Novice crafters master the art of hooky rugmaking and traditional letterpress. Plus an origami artist teaches how to make something beautiful from a single sheet of paper.
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Making things with your hands.
That's actually quite nice, doing it with your finger!
It's an urge as old as time.
And now more people than ever before are discovering the immense pleasure...
-Go, go, go!
...that craft can bring.
Making something from start to finish is extremely satisfying.
I'm really, really, really chuffed with that!
This week, we get right inside the creative process,
as six novices master the art of hooky rug making...
Just got really into the zone. I'm really enjoying it!
..and make their own letter press designs.
-When it goes down?
-Pull that forwards, that's lovely.
-You happy with that?
-Really lovely, that is.
We're in Bamburgh on the north-east Coast with world renowned rug maker Heather Ritchie.
I adore the sea, I love the coast
and I think the north-east has the most wonderful coastline.
Bamburgh's famous for the famous historic tidal island of Lindisfarne,
also known as Holy Island.
I adore being on Lindisfarne.
The tide comes in,
it cuts you off and it's very, very special and there's the monastery
and the church and the castle and the seals are singing at night.
It's a fabulous place.
Over 30 years ago, Heather discovered that she could use fine
fabrics and a technique known as hooking to create intricate designs.
I painted a picture with rugs and I thought, "Wow,
"I can get away with this!"
When I first did the rug with all the old men on,
you're working very close.
They're just little dots, you see and they're very close
and you don't really see them.
And it isn't till you take them away and you hang them
up and "I thought, oh, my goodness, there, I've captured them. It's them. I've got them."
Today, Heather is back in Bamburgh to teach six makers,
all beginners in rug making,
how to create their own hooky seat cushions over two days.
Welcome, everybody. Has anybody done rug making before?
-No? You're all new to this?
I love to start somebody off. I know more than you, you see.
So, I've got the upper hand.
To create her intricate rugs, Heather uses a small hook
and a sheet of hessian tightly stretched into a frame.
You sit your hessian in the frame, with the one with the screw on the top.
-That's right, there and that will tighten.
-There you go.
That's it and that'll tighten up. You OK?
That's right and that one'll sit on the top and tighten it.
Now you can use any colours you want.
Just feel free, I've given you a whole mix of yarns
and all different types of fabric.
Some'll work for you and some won't
but it gives you the experience as to what's best.
-You've got some greens here.
-Oh, yeah, lovely.
There's some greens.
Hooky rugs are made from the thin strips cut from recycled fabrics.
Everything from second hand sweaters, to old curtains,
even raw wool can be cut into strips and used to add texture.
Anyway, if anybody wants to use this, you don't
have to spin it, to use it.
You can just pull it out and you can hook that in.
-Do we have a shepherd here?
-It's this one, here.
John and Mary are local farmers with more than 300 sheep
and they've brought some wool along to use in their work.
Well you're flattering me by calling me a shepherd. I'm a farmer who keeps sheep.
Yes, well that's, that's the same to me.
That is quite a complementary thing you know.
Before anyone makes a start on their seat cushions,
they must first master the basic skill of hooking.
So, you've all got a little hook.
There's your hook and you see it's got a little hook on the end.
I'm going to put the hook in and I'm scooping it.
So, I bring the first little piece up onto the top, with my hook and
I just leave a couple of threads, I go right in and I pull a loop up.
Take your strip of fabric,
and use one hand to hold the material underneath the hessian.
Push your hook through, catch the fabric
and pull it up through the hole.
Push your hook back in, scoop up the material underneath, and pull a hoop up.
To maintain an even pattern,
make your holes roughly half a centimetre apart
and pull your hoops up to the same height.
And just scoop it up...
In, grab it and pull it up.
I think the difficult thing is to...
-it catches when I'm coming back up.
-So, on the next piece of...
-It's just a knack. Easy, don't worry...
Just ease it through.
I'm pushing the hook in.
But how'd you know where the wool is? Are you holding it?
Yes. Yes, I've got it on my finger.
Right, I'm just grabbing it and scooping it.
Grabbing it... it's really just getting the technique,
at the end of the day.
Don't be frightened of pushing your hook right in
because that actually opens up the hessian.
Yeah, and just ease it through between the threads.
She talks about scooping. My scooping technique's not going very well yet.
I'm pulling the wrong ones through.
There's just some spaces and I dunno.
-Can we start again?
Because I think it'll be easier to come from the right.
-Are you right handed?
-I am right handed, yes.
So take it from here, right and bring that end up.
-Now, bring them closer together and bring them higher up.
-Bring them higher up. OK?
-It looks so easy when you do it.
-And you can feel it....
-Well, I've done it for years.
Indra is a cosmetic dentist, originally from the Netherlands but
she moved to Northumberland ten years ago, to set up her own practice.
