We are Saturday Club and we are artists

This week we were in production mode; developing our slogans about what we believe art is into a giant collaborative banner.

Using a limited colour palette of white text on a dark blue canvas *Ā  to unify the individual slogans we arranged everyone’s contribution. The whole process was very democratic with each decision about aesthetics and design being held to a vote.

The hand cut vinyl letters were bonded on to the canvas and create a really sharp professional look almost similar to screen printing.

To sit along side our banner we each made a t shirt with the slogan ‘artist’ to be worn to the private view. The t shirts also allowed us to try out a third method of getting text or images on to a textile background. We created stencils using ‘freezer paper’ and sponges to apply fabric paints; this simple technique created really striking results.Ā Of course some of the artists rebelled with ideas of their own about their t shirt designs; which seemed totally fitting after all our discussion around art allowing you to find your own voice!

The manifesto will get be sent straight away to London for the exhibition; we cannot wait to see it at Somerset House as part of the National Saturday Club Summer Show!

*Made from dyed and patched reclaimed fabrics, inspired by our session with Linda Mackie which focused on textile waste.

Some of the club members had plans to use this printing technique on other projects so for their reference here are the materials we used:

Fabric paintsĀ  Ā  Ā  Ā  https://www.bakerross.co.uk/search/go?w=fabric%20paints

SpongesĀ  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  https://www.bakerross.co.uk/search/go?w=paint%20sponges

Freezer paper sheetsĀ  Ā  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silkcraft-Freezer-Paper-Sheets-A4/dp/B00DS4Q2C0

These are not sponsored links.

Art is……..

We are Winchester School of Art Saturday Club and we believe art is…

As a round up to the year we decided to create a manifesto that will be exhibited as part of the National Saturday Club Summer Show.

We started by looking at the graphics and methods used in political art or protest to voice ideas. We then looked at artist manifestos and artists commenting on challenging social situations and how this might instigate change.

Reflecting on our experiences over the year in Saturday Club we created a long list of materials and processes we have used to make art. We also added verbs as to how you might make art. We then thought about our ideas about what art is and how these might have been strengthened, broadened or even changed by taking part in Saturday Club.

Each member chose one statement to put forward to be added to the Saturday Club manifesto. We are going to create this collaborative final art work next week but this week we created our own smaller test banners.

Everyone developed their own ideas using reclaimed fabrics and a textile bonding technique called bondaweb. Each panel was totally unique, reflecting the individuals ideas in text but also through colour and pattern choices, font and layout. The outcomes were really fantastic and I was quite disappointed that they were only tests. I hope the final manifesto looks half as good!

To see some of the artists referenced for this workshop check out:


There is a really great exhibition connected to the ideas in this workshop called Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics on show at the Design Museum until 12th August


Fashion Revolution

This week we were exploring sustainable fashion and how we might affect changeĀ  with Linda Mackie, Senior Teaching Fellow on Fashion Marketing and Management along with two student ambassadors Ashwinnie and Yijing.

Linda began by showing us some successful campaigns and talked about how designers, artists, photographers and stylists all work together to develop a brands message.Ā  She introduced us to Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign to improve working conditions of those in the fashion industry after a tragic disaster killed many workers in a factory in Bangladesh in 2013.Ā  In response to Fashion Revolution’s call to reduce cheap, fast fashion and respect the human and environmental resources it takes to produce clothing, our brief was to create a new advertising campaign for the charity Oxfam. The local store had kindly given us a heap of donated items they had not been able to sell despite all being in excellent condition and some even big name labels.

The brief: Oxfam is a leading charity in second hand clothes and great advocators of sustainable living.Ā  Consumers are more and more in tune with the issues of sustainability and Oxfam could really potentialise this opportunity in sales if they develop a clear message to their consumers. But who are their consumers? How could they drive more business, and how could art, design, photography, graphics or fashion designers use their skills to work towards a more sustainable future and raise awareness.

The group were given a bundle of clothes and asked to explore how they might style them to work alongside a message to encourage consumers to rethink their attitude to buying second hand clothes.

Each group approached the task differently, some thinking through their ideas and getting their campaign message clear before they began exploring their garments and others getting excited about the styling possibilities straight away.Ā  The groups elected models, photographers and art directors and we headed out onto the WSA campus to hunt for shoot locations. This was a lot of fun!

