Since my first days studying City & Guilds Part 1 Creative Embroidery I’d been using paper as a ‘fabric’. In the design classes we learned how to make paper, and on the Embroidery side I stitched into it. So I’ve been stitching on paper since around 1993, albeit tentatively.
By the time Part 2 was finished, I’d made all of my Assessment pieces including paper in some form or another, so when the college offered up a specific course relating to Paper I jumped at it.
2002/3 I took the one year course City & Guilds 7822 Creative Skills Papercraft.
This one year course covered all sorts, from making paper in various fibres, to how to colour paper, in its pulp stages, or after. Constructing coloured layers of handmade paper, adding various things to the pulp, different effects from using the pulp. Alongside this using machine made papers we made all sorts of things, pop out cards, intricate cuts etc. All the creasing, folding, manipulating was done by hand. These days you can buy templates for things, or dies which readily cut, but on this course everything was make it yourself from scratch.
So having had a very happy and successful first year, we then wanted to extend our studies, and this we did via NCFE Advanced Certificate in Creative Studies Papercraft in 2003/4
This was another one year course, but was very much like studying Part 2 Embroidery. Actually many of us felt this layout and format was much easier and better, more informative and useful than Part 2. We again had a dreaded log book, but this time it made far more sense.
Again there were assessment pieces to be made, and this time real clients to deal with. We had to make proper costings, design mood boards, present to our clients, ask specific questions and note the answers, and present it all to the room as evidence and proof of everything. Clients were presented with alternative options, timescales, costings, and we made the items specific to their requests. Real clients, real pieces made as the client wanted in the time they specified.
In addition we’d have criteria such as an Assessment piece to be made based on historical research.
Perhaps it was already having done Part 2, perhaps it was how this other examining body laid things out, but a lot of things clicked into place.
And yet still I wasn’t quite finished with studying…..