Give us enough rope...

Last Sunday we braved the heat and headed to the supercool Pop&Scott co-operative workspace to learn how to make rope bowls with the wonderfully generous Gemma Patford. Every time we head to Hayes street we're reminded of what a brilliant and much needed resource this space is,  and just how lucky we are to have it in our hood!

You all know what suckers we are for upskilling and this is a technique that we've long been fans of, lets face it we are both big accumulators of stuff, and subsequently are always on the look out for ways to make new vessels to hold our craft supplies and equipment. Presented via the magic of Instagram (thanks pop&scott and patford feeds) with the chance to learn how to to whip up our own collection of custom bowls, baskets and trays we were pretty much sold on sight.

Regular readers know what big fans we are of simple techniques that give makers lots of scope to develop their own particular aesthetic style. Rope based craft comes with a looooong history and rope itself is such a (pardon the pun) flexible  material that it really lends itself perfectly to experimentation and reinterpretation. So its been inspiring to see the development of Gemma's practice and the new direction she's moving in with her sculptural wall works. 

Despite the heat Gemma had created a cool and welcoming environment complete with ginger beer, cheese and fruit platter and even a double layered brandy chocolate cake that was seriously delicious. Not to mention a customised badge name tag making service that Ramona and I took full advantage of.

In addition we also got a super cool goody bag complete with everything needed to go home and whip up another to ensure that we nailed the technique, and a pre made bowl to play around with on the day! See we told you she was generous.

We got some insider knowledge (which we can't divulge), step by step instructions, lots of opportunities to have a practice both constructing on the machine and decorating our own 'blank canvas' bowl.

From the paint, embroidery and trimmings stations we chose the embroidery table most likely because it was right in front of both the open door and super sized fan. Funnily enough we both went straight for the bead jar. Anyways in true HML fashion we both chose similar materials and then came up completely different styles.

It was amazing to see how this happened right across the workshop - each person gravitating to the different decorative elements - sharp metallic geometrics, fluffy pastel pompoms, bold graphic brights, embroidery, painting, glue, creating bowls as individual as their makers. The more we engage in these crafter-noon style workshops the more we realise how wonderfully refreshing it is to sit in a room full of strangers linked together by a simple but incredibly profound love of making. Its kind of awesome. BECK

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