TEXTILES AS A MEDIUM FOR RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT SCABIES
This page will contain some hints and tips about running workshops for the project.
Originally we envisaged four workshops:
- Three with junior school level children, in which they would be introduced to scabies, make textile artefacts make up stories about these.
- One with older pupils – possibly even in Higher Education, to make an animation from the stories, featuring the textile artefacts.
We soon realised that we had underestimated the time required to complete these activities. The schools were generous and well organised, and the staff amazingly supportive, but managing the expectations of 50+ children in each workshop was quite a handful for us.
The three junior level workshops went well, and you can read reports about these in the blog posts. We spaced them about a month apart to allow for administration and completion of things between the sessions.
This included: ordering materials, preparing the files for digital printing of the beanbags, planning the next sessions activities, preparing examples etc, and administration of the project.
Workshop 1: Activities – an introductory, illustrated