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Chocolate for the Soul

November 8, 2009

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At work during yesterday’s Personal Creativity Workshop

We had 17 enthusiastic women who came with open hearts and minds, you couldn’t have wished for a better group.

The main concepts were Exploration, Creating and Reflection. Most exciting for me was to see people take risks and really move.

The simplest exercise surprised me the most. We took one material to explore, in this case, crêpe paper. The assignment was not to ‘make’ a product, but to see what the material could do. First it was torn, folded, twisted into threads, knotted, cupped, stretched. From there we worked with connection methods like sewing, glueing, tying, taping etc. And finally the brief was to combine two elements into one object, say a twisted rope with a bunched up wad.

Each table then got to choose the best objects and combine them into an exhibition for the rest of us. They were to find a uniting theme in the objects, name the exhibition and make an invitation for everyone. 

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This group’s exhibit was mounted on the wall and called, ‘Freedom’.

Like me, many of the participants were moved by the cooperation and exchange of ideas and inspiration such a simple concept could lead to.

We happily went to enjoy the delicious lunch cooked and catered by the organisers Aafke and Martine.

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Afterwards, we made leporello( accordion) books and simple pamphlet bound books. Here are some of the results.

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I had a wonderful day watching people get inspired by the materials and each other.

In designing this day, I drew a lot of inspiration from Keri Smith’s approach to playing with materials without having expectations or valuing the outcome. For many, the underpinnings of this approach; valuing mistakes and surprises, starting with what you have, paying attention to details in the environment, using the imagination and documenting your findings, were very different to the usual art class approach, ie, learn how to do something then make an aesthetically pleasing ‘good’ product with that technique.

Thanks to everyone, Baukje for your beautiful studio to work in, and the organisers and participants for making it a rewarding and fun day!

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5 Responses to “Chocolate for the Soul”


  1. I so glad to read how well the workshop went Sarah!

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Hi Michael, (they say I can reply via email, so this is a test. Thanks. If I do a drawing one, I can’t wait to introduce them to your site and books. cheers, S


  2. Sounds like an inspirational experience

  3. szoutewelle Says:

    hi madsilence,
    it was!


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