-There you go.
So, how far do you go apart just here?
Just a couple of threads. Your hook has to be facing up.
That's it, right through.
That's lovely - and as you're working, feel on the back
and if it's smooth, you know you're all right.
If it's lumpy, just take it back and re-do it.
-That's looking good, that.
-What's it like on the other side?
-Hee, hee, neat!
That is neat, yeah.
It's just that getting used to that, that pulling it through
and this, this is quite stiff fabric.
That's what I've just found, is this one's pretty stiff as well.
That first one was totally different,
so the fabrics make a massive difference.
Although they've never tried rug making, married couple,
Tracey and Adam have been keen crafters for years.
Do you know, out of all the crafts that I was thinking,
this is never one that I would have considered.
When Tracey said, "Oh, this is the one I really want to do,"
I was like, "Really?" "Rag rug making?'"
I was like can't we do something like...
..iron work or something?
Now I'm glad we are doing it, cos it is good.
It's really good.
They're all filling a 20cm square.
By the end of the exercise,
Heather hopes the students will have mastered the technique
and started to blend colours and textures together.
This is a bit different to the normal stitches I'm doing for work.
What do you normally do?
-I'm an A&E doctor.
-Oh, gosh, this is a little bit different, isn't it?
My patient's not moving too much. It's quite good.
There's some wool there, look.
Let's have a look. Oh, that looks rather good. I like it.
In daily life, there's a lot of pressure,
especially for working mums.
I think doing this, um, would give me, really some me time.
How've you found your hooking?
Yeah, I've got there in the end.
-I've worked out how to do it, eventually.
The fleece was fun to use but it's quite stiff, isn't it?
-It's, it's sticky.
-But I'm getting there.
-Yes, jolly good. I love it.
-Thank you. I really like this, like fluffy wool.
I like the texture cos it goes like thick and thin.
Look what we've got for John. Wow.
-Well, um, I got a bit carried away...
-It's wonderful! Yes?
-..with using the, the fleece.
-And I did a patch and it gradually morphed into being a sheep...
-..and so I thought I'd give it a head and um...
-It's evolved. It's wonderful.
-You see how they're different. Everybody's are different, you know.
-You've all got the hang of it now, haven't you?
So, it was just getting that technique
and a little bit of practise.
-You're all happy?
-It's going all right...
-Yeah, jolly good.
Right, we're now going to work on our main designs for the workshop, and you're going to make a seat pad.
Have you all got a design, or an idea in your heads?
I've got a picture of our dog, Luna, that's really nice,
like on the beach, here at Bamburgh.
She was looking out at the, all the cairns that people built there.
So I'm just trying to work out how to draw a dog
because I'm not great at drawing.
The rough design is sketched on in chalk,
so any mistakes can be easily rubbed off.
I want to do something really quite bold and abstract.
So, I'm going for kind of a big swirl of sea cos this is what
reminds me of being up here in the, in the north-east, Northumberland.
I proposed to Tracey up here,
so it's kind of a bit of a special place.
It certainly is. It's lovely, love it up here.
Once the design is complete,
the outline is re-drawn with permanent marker pen.
-So, where you want to start is, just get the outline in.
-Get his outline in...
-Uh-huh and then get his eye in.
Always get the eye in.
And then, you can just fill in with whatever you've got.
My picture is inspired by my wedding bouquet.
Me and my husband got married very recently,
so I wanted to make something to remember my flowers by.
We look down on Holy Island and we just absolutely love the beach
and so I want a fairly linear picture, with some rocks here.
And maybe some of the sheep's fleece might make these waves...
They could do the edge of the waves, yes.
-Might be quite sort of fluffy.
-It will be beautiful.
I just love going and visiting the island.
It has such a wonderful feel about it and our cows go there
for their overseas holidays every year from October to December.
They'll be going next week.
I've got some cut outs.
I did some drawings of things that meant things to me on the farm.
So, I'm going to um,
trace that on and then see where I'm going to start actually stitching.
He doesn't often engage for so many hours on a sort of creative project.
He's very good at making book shelves, or hen houses
but this is a new experience, which he seems to be really enjoying.
I've got a buzzard but I don't think there's room for the buzzard,
so pff, maybe he'll have to go and hunt somewhere else, I think.
That's the house.
A bit better close up.
-It's so difficult to do all these...
It's very complex.
Indra has brought pictures of her family
home in Holland for inspiration.
I was actually going to do a family estate in the Netherlands and I was
going to do a bit of water and the main house there but now I'm sitting
-next to Mary and she comes out with her pictures and this one just really...
-Oh, yes, yes, beautiful.
..it really caught my eye.
Also because my little boy, Olly, we have some guinea fowl as well...
