The Knowledge Partnership’s 2019 Summer Social this year took the team on a creative discovery at Chapel Allerton’s Inkwell Arts Centre.
Run as a part of Leeds Mind (coincidentally TKP’s Charity of the Year), Inkwell welcomed the team in for a day away from their usual work in the digital realm. On the agenda: Batik and Pottery. Our artists split into two groups, taking it in turns to try their hands at each, before returning to admire the other group's gallery submissions.
Batik is the ancient Javanese art of dyeing cloth in different colour layers. Melted wax is drawn onto the cloth and left to harden, blocking out sections that the dye cannot permeate. The dye is applied and after it has dried, the whole process is repeated as many times as the artist chooses. It can be an interesting challenge to be forced to picture the end result before beginning, then work backwards subtractively to achieve it. With some spilt wax and careful intent, the artists came away with some entirely… unique… creations.
Over at the back of the building, the other half of the team were truly getting their hands dirty, creating original tiles from raw clay. The sculptors were tasked with rolling, cutting and shaping the tiles to the precise specifications of their artistic vision, before being shown how to apply pattern moulds and paint on different colours of slip (a kind of colouring that hardens in the kiln). Already looking good, the tiles were still in need of a good firing in the kiln, so at the end of the day, the team said goodbye to their future desk coasters.
Before heading home, the team was able to stop and appreciate everybody’s hard work and artistic sensibility. There wasn’t anyone that left without something they could be proud of creating.