Back in the studio each group used photoshop to work into the photographs, incorporating their campaign message and the Oxfam logo. The ideas were really strong, several groups played with incorporating the hash tag into their text to encourage others to respond and share their interpretation. Some focused on waste such asĀ  ‘Keep it’ and ‘New? No, landfill’, others focusing on the fun you can have with fashion ‘Be different’ and ‘Keep it colourful’.Ā  At the end of session the outcomes were shared and Linda selected several strong candidates to take back to Oxfam Winchester to see if they would like to display them in store. We hope they do!



The mighty Riso

Katie had ambitious plans for us during this session!

One group began by selecting from last weeks’ artworks to create a showcase of the processes and ideas they had explored. Each member had their own individualĀ  publication that documented their outcomes from the previous week. As a group they worked together to design a collaborative coverĀ which was then printed on the Risograph using coloured paper and the ‘Riso’ trademark fluro inks. Georgia de Buriatte (Saturday Club assistant and BA Printmaking 3rd year student) shared her bookbinding skills with the group, showing us how to fold and saddle stitch the pages so we all had our own finished book.

The other half of the group became an editorial team; selecting images and developing text about the Saturday Club projects this year, which will become a publication for us to keep and share. Katie talked about working with Studio 3015 at Winchester School of Art and the process of designing in a team to create books, magazines, posters, prospectus and all kinds of printed matter. She showed us some examples of the projects she has worked on and how different printing methods, binding and paper choices all affect the visual message of the content. The publication team annotated and edited text about each workshop session and chose from the stock of photographs taken each week to showcase both the outcomes as well as the materials and methods used.

Half way through the morning we swapped around so everyone got a chance to use the mighty Risograph, make their own book and have their input into the publication.

The WSA Saturday Club year book will also be printed on the Risograph, when it is finished we will share on the blog so keep your eyes peeled…

Here is bit more about the Risograph:

ā€œThe Risograph is an environmentally friendly and cost effective printer, which uses soy-based inks to produce unique outcomes. Each stencil (master) is made from thermal sensitive paper and unlike offset printing it only takes a single print for the screen to be fully inked and ready to print thousands of copies. The Risograph is extremely energy efficient and generates a minimal amount of waste.ā€ ā€“ Hato Press

layer, edit, scan, copy…repeat

Graphic DesignerĀ Katie Evans (WSA graduate, current MA student and designer with WSA 3015 studio) led us in a session exploring techniques linked to Risograph printing. We used processes which mimicked the Risograph, getting to grips with the concepts of how you might create an edition or publication.

Using scanners, in built mac cameras, the photocopier (a pretty fancy one) and straight forward cutting and sticking we physically recreated the Risograph process to understand its pro’s and cons.

A set of found objects were given as a starting point and members were divided up into groups and worked their way around ‘stations’ in the room; each had a different set of equipment and a series of action words as prompts.

The groups then had free reign to respond in any way they chose; which ranged from creating 3D sculptures combining cutlery and fruit, to layering their own portraits over photocopied cassette tapes, perspex remnants from the laser cutter and stencilled shapes cut and repeated to form abstract patterns.

The outcomes were so varied and showed us how often having constraints can stop you worrying about outcomes and allow you to focus on exploring the possibilities in the process. Some of the layered single coloured photocopied objects were really very beautiful.

Take a look at our next post when we actually got to use the Risograph itself!

Game play

This was our second session with Chris and Sam from Games Design and Art . Developing on from last week’s assembled characters, which combined humans, monsters, animals, sea creatures and fantastical beasts, we explored the kinds of worlds they might live in and how they might use their special powers for good or evil.

Chris introduced numerous game styles: puzzle, adventure, combat, shoot ’em up, simulation, strategy and role play. These styles were assigned to the group, who discussed their characters, how they might interact and what narratives their game might contain to hook in the player.

The members got so involved in their game development and created thoroughly plausible outcomes; from a rat being chased around a kitchen by a crazy chef, to an intergalactic war centred around a space diner, to escaping from a scientific laboratory.

Everyone’s ideas were pitched back to the group at the end of the session. There was so much thought put into these proposals – don’t be surprised if some end up as fully fledges games in the future.


Thinking in 2D, 3D and back again

Back from the festive break and ready to get making! We kicked off the year drawing and thinking of how 2D and 3D looking and thinking are related.

Using common household objects as our starting point we began with some drawing warms up to get us back in the swing. Working on long lengths of paper for 1 minute with charcoal, we moved around the room, drawing around or over the previous personā€™s drawings. The paper began filling up as we drew by touch and from someone elseā€™s description.

