As part of the Lines of Enquiry project the WEA and Lancashire Museums ran a series of master classes. These were intensive weekend craft based courses led by practitioners in the fields of contemporary and traditional crafts. Students worked within museum settings and acquired inspiration from the surroundings and the museum collections. They came from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, which added diversity and richness to the outcomes. Master classes included:
Learners were asked to produce a textile sampler which developed their creative and critical skills as the result of a 'line of enquiry'. As a starting point they were shown textile pieces and artefacts from the Museums Loan Service to inspire and nurture their personal innovative ideas.
Learners were exposed to textile craft that reflected traditional English techniques such as patchwork, cross stitch and hand embroidery. There were then blended with Indian and Pakistani textile embellishments. Beading and mehndi were investigated through appliqué and transfer printing.
This course was designed to help learners develop their creative and critical analysis skills by exploring a theme. The groups visited The Harris Art Gallery in Preston to look for their inspiration. They spent the day drawing and learning about some of the artwork within the galleries.
Learners were encouraged to critically explore their ideas throughout the creative process and to create their own individual pieces of work stimulated from their initial responses to the artwork in the gallery.
The Winder Project
Folk to folk is a WEA acoustic course based in Lancaster. The group chose to work on the theme of traditional Lancashire music.
Whilst in Scotland and Ireland the tradition of music for village dances is largely unbroken, in England it virtually died out during the Industrial Revolution and First World War. This courses focused on some of the remaining English traditional village dance music.
WEA creative writing students, meeting at Accrington Library, used a variety of resources from Lancashire County Council's museums and libraries to inspire stories, poetry, memoirs and travel writing.
These writing enquires began with some of the Museum Loans Service. A second short course included a visit to the Museum of Lancashire. The pieces of writing were recorded on video by their authors, or displayed in print in this exhibition.
Jewellery Making Course
This course looked at traditional and contemporary jewellery. Working from objects in the museum collections and contemporary jewellery, learners analysed the materials and construction techniques found in jewellery making both old and new. They then used the ideas and techniques that they had seen when designing their own pieces using contemporary, sustainable materials.
For more information on this and other courses in the North West area please visit the WEA regional website.