Alphabets to Winter Knits

For the latter half of April we welcomed back Veronica Grow of Old School the New School for an evening of Modular Typography – Building An Alphabet. With 325 sheets of differently coloured and designed paper to work through we got busy drawing, cutting and gluing to create our very own alphabets from geometric shapes. It was so interesting to see the different approaches that everyone took and Veronica suggested that we were “travelling down the road to a typographic nirvana”.

Then, we had the Partisoglou family back, this time for an evening of Chocolate Making. Tina and Christos explained all the ins and outs of making some delicious treats and suggested that chocolate making is not hard, but it is very fiddly. We made star anise and honey infused chocolates, raspberry ganache, and none of it lasted very long, despite vows to savour it all! You can check out some of their crazy (but delicious!) chocolate concoctions on their website: Xocolatl.

Siobhan Donoghue taught an evening of Interior Design, including discussions on colour, textures, shapes and styles. The top tip for the evening is not to put all your furniture up against the walls, however tempting it may be.

We then had a fascinating class on Neuroplasticity with George Halasz. We learnt that a damaged brain can be changed and healed, a topic that is really hot at the moment since the old fashioned view was that injured brains are forever damaged. George explained this with the analogy of a dropped plastic plastic bottle, which can be remoulded, whereas a glass one merely shatters. We also learnt that women suffering with hysteria 100 years ago were considered to have a ‘wandering womb’. Really amazing stuff.

The following week, Mark Stevens gave us his One Man’s Introduction to Jazz, including the history and development of jazz, as well as an explanation as to how some things are recognised as jazz, whilst others are just random collections of notes.

Tom Ding then showed us the ‘pretty’ side of maths with The Most Beautiful Equation. With quotes, philosophy, pictures and history we worked our way from the number one, through to pi, zero and finally ‘imaginary’ numbers to end up with Euler’s e+ 1 = 0.

Next up was Claire Sessions with Grammar They Didn’t Teach You At School. We distinguished between strong and weak clauses, unmuddled our colons and semicolons and went away feeling a little more smug about ourselves.

Credit to Cyanide and Happiness for the awesome comic.

We also had a very relaxing evening Bookbinding with Aim Aris. Jazz was on in the background as we learnt how to use Coptic stitch to put some beautiful books together by hand.

Then we got a bit livelier as Michele Grimston led an adventure packed evening Exploring Drawing. We looked at the art of drawing from different perspectives, through different mediums, and aimed to lose the reservations and perfectionism we often have.

In Perfume: Fragrance Masterclass Samantha Taylor of The Powder Room talked to us about the secretive world of perfumers, what perfumes are made of and how they actually work. We also tried some perfumes and learnt how to choose what fragrances suit us.

From the secret world of perfume to The Secret World of Codes and Cryptography with Michael Patterson we discovered some of the different types of codes out there and how to crack them. From simple ciphers to more complicated formulas we slowly learnt to look for hidden messages in everything we see!

For the last evening of the month our knitter of chainmaille, Laura Smith, taught us the more conventional style of knitting with wool in Winter Knits For Beginners. Bollards, bikes and lampposts beware: there are now 25 eager new knitters in your midst.

And we finished off with a lesson on Playwriting from Bethany Simons. We looked at themes, structures and everything you might need to take your distant dream and get it down on paper and then onto the stage.

Come back soon to find out what we will be doing, or rather will have done, next month.