Now that we were really familiar with the objects we moved from representing them in 2D to 3D, drawing directly with lengths of wire. The wire forced us to relinquish some control, as it is harder to manipulate and encouraged us to think about the line coming off the page and becoming sculptural.

This then developed to working in cardboard. The groupā€™s representations of brushes, cups and tea pots working roughly in cardboard were ingenuous and showed a real understanding of 3D thinking. Their knowledge of how to create basic 3D shapes from a flat material allowed them to be really ambitious, often taking a very individual approach to creating responses to the same objects.

Their wire and cardboard objects were then installed alongside the originals and we drew both ā€˜realā€™ and sculptural version of the real objects again, this time using ink. The ink drawings showed confidence of line and how the activities had developed the membersā€™ observational skills.

By the end of the session the room was filled with fantastic drawings and sculptures.

The human knitting machine

This week we continued exploring yarn and knitting with knitwear designer and WSA tutor Antonia Sullivan.

We began by creating yarn using t shirts, we had all perfected this technique having practiced last week. Once we had an enormous mountain of yarn we got into groups and became a human knitting machine. Based on the principle of ā€˜French knittingā€™, usually using a cone with a central hole and a series of pegs to loop the yarn around, this time the pegs were replaced with people creating a giant web of yarn, which grew really fast once we had all worked out how it worked. We then displayed our finished lengths around the room creating a network of threads.

Moving from the collaborative to the individual, from the macro to the micro we scaled down and tried ā€˜hand knittingā€™ and ā€˜finger knittingā€™. These processes using no needles created fun quick results, particularly with the jumbo t-shirt yarn. We then battled with giant broom handle needles but the results were slower than the earlier techniques.

These were then added to the growing ā€˜installationā€™ in the room. Seeing the knitting in this way allowed you to understand the structure of the process and where different knitters had different ‘tension’ creating tighter or looser patterns.

It was a really hands on, playful, physical end to this terms’ series of workshops and we all felt proud of having mastered a new skill.

The possibilities in a length of yarn

Todayā€™s workshop was led by Antonia Sullivan, tutor on BA Textile Design specialising in knit. She introduced us to the variety of ways that knitting can be used as a basic binary process. Depending on the type of yarn and the scale it has an amazing number of applications: from clothing to heart surgery. There were examples of giant flags knitted by cranes, knitted computer coding and miniature clothing smaller than a fingernail.

We made yarn out of old t-shirts by cutting them into strips to create a continuous length. We then knitted this on giant needles. Only a couple of the group had knitted before but we got the hang of this really quickly and the thick yarn meant we made speedy progress.

During our break we took a tour around the BA and MA Fine Art interim show. Georgia, Saturday Club assistant, had a sound work in the exhibition so it was great for us to get a better idea of her practice. It was an interesting contrast to our visit to the Courtauld Gallery to see the variety of media and subjects explored by the students studying at WSA.

Once we had got to grips with hand knitting we moved on to making pom-poms. We turned chairs upside down to use the legs to wind the yarn. We chose as many different colours and textures of yarns as we wanted and used as much yarn as we could wind and then tied it into sections. Then we cut the windings, which magically transformed into pom-poms.

The morning was a playful but productive introduction to the possibilities using just a length of yarn.

For inspiration and resources take a look at the pinterest page Antonia has set up:Ā  https://www.pinterest.co.uk/sprig_knitwear/knitting-saturday-club/

London visit

On the 18th of November the Winchester School of Art Saturday Club took the coach to London to join with other clubs from across the country for an exhibition of everyoneā€™s self portraits. We were all wowed by the Central St Martinā€™s College of Art and Design building, which hosted the day.

Our 3D portraits looked great and got lots of positive comments. We loved seeing how varied everyoneā€™s response to the same brief had been; there were paper cut outs, woven, collaged and cardboard self portraits to name a few. In teams we made transparent buildings from tracing paper, which we added to a growing city installed in ā€˜the streetā€™ at CSM. We also had an inspirational talk from a designer at Lego reminding us of the importance of nurturing creativity and exploring every opportunity given to us to further our skills.

We then headed off to the Courtauld Gallery where we were given a tour of some of the most famous paintings in their collection. We talked and drew with a curator at the gallery who encouraged us to explore the line of a Renaissance biblical figure and think about the backstory to an Impressionist bar scene. We could have stayed exploring the gallery for a lot longer. There was just time for a photo opportunity with the Christmas tree in front of the ice rink at Somerset House before we jumped back on the coach and headed for home.

It was a great day and everyone felt really proud of their achievements so far and excited about the projects still to come.