-..and he loves looking for feathers.
Yes! Do that then. That's brilliant.
Changing my mind and I think it's nicer to
sit on feathers, maybe than to sit on a house, anyway.
Yes, yes, yes.
I'm speeding along.
I do have a bit of a competitive streak.
I'm actually teaching my four-year-old at the moment,
you can't always win.
-Ah, is there competition going on here?
I am pretty competitive, so...
It's the joy of making something that counts.
Making things with your hands is more popular than ever before.
Here are a few people who've made extraordinary things as a way
to express themselves.
I have a paper garden.
I made it doing paper cutting.
I live in Argentina in a flat all my life,
so when I moved to England, it was just great to have a house
with a garden that I can just plant things.
I have flowers, so I love it so much.
I craft because, um, I'm a mother of three
and this is a thing for myself.
It's lovely to create something and have something at the end,
that you've made, that's you, a bit of you.
Just do things for fun.
Make something quirky, make it crooked, make it have holes in it.
I make Kirigami, which is paper architecture.
So, the piece I have with me here is a scene of London.
Got the skyscrapers, you've got traditional Georgian buildings,
industrial buildings across East London.
I feel like a kid again when I'm making Kirigami.
This is the studio of wordsmith and printmaker Kelvyn Smith,
where our next workshop will take place.
It's a real haven, it's a real treasure and um, something
I really value to come to this absolutely gorgeous Victorian space.
It is my shed.
It's the shed at the bottom of the garden that I come to every day
and it's the place that I feel the happiest in.
Kelvyn's work involves a traditional technique called letterpress,
using individual letters to make inked impressions on paper.
One of the lovely things about letterpress is that it's a
very slow process and a very articulate process.
So, when you set type, you set type one letter at a time,
one word at a time, one line at a time, one paragraph at a time.
Originally developed in the 15th century, letterpress became
the main form of printing and communication for over 350 years.
The outcome of letterpress is usually very beautiful.
So yeah, it's a lovely way to get inside language
but also understand spacing and pauses and the silences and all
those lovely things, which are very poetic but also very special.
Today, Kelvyn will be teaching letterpress to five beginners,
who'll be making their own personalised prints.
They include an engaged couple...
..a textiles student...
..and a stonemason with his son, a carpenter.
So, letterpress is a really simple process, all right.
You say that.
It is, it is actually really simple.
I'll remember that later, yeah?
And one of the key kind of elements of today is, keep it simple.
I don't know how complicated you think all the things you want to
do, keep it simple because actually, that's what becomes more effective.
To get them started,
Kelvin is setting the group a practise exercise.
What I would like you to do is to think of one word that would
describe yourself as accurately as possible.
Maybe you would describe each other.
Does I have to be nice?
You don't have to be nice, no, you can be, you can be
as rude as you like.
She's crazy. No, she's bright.
See, you are crazy now!
OK, so we're going with bright, yeah?
I did the R upside down because, dunno,
she's got a bit of a clumsy side to her.
-So, I thought I'd...
-That's nice. That's great.
-OK and what've you got?
-Feel like I shouldn't show him now.
-It's a bit soppy, your one.
It's not just me.
Well done. Knitter?
-Yeah. I think Knitter's all right.
Can I have different type faces as long as they're the same size?
That would be nice. So, you're knitting different fonts together to make a one word.
-Yeah, one, yeah.
-Yeah, so that's a lovely idea.
-I want to go for stubborn.
-Are you stubborn?
-I can vouch for that.
And I think I might do it down here as well, just to be stubborn.
-You're not perplexed, are you?
Man of your integrity.
But I like the perplexed word. It's great.
How do you make a decision about choosing your typeface and can
you start to describe what lovable means by this choice of typeface?
You know, is it a soft and gentle typeface, or is it a bold
-and, you know, is it a big type, bold typeface?
Cos even though he's big, he's got different side to him.
The most difficult thing today is understanding that you have
to set type upside down, left to right.
Everything is reverse and when it's printed, it's round the right way.
And when lots of people kind of, um...
-Mix your P's and Q's.
-You've gotta watch your Ps and Qs
Ah, is that where it comes from?
-That's where it comes from.
-This is where it comes from.
With their words chosen,
it's time for the students to begin selecting their typeface.
He's so cute!
-I want it to look cute.
-Cute isn't easy with type.
Maybe the size then?
Yeah, there's a kind of volume to it, which is interesting,
you know, um... wonder where I've put them, I've moved them.
Kelvyn has a master collection of over 500 cases of type,
dating back to the early 1900s.
This is a 48-point case.
Really lovely font. It kind of feels to me
-like that's got a bit of character.
-Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
It's got a lovely kind of strength to it but it's also elegant as well.
-Mm. Extremely heavy.
Just be careful with this.
