Chinese centipede kite

With summer upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to look at arts and crafts with an outdoor theme, so here is one which might inspire you to try your hand at kite making. This is a traditional centipede kite from China.

Kites don't have to be this complex to make, and I will find some simpler examples to share with you soon. Paper and paint kites like this allow one to be very artistic.

Artists Access to Art Colleges

Artists Access to Art Colleges (AA2A) is a scheme run in the UK that allows artists to work in a university or college setting. It gives selected artists the chance to spend up to 100 hours at the institution during the course of the academic year, where they can use the studios, workshops, lending libraries and lecture programs. The scheme provides visual artists and designer makers with the opportunity to undertake a period of research or to realize a project. There are 22 colleges participating in the scheme. Here is Maggies Ayres, (a textile and mixed media artist), talking about her experience at the University of Cumbria.

Have you spotted the newest feature to be added to Craft Videos? Scroll down to the bottom of the page and take a look. I will update it every week.

Simple letterpress card making

Traditional printing techniques use woodblocks, linocuts or moveable type to transfer ink to the paper. This simple technique uses a glue gun to make the master.

Thanks to Laura of Prismera Design for making this video.

Willow hurdles

Here is a short video showing a hurdle being made from willow.

These are made in Somerset, the county of my birth. Willow growing and the associated crafts of hurdle making and basketry are a traditional craft of the area, dating back to at least the Iron Age.

These hurdles are made at English Hurdle, Stoke St. Gregory:

The hurdlers weave up to 10 strands of spraggly withies at one time horizontally on an upright jig, like carpet weavers at a loom. The craftsmen have to grapple with the springy willow to create the tautness necessary for hard-wear and long life. Each hurdle, as well as other withy products, bears the mark of its maker. Visitors may choose their preferred style and their entire order is woven up by the same maker.

Their website shows many different style of hurdle, as well as many other willow products such as arbours and arches.

Building and using a simple letterpress

Here is a nice little video showing the construction and use of a simple letterpress.