On Friday 24th May I am hosting two perfume making workshops at Manchester cradft and design centre. One at 11am – 1pm and one at 2 – 4pm.
These 2 hour workshops begin with me introducing my unique, artistic approach perfumery and giving a working demonstration of how to make an Eau De Toilette. I will guide you through all aspects of perfume design including an explanation of fragrance types, an introduction to fragrance notes and how to blend oils to achieve the perfect fragrance. Then, under my support and guidance, you will have a chance to make a 50ml perfume of your own by choosing from an extensive selection of essential oils and fragrance oils. You will also get the chance to decorate the bottle and you will be able to take the perfume home on the day.
These workshops are suitable for men and women and are a great introduction into the art of perfumery, a great way of learning a new skill and a brilliant opportunity to create something truly unique. The price of each workshop is£20, inclusive of all materials.
If you would like to find more information about the 11am – 1pm session click here
If you would like to find more information about the 2 – 4pm session click here
I hope to see you this Friday!
I don’t tend to structure blog posts around specific perfume making workshops but my most recent workshop – delivered at Access Space just last Thursday – felt rather significant.
It’s been almost two years to the day since embarking on Perfume as Practice. initially, I felt something of a chancer; equipped with nothing other that a desire to learn more about the craft of perfumery and how to apply it to contemporary art practice. Two years of persistence, experiments, empirical and scholarly research, however, and I feel armed with knowledge enough to deliver meaningful learning experience.
It’s very satisfying to see the fruits of my labour translated in this way, with feedback from the workshop consisting of people explicitly saying they feel they’ve learned something; I’d provided an alternative way of thinking and I’d highlighted scent as a viable mode of communication.
Feedback from previous workshops had been a little more vague, still positive, but consisting largely of general terms such as ‘fun’ and ‘different’. While I really appreciate any positive feedback, it’s nevertheless pleasing to see the weightier, conceptual side of Perfume as Practice emerge from workshop delivery.
Yesterday I held a perfume making workshop at Bank Street Arts which gave the participants the chance to make their own fragrance and gave a sneak peek (or a sneak sniff) of some of the perfumes that will be on display for my upcoming exhibition.
Within a formal and relaxed atmosphere I talked a little about my approach to perfumery and how it can be a platform for portraiture. I then gave a demonstration of the perfume making process before overseeing participants make scents of their own.
I don’t claim to be a perfume making expert but one string to my bow which separates me from conventional perfumers is the freedom of experimentation and failure. It doesn’t matter if I make a bit of a hash of a fragrance, because it’s a learning process. And it doesn’t necessarily matter if a fragrance smells nice, because my approach seeks to place perfumery within a fine art context. I think this translates into a pertinent learning experience, which seems to have inspired, and made people think about the possibilities of scent and the implications of finding alternative functions of a pre-conceived product.
All in all, this workshop was a great way to talk about perfume from the context of fine art and I’ll be running drop-in workshops during my exhibition.
So, I’ve finally gone and done a bit of teaching. I have finally imparted whatever remnants of wisdom I have onto others, which they can apply to their own artistic endeavours. How did it go? Well, rather bloody well actually. And I am very grateful to Cupola Gallery for their hospitality and for thinking that a paint making workshop was a good idea in the first place.
My workshop seems to be pretty solid ‘straight out of the box,’ with only a few tweaks needed for my next gig at Bank Street Arts. 5 people attended, which was perfect because I was able to conduct the workshop with a sense of informality. It felt more like a few friends with like-minded ambitions that came together to chat about an artistic endeavour, which was lovely, as I was instantly able to feel at ease.
I started by introducing myself and my practice and showed examples of my paint applied to a surface. I then proceeded to conduct a working demonstration of how paint is created before the attendees had a go themselves: A pretty simple yet effective workshop model. However, whilst I knew more or less what to expect, what I hadn’t bargained for was how I would feel afterwards. A palpable sense of accomplishment engrossed me as I knew that those who attended had gone away with something useful, tangible and captivating.
However, my workshop was by no means perfect. Hare a few things that I will tweak for the future:
- I need a few more props and materials. – I didn’t bargain for the volume of work that would be created. Bringing too many materials would be more beneficial than bringing just enough. I ran out of eggs part way through – though that was easily redeemed by nipping to ASDA. I also ran short of canvas board. Which was less redeemable, but I got round it by supplying paper and acetate. I also think that a hand-out, describing and imbedding what I said throughout the workshop, would be valuable for attendees to take home.
- I need to remember that there is value in what I have to say – I felt a little awkward initially adopting the role of a teacher. What I do as an artist is quite idiosyncratic and intuitive: But I think that if what I do can’t be imparted in some way, allowing people to apply it to their own way of thinking, then it is useless. Workshops are a good way to share experiences, and the reason why people attend a workshop like this is to learn. Embracing the teacher dynamic with confidence may make for more coherent and engaging workshop in the future.
So, with this, and my experience in mind, I will now strive to make my Bank Street Arts paint making workshop every bit a success.
If you’re interested in attending my paint making workshop at Bank Street Arts on 28th September, you can find details here – https://www.facebook.com/events/649424818409817/?ref=22