I'm perplexed about how to set out perplexed.
Actually, um, I'm trying to work out a way to do it,
so that it actually means what I'm trying to put down into words.
A V, that way?
-That's correct, yeah, upside down, left to right.
E - managed to choose the letter of the alphabet out of the largest box.
-That's right, that's an E.
-Lower case, L, which is in this section there.
L and then back to E, there.
And back to E, which is in the large box. That's great.
Bianca places her type in a composing stick,
one of the most important tools in the workshop.
The composing stick is used to assemble your letters in order,
which is always upside down and left to right.
This process is known as setting type.
First, set the measurement of your line, which is
done using a measurement unit called a pica.
To print the word MAKE your M must be rotated, 180 degrees,
along with all the other letters that follow it.
Now, is the chance to look at the spaces between your letters.
To do this, open up the type by simply dropping
pieces of lead in between each letter.
Finally, add some wooden spaces, called, reglets,
at the front and end of your word to hold it all together.
Now, remember, you are looking at things upside down
and left to right.
-So, if you imagine there's a mirror...
-..here. That's it.
That's right, so you got that right, lovely.
You got it right, there.
So, they're all upside down.
-Except for the R, which flips round the other way.
So that's great. If you wanted to, we could open these up slightly.
It's quite a wide font.
Then, you see each one of these, there,
come with all different widths but you're using your eye
to drop a few of these in there at a time.
You are determining that there's a space in between each one of these.
That's lovely and when you're done, put the lead on top of there.
So, that is your line set, upside down, left to right.
Once it's printed, it's printed round the other way.
For their practice prints,
the students have chosen a metallic silver ink.
Really lovely and metallic ink, OK.
Kelvyn has a range of printers, but for their first word they're
using a 19th century pedal powered press.
The mechanism is lovely, OK.
That's it. There we go, that's it.
So, it's quite a weight on the pedal, isn't there?
Got a bit of a motion.
-And then with the pedal...
..the rollers lift up onto the inking plate.
There's a little ratchet on the plate that turns,
so that it just mixes different parts each time.
It makes a lovely sound, all the mechanics and...
Yeah, that's what's lovely, isn't it?
And it kind of ticks over, you know?
It's a bit like, um, one of those old bikes.
I used to have a bike like this.
-What kind of bike was that?
It was like a fixed wheel, so like, to break you'd have to pedal backwards.
-Showing his age now.
-So, it reminded me of that.
What you're doing is you want to make sure the plate is solid with ink.
So, with your right hand, pick up a sheet of that blue card,
that's it, into there,
nice and square and just, that's it, take your hands out.
Next time you're down at the bottom, there,
that lever will just push forward gently...
And that takes the press, pull that lever back now, please.
-Look at that!
-Yeah, it's good.
-OK, that's great.
-Leaving the backing there, if you can, and then have a look at that. So, look at that.
So, look at that, so, a bright bright for Bianca.
-I am quite quirky.
-No, it's says bright.
-Yeah, but it's still got a quirky feel to it.
I like it because, where it's come slightly off-line,
it has the effect I wanted. So, I'm happy with that.
So, if it was round the correct way, it wouldn't mean anything.
It would just say the word bright. The fact that there's something
going on there is the thing that makes it interesting, typographically.
It's really lovely. I really like it. Really simple.
I think something about that is really classy.
Creating something with your hands can be as simple,
or as complicated as you like.
Even a single sheet of paper can be made into something quite beautiful.
Sam Sang discovered Origami, while working as an IT consultant
and he hasn't stopped folding since.
He's going to show us how to make an Origami lily,
which can also be made into LED fairy lights.
You need a square piece of paper.
I've got a nice pink one.
So, um, we're going to start with the white side.
Everyone needs a creative outlet.
Everyone needs to be able to choose something they can touch and feel.
It's a response to our digital lifestyles.
Just poke it in the middle, all the way down and it'll kind of pop.
Origami allows you to focus on what you're doing right there,
without any distractions from work or life or money troubles.
What should happen now is that it stays open a little
bit like a bird mouth, looking for a worm.
Just pick up a piece of paper, a bill, or a receipt or just
a crumpled piece of paper and you can start folding.
If you're interested in giving Origami a go,
just visit our website, where you can follow instructions.
It's slow, isn't it? It looks amazing.
-It's such a lovely yellow.
-Yeah, it's really hard work though.
In Northumberland, the hooky seat cushions are taking shape
under the watchful eye of rug expert, Heather.
-I'm climbing the tree trunk there.
You're getting there.
Well, I just had a failure actually, cos I got hold of it
and it all pulled out. What do you say then?
Just keep quiet, no.
..I felt like saying something.
The students are working on their foregrounds.
First, hooking the outlines before filling in the shapes.
