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


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/