Colin, Sarah and Jackie run small craft workshops in a variety of different venues. Please contact us if you would like to run a workshop at your venue or if you would like to participate.
We run workshops in:
Carving and whittling and other bespoke wood crafts
Lino cutting and printing on paper and fabric
Slow Stitch and Japanese 'Boro Stitching' inspired projects.
Here is a link to the Mindset Group at Beamish 2019
Our classes are very much focused on learning a skill and at the same time slowing down and enjoying the moment. There is an element of being in the zone and being mindful of the present activity that you are concentrating on. Something that is often referred to mindfulness.
Our daily lives of work families, chores and rushing around doing things and being places can put a stress on our mental and physical well-being.
When we engage with our digital devices we are bombarded with images and movies and messages that affect our brains. The heavy use of digital media can lead to feelings of loss of cognitive control—not just a loss of attention, but a loss of our ability to control our mind and what we think about. To this extent it can be important to “cut off”, slow down and engage with one thing at a time.
When we take up a craft, we have to engage fully with ourselves. This helps us to be in the moment, to concentrate on one activity and gain a sense of calm. When you make something, you have to focus on the skill. In many crafts these skills are often repetitive, soothing, and meditative which allows you to concentrate with full focus.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (phonetic guide to saying his name: “Me high? Cheeks send me high!”) describes this as “flow” which is the perfect state between concentration and action. Activities that allow us to be in the zone means that everyday problems drop away, and any stresses are diminished. This helps you relax.
Also, when we are being creative, our brains release dopamine, a natural antidepressant which helps us feel good while we are undertaking a crafting activity but also has longer term affects afterwards. As such creative pastimes that engage our minds have a positive impact on the brain and helps us keep our brains active throughout our lives.