Have you done this all your life then, pretty much?
No, I moved into the Yorkshire Dales in 1971, um and everybody made rugs.
I was of the era when the children got to bed
and the mat frames came out and every night
I would be making mats and I really got quite addicted to it.
The thing was, I would have liked to have really painted and I used to paint
but I didn't think my paintings were very good and then
I discovered I could do a scene on a rug and everybody loved it.
This was when I knew I was coming to Bamburgh...
Oh, that's Bamburgh Castle!
So, oh, do you recognise it? Oh, good! Good on you.
That's great cos it's just my impression of Bamburgh Castle.
It's not finished yet. I'm working on it.
I love the sky.
And so, it's just lots of wools, hand spun
and just hand cut fabrics have gone into that.
I've always, um,
had a huge empathy for anyone that's lost their vision because my
dad was blind and when Dad lost his sight, he wouldn't have a guide dog.
-He said he had a little girl.
And she would be his sight, his eyes and that's what I was.
And everywhere we went, we counted the steps.
So, we'd count the steps between the lamps, so he didn't bump into them,
the steps across the street, so he knew where the kerbs were.
So, that's my little memory rug of Dad and walking round Sunderland.
-You've got the light beautiful on the reflection...
-You like it?
..the light on the building.
Well, it's just a bit of artistic licence, have a bit of fun.
Got my piles now.
Got my blues, my yellows and my reds.
Cos I want to try and keep a limited colour.
That's gorgeous. That's lovely, yes.
Now, I've got this little magic tool here.
It's a kaleidoscope and if you zoom in on that, that will
mix the colours for you in there.
-Oh, I wondered what that was for!
-Yeah, it's my little secret gadget.
So, you zoom in on there and it'll let you see the colours.
-Your eye would see them from the distance.
And then, you see, you can take one out if you don't like it,
or say if you fancied that, put that in and you can play...
No, I don't like that.
No, till you've got the arrangement you want.
Isn't it fabulous?
-Have a look at that.
-It's my favourite little thing.
Look at this bobbly wool. This is really good, isn't it?
-I bought this in the charity shop the other day.
-You bought that!
-This is when she gave me too much change.
I think it's a bit heavy to do a bit more, isn't it, really?
Can I get a bit carried away with the...
-Oh, right, it looks good. Yeah.
-Shall I do a whole row of it?
The sheep wool that Mary and John brought from their farm
is proving particularly popular.
I'm trying to, um, create quite a woolly, fluffy effect,
so I can show, hopefully, it'll look a bit more wavy.
That's the idea, like the wave tops.
Is this like how it comes off the sheep?
-That's straight off the sheep. Straight off the sheep...
The lanolin in it, in your hands. You'll have lovely soft hands.
It smells amazing, though.
-It's really, really er...
-It does! Smells really nice.
It's a good smell.
Indra is also using some wool for the guinea fowl
feathers on the seat cushion she's making for her son.
It's getting a bit better now I've found this fluffy stuff.
It makes it a bit more feathery like.
So, what does your son do with his feather collection?
Um, he has a nice little box and he just keeps them in there
-and he shows them to everybody.
And wants to look at them. That's it, isn't it?
-That's his joy.
-That's his joy.
-That's really nice.
I do suffer from anxiety quite a lot and I've had some pretty bad
spells of it over the time, and I do think that crafting's helped no end.
It really just gives you that chance not to have to think
and that's part of the,
the problem with anxiety is that you overthink things.
Anxiety for me
has always been about feeling the need to get everything right, all the time
and it's difficult to do that and sometimes you
fall into this kind of cycle of self-doubt and things snowball.
So, you start off with a little seed of a thought about something,
which is nothing and it gradually, it builds into something much bigger and much worse.
And I think, with craft, what it gives you is that time not to have
those thoughts, cos actually you're thinking about doing something else.
You know, you're focused on doing this, for example, so I think
it's a really, really, powerful tool to help, kind of, calm your mind.
Indra, I was at home last night and wondered
if you'd like this colour for your background?
Oh! That is fantastic!
I thought it had a bit of shine that might look really nice on yours.
Oh, I actually do love that. Thank you so much!
Not at all.
With everyone making good progress with their hooking technique,
Heather's confident that they can tackle a variation.
I would like to introduce you to the proddy technique.
You've been doing the hooky but now, you need to do the proddy.
You might want to incorporate some of this into your designs.
Prodding uses short strips of fabric,
which can be prodded in from behind or pulled through the front
using a spring hook, which pinches the short strips through the front.
So, you're gripping it like tweezers, pincers, and you leave go.
You can't do much detail in this
because you've got this shaggy effect here but you might
want to incorporate that into some of your designs you're doing.
I might have hooked a rug and I feel I want to put a little border
round, so this one might make a nice fancy little border for me.
