, and ideas for how to extend the skills they’ve learned to create further gifts for friends and family.

What do you like best about making paper jewellery?

It is very calming and the process, in its repetition, becomes a meditation.

festival of crafts 286 x 300 pxfestival of crafts will return in its 21st year on Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 October 2017.  The festival is open to the public from 10am – 5pm both days. Entry is £3 (under 15s go free). To buy tickets for Saturday click here . To buy tickets for Sunday click here

It is an annual two day craft event held at Farnham Maltings. Now in its 21st year, the festival is well established in the craft calendar and features a curated selection of makers from across the UK. The work shown is across all media, including but not limited to, homewares, jewellery, ceramics, stationery, accessories, furniture, lighting, textiles and print.

The festival champions great design and the process of making, both traditional and modern techniques and skills. The show offers opportunities to well established craft practitioners as well as first time exhibitors and graduates. The craft festival showcases the very best UK craftspeople and provides a relaxed environment for visitors to browse and buy directly from the makers themselves.

to book now and to find out more information click here. To find out more about Ginny and her work check out her website.

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