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Crafting for Adults

The arts and crafts scene is a thriving one here in Cornwall. The stunning Cornish scenery has been offering inspiration for decades and to a range of artists, such as the famous sculpture artist Barbara Hepworth:

“where the land of Cornwall ends and the cliffs divide as they touch the sea facing west. At this point, the setting sun across the Atlantic, where the sky and sea blend with hills and rocks, the forms seem to enfold the watcher and lift him towards the sky.”

As time currently appears to stand still, many of us are also turning to the arts to keep boredom at bay and spirits lifted. From brushing up on long-forgotten quilting skills, or taking up brushes for the first time, here’s some inspiration on crafting your way through quarantine.

Painting symbols

Break the Rules

“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” Pablo Picasso.

With lots of time to fill, we’re taking the lead from creative greats like Pablo Picasso and David Hockney, and letting our inner painting genus reveal themselves with paints and brushes. Whether you have painted before or are picking up brushes or a pencil for the first time, the rule is that there are no rules. Whether it is the act of mindful painting or drawing that you are keen to enjoy or perhaps creating a keepsake reminder of this unusual time, painting and drawing is one of the most mindful of activities as it can be so immersive.

British painter David Hockney, currently enjoying lockdown in Normandy, suggests we escape quarantine by freeing our imaginations through paints and pencils. Or indeed, an iPad and painting software like Procreate, as he has been doing in his exclusive collection of spring works, released as a one-off during this uncertain time.

With spring in her full glory of fruit-tree blossom and verdant greenery, there’s no better inspiration than looking out the window or finding an image from our mobile photo scroll.

Hobbycraft are currently offering daily free kids craft classes and also have lots of other great adult craft tutorials, such as ‘how to make a family of clay planters’, embroidery projects to customise your clothing, lino printing and crafting with beeswax. This April is all about amigurumi, the Japanese craft of crocheting small animals. Once you have mastered a skill, don’t forget to try breaking the rules and see where it takes you.


Time is the Magical Ingredient

No matter what craft you are turning your hands to, it is time that is the magical ingredient and for many of us, time is in bountiful supply at the moment. In an era of fast-paced living and constantly being digitally connected, perhaps now is a nice time to try a ‘slow craft’ and as a bonus pick up the rare skill of patience. Spending hours whittling a piece of discarded wood into a spoon or bowl is a wonderful way to while away hours on end. Crafting something from nothing is immensely satisfying and the fact that it takes hours makes it all the more precious. The same as crochet, knitting, embroidery, and quilting. Starting a project such as a wooden house number is a time commitment as much about setting the goal of making a gift for a loved-one or a special one-off piece for a nursery or bedroom.


Today is the Day to Learn Something New

Never before have we valued our postal and delivery network as we do now. And perhaps now is the time to put more effort and thought into our letters. If you’ve already got half-decent handwriting, or perhaps you’ve been inspired by helping your school-kids with their ‘joined-up’ handwriting, then now may be the time to try an online calligraphy course. There are lots of YouTube tutorials that you can follow at your own pace. Another popular use for brushing up on your brush strokes is for creating letter art, such as for your favourite quotes and sayings. Once you’ve mastered calligraphy, how about creating your own paper too for your unique wall art.


Sometimes a Little Me Time is all You Need

Whilst one of the biggest benefits of crafting for adults is being on your own and focusing, for others it can be a sociable activity too. So, whilst you may have been invited to countless virtual house parties and quiz games, how about simply crafting together, virtually. Set up Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or whatever you are using to keep close to those that you miss, and sit together stitching, painting or colouring in. For those with a cheeky creative side, perhaps play Pictionary together over video call or set each other weekly drawing challenges and do a show-and-tell over a few glasses of pinot. There are lots of drawing challenges on Pinterest to choose from, such as a #30 day drawing challenge, with rules like ‘day 1 draw yourself as a monster (no blue allowed)’, 100 drawing and painting ideas for when you can’t think of anything or the April drawing challenge.

Colour NHS poster

Colour Through the Quarantine

Join in with the rainbow in the windows trail by colouring in your own posters. Sir Michael Craig-Martin is one of Britain’s top artists and he’s designed a poster for adults or children to colour in and display in windows as a ‘thank you’ for the selfless work of the NHS. The Gerber flower is central to the design, known for growing in a rainbow of happy colours, representing positivity and hope. Colouring in is extremely mindful and relaxing as well as helping us to stay indoors.

Here is the printable ‘thank you NHS’ poster.