Oh, I like that border idea.
Yeah, so you can make a nice little frilly border.
Just tried the proddy technique
and I've just used it on the leaves here and I've cut them
on a point to make them look more like leaves, rather than flat ends.
So, I'm going to do that for some other leaves a bit later on.
Right, guys, you've got 30 minutes to finish.
-Ooh, come on, come on.
-Can't be done! Can't be done!
Yes, it can. It has to be done.
-That a way, Hennie!
-That a way!
I've got a lot to do in 30 minutes so,
I'm just going to get my head down and keep going.
-Let's have a look, Tracy, hold it up for me.
I'm not holding it up!
I'm on a roll, I'm not stopping.
Yeah, you're well up.
-You're going to be the first to finish.
-You're going to be the first to finish.
-Indra's finished? Oh, gosh.
I decided just to make another border edge
because there's still enough time and I really don't have
anything else to do, which never happens in my life but,
no laptop here, no kids, no dentistry, so another border it is.
Down to literally the last three, maybe four stitches.
What about you, Tracy?
More than that.
-She's too busy to talk.
Yeah, you could hear a pin drop couldn't you now?
Hear my brain whirring away.
Yeah. You've beaten me.
Oh, no, no it wasn't. All right, that was a, that was a false start.
I've just seen, I've seen a little gap...I forgot to fill in.
Right across the country, people are expressing themselves using
all sorts of different materials.
Well, these are um, woollen painting.
I was looking for something creative, something that
would give me a bit of light in a deep, deep, deepest depression,
something colourful and bright and therapeutic and I found felting.
It's wonderful. It's my life, you know? It's my love.
This is a little quilt that was made in HMP Wandsworth.
I teach prisoners to quilt.
A lot of the prisoners, I was going to say,
banged up, for a very long time and it gives them
a real feeling of hope and it fosters a great sense of self worth.
How good is that?
Long time I haven't seen beautiful Japanese cherry blossom
but if I make cherry blossom by paper,
I can keep forever and it's beautiful and it makes me happy.
I'd quite like to move on to the more detailed projects
that we're going to have a look at this afternoon.
In the letterpress studio,
the students are preparing to design their main prints.
You want to make a project together.
-OK, do you know what it is you want to do?
We want to make Save The Dates for our wedding.
-OK, you getting married?
-January 19th. Yeah.
Where's the ring? OK, well, well done.
Right...do you, have you a strong idea?
Strong idea? I would like to take a couple of lines from a poem...
OK great. What kind of poem is that?
It's a poem that I wrote and it's in Jamaican Patois,
so I like that sort of quirkiness of having the patois in letterpress.
Otis is a woodworker
and his design is based on his favourite carpentry phrase.
Measure twice and cut once, which is quite a kind of, you know,
I think it's quite relevant to me.
Making runs in the family.
His dad, Neil, is a professional engraver.
He's carved the gravestones of, amongst others,
Malcolm McLaren and Patrick Caulfield.
Over the 40 years of my career, you learn a lot of things.
You make memorials and headstones for young,
very young and sometimes very old, if they're lucky.
So, really poignant stuff, really.
Poignant stuff and one of the things that seriously plays with me,
is live for today.
It's not a rehearsal.
-And I want to somehow create that.
What's important, I think at this stage is to,
-just to dive straight into the design thing.
If you work there, Lorna, if you guys kind of come round
to working here and then, if you two work side by side over there.
Yeah, take a sheet of paper with you
so you've got your size to work to and then good luck
and I will be, heads down, coming down, thank you very much.
Let's get on.
The thing is, like, well my daddy's dead now
but he used to write poetry.
For over 20 years,
Lorna's Jamaican father would write letters to her, in rhyme.
And so, it's given me that love for rhyming.
Not necessarily for writing but for writing poetry,
so that's how I got into writing poetry.
-Fantastic, so, I see it's from the correspondence from your father really.
Lorna is from East Sussex.
She's studying knitting at the Royal College of Art.
-What is the title?
-A soh it goh.
-And so it go?
-And so, that's the way it goes.
-That's the way it goes...
-Yeah, but we like to say, a soh it goh.
The reason why I wrote the poem was because, you know,
when people say like, as a black person, where'd you come from?
And you say, I was born in England. But where do you really come from?
So, it was a response to that and saying that you can't take my identity.
What you have you can't take from me.
No, you can't take my identity.
So, it's only two lines from a longer poem.
How mixed do you think the font needs to be?
No, I'm not going to mix the fonts cos I think
because it is a patois, you're going to have to take time to read it,
so I just want it bold and simple.
Lorna has opted to use a tall, slim, sans serif font.
So look, we've got an A in this font and an A in this one. And we've got...
-Ah, is there a reason why you putting them upside down?
Is there a reason why you're putting them upside down?
Yeah, so cos we're reading everything upside down initially
-and this is where you're going to enjoy yourself.
-W, A, T.
So, it's left to right but it's upside down.
-But I've got a, I can't...
-That's all right.
-Unless you've got a mirror...
-We have got a mirror.
With the mirror.
Cos I can't...I know what you're saying.
If you do this and in here is the image.
Oh, yeah, OK, yeah, yeah, I could look at that all day.
That's like, it's like magic.
-Do you want the proper names or do you want Ant and B?
-No, I want B.
Or do you want Anthony? Or Anthony and Bianca?
No, Ant and B, a bit more personal.
-He stole my heart, so I stole his name?
-So, I'm stealing his name.
Oh, I'm sorry, so I'm stealing his name.
And, um, we'll put A & B.
-Save the date. Do you want the location?
Ant proposed to Bianca on New Year's Day
last year and they're getting married next summer.
We met online... Online dating.
So we're a new age couple.
Yes, definitely. Um...I wasn't on very long.
I didn't really like it.
I said to her she was lucky, cos I was on there quite a while
and in the two weeks she was all right, she found someone.
But um, yeah, and um, two, two and a half years,
nearly three years, here we are.
Bianca has already chosen the colour scheme for their wedding.
Obviously having the duck egg blue colour, so...
I don't even know what duck egg blue is...
-Duck egg blue.
-How many times have I showed you the colour?
It's a bit different when you think about a print cos in a printer, you just go,
bold, Microsoft word, this bold, that bold
but on a printing press you've got to think about these things.
So, where it's a str... It's um, it's interesting.
I don't think I've ever seen you so into something, or focused on something.
Especially when it comes to the wedding.
East, I need Sussex, we just need an X.
I think this is the X.
Yeah. Yeah. Sussex.
-Is that it?
-So, there's East Sussex and then we need 25th of the 8th 2019.
See both of you kind of understand the structure quite quickly.
-It all makes sense to you, doesn't it?
-Yeah, it does.
It is working it out but that's when you get the hang of it,
-it's not too bad.
See... I then T, I, then I need a T.
What me have you can't take from...
What's that say?
-It might be a bit tight but...
-Tight on space.
Yeah, I think it's going to work, yeah.
That's really good. I'm happy with that.
Every dyslexic person is different but for me,
if I were going to think about a word, I have to close my eyes
and then I have to see the word, like there, but doing this,
I can physically feel the word as well, so it's really helpful.
That's a really nice help you know, emotional response.
Yeah, I can like actually feel it, yeah...
This is good and this is like another step of my journey of
having a relationship with words.
I'm very proud of myself that I've been able to do it.
To add emphasis to her poem, Lorna has decided to replace the I,
in identity, with an upturned exclamation mark.
I'll just have it on identity I think.
Just to make that sort of individual...
..but in a subtle way.
-Very understated way, yeah.
-Cos I am very subtle.
-Yeah, no. I can see that!
That's lovely. I think that's a really nice touch.
It's all working out. Do you know what that is? Good design.
Having finished setting their type, it's time for all
the students to begin locking them into a frame, ready for printing.
This is known as building the form.
To do this, drop a metal frame, known as a chase, over your type.
Now you need to consider the composition of your print.
Where do you want your word on the paper?
If you like your word on the top left of your print,
move it to the bottom left of the chase,
always remembering that printing works the wrong way round.
You then need to fill in all the empty space around the work,
with blocks of lead.
These are known as furniture.
Next up, you need to lock up your form
by finding space for some coins.
These are blocks that, when tightened,
expand to hold everything together.
To finish, take a heavy block of wood, known as a plainer
and gently hit the locked-in type to ensure the letters
and the leads are nice and level.
Now you're ready for printing.
Give that a squeeze.
Patience, my dear.
-Doing my head in this is. God's sake!
-Tighten that one.
So, if you do that, it pushes this out a fraction.
I don't think I've got a lot of patience.
Clearly not! Then go back to this.
Back to this.
So, you have to be patient.
You can't not be patient with this.
There is no rush.
Before printing on card,
the students must first do a test print on paper, known as a proof,
to make sure they're happy with the design and the spacing of the words.
-Moment of truth?
Walk along with it. Let it run through your fingers.
You'll feel the impression there, right to the end and you'll,
you'll bounce off the springs. Keep going. OK, lift this up.
So, first proof.
I like this part here and here and here.
It's lovely. Really nice and I like the... I do like the bits missing.
I love the wood type.
Yeah, the wood type's great.
The only thing that jumps out to me, is that the Y is quite a long
way away on the today, from everything else.
-Yes, it needs...
-So, it needs a bit of refinement.
