Text and Imagery - Dom Read
What a wild couple of weeks!! Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, the team at Freshly Greated ended up in the situation where they had 10 model making workshops planned in Great Yarmouth but no artist to run them!! They got in touch and asked whether I would be able to help them out!! I said of course and quickly ordered a lump of air dry clay and got practicing how to make these cute little models. I then began planning out the workshops!!
The clay snails were part of a bigger artistic venture lead by Freshly Greated in which they positioned human sized model snails around Great Yarmouth. These larger than life snails were based on the rollercoaster ride carriages from the local amusements park on the beach called Joyland. The Freshly Greated, Joyland snails were all painted as exciting different characters designed by the local community in artist lead workshops. They were then painted by another local artist.
Our Snail workshops were held in Market Gates a shopping centre in the middle Great Yarmouth. The workshops took place in Primeyarc which is an Art Gallery and Studio space in an old Debenham's department store. It is a monumental space and it was incredible to get so many people from the local community actually inside the gallery enjoying and appreciating the joy and pleasure that comes from making art.
I made some colourful numbered cardboard signs for each of the different snail stations and we had a welcome table on which we pinned all of the snail illustrations created by artists young and old. It was an absolute delight to see so many different people come and get involved! We had young ones so young they just enjoyed mashing up the clay, we had children create masterpieces and we had reluctant parents reconnect with their inner child as they got more hooked on the activity than their kids. It was a joy to see so many smiling faces on such a varied audience.
The workshop was a 3 part job! The first part consisted of encouraging our guests to design their snail. They created an illustration of the snail they were going to make or they drew their favourite snail memory, whether that was with a garden snail or the snail ride in Joyland. Then it was onto the clay, we got out a wooden board and some air dry clay for each artist and they then shaped and moulded their own snail sculpture. The clay took 24 hours to dry so they then had to leave their model or take it home and wait until the clay dried before painting them.
Once dried it was then on to the really fun part!! The artists got to pick their colours and paint their slithery creatures bringing their characters to life!! It was such a joy seeing how many different ways you can make a snail. There were a huge number of different colour combinations chosen and some wonderfully sparkly, glitter bombed snails!! They were all so beautiful and so radiant!! Once they had finished painting it was then time to coat the snails in clear nail varnish to seal the models!
This was great! Many a snail was made, many a laugh was shared and many a smile was created! So lovely to be involved and a part of such an exciting event!
Thanks to Sam and Rebecca from Freshly Greated for inviting me along.
And spacial thanks to Jason Lovett for being the best team mate a man could dream of! Couldn't have done it without you!
If you would like to do a workshop like this near you get in touch and lets make this happen!!
All the best!!
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