With final tweaks made, there's just one job remaining...
Why are you laughing at me?
..to print their final work.
Ugh, excited, yeah.
-We're going to do a good print, OK?
-Yeah? All right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I like that.
That's brilliant. Yeah, I like, yeah. That's good.
-Thank you so much. I'm so happy with that.
Yeah, I'm absolutely speechless cos I'm that happy.
How about that? That is a miracle.
That is a miracle, I agree.
I'm feeling really excited.
Obviously made me think about my wedding loads more
-and it's been really nice building this together, hasn't it?
From scratch, cos we've done all of it from scratch.
I'm used to doing something very sort of staid
and maybe a little bit fixed and it's been lovely to have some
freedom and allow the juices to flow a bit.
I'm really, really, really, really chuffed with it.
It's come out better than I could have expected.
It's like a real tribute to my dad and wherever he is now, well,
I hope he's up there in heaven, he'll be smiling at me,
thinking, "Wow, I'm proud of you, daughter."
Right, so how do you all feel? Cos I'm ecstatic!
In Bamburgh, the students have finished hooking their seat cushions.
I just think they're absolutely fabulous.
Just hold them up, let me look at them.
That's absolutely gorgeous.
You can hear it barking.
I'm really happy with it, actually.
Yeah, loving the little dog.
It's quite Art Deco, that.
Ah, I'm very pleased you said that.
Right, come on then, let's see yours, Indra.
-Oh, look at that!
-Once in a blue moon.
You would know that it was meant to be
Lindesfarm Castle by the shape of it.
Right, yeah, good.
-Yay, that's wonderful.
I wouldn't have imagined a farmer to do something so beautiful
and artistic as that.
-Very good. Well done.
-It's weird how different they look out of the frame, actually.
To transform their designs into seat cushions, the students simply
remove their hessian from the hoop, cut away the excess, then fold the
raw edge over and hem the overlap, onto the back of the hessian.
Finally, they stich on a piece of fabric for the backing,
ready for it to go on a chair.
With room for one more, Indra's son,
Olly has come to see what his mum's been busy making.
Mummy made something, especially for Olly! Look!
-What is this?
-This is all feathers.
I made them all for you.
Do you know which bird these are from?
Oh, it's a good cup of tea, is this, I'll tell ya.
-Wey, Yorkshire brew?
-Oh, it better be.
It's really comfy.
It's a lot better just than a wooden chair, isn't it?
I've got five more now to make for the dining table!
I think we should propose a toast to Heather, here.
If you've been inspired and want to make any of the things you've
seen in the show, just visit our website...
Next week, a new set of students will master the art of cross-stitch...
This forces you to slow down.
I have absolutely no sense of time at the moment.
..and silver jewellery.
So pleased with that, look at that.
Quite emotional about it.
The first episode follows two groups of novice crafters as they master the art of hooky rugmaking and traditional letterpress. Meanwhile, origami artist Sam Tsang teaches how to make something beautiful from a single sheet of paper, folding an origami lily which can then be made into LED fairy lights.
On the north east coast in Bamburgh village, world-renowned rugmaker Heather Ritchie welcomes six amateur crafters to her two-day workshop in the local cricket pavilion. She teaches them how to 'hook' their own personalised seat cushions, inspired by their favourite places.
Heather has been hooking rugs for over 30 years. She discovered rugmaking in the early 70s after moving into a cold, flagstoned cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. The hooking technique allowed her to use recycled fabrics to produce rugs that insulated her home. After getting 'hooked' on the basic technique, her functional household rugs soon developed into intricate works of art, each one capturing a memory from her past.
The workshop is attended by married couple Adam and Tracy, dentist Indra, A&E doctor Lucy and local farmers Mary and John, who bring some sheep fleece along to use in their work.
Meanwhile, in south London, wordsmith and typographer Kelvyn Smith invites five students into his print studio for a one-day masterclass in letterpress printmaking. The 350-year-old printing process is new to all of Kelvyn's students, so over the course of the day they learn how to use a composing stick, how to set type and build a form, before proofing and printing their own pieces of work.
The workshop is attended by engaged couple Ant and Bianca, gravestone engraver Neil and his carpenter son Otis, and textiles student Lorna.
Lorna initially struggles with the concept of writing 'upside down and left to right', but has a breakthrough when she's given a mirror to hold up against her work. In the end her poster - a written tribute to her dad, a poet - exceeds all hopes. 'It's come out better than I could have expected.'
Back in Bamburgh, the hooky seat cushions are ready to go on chairs, and the students take a stroll to the beach for a celebratory slice of cake and cup of tea to try them out for size.
Sheep farmer John's work really impresses teacher Heather - 'now who'd have thought a sheep farmer could make something as beautiful and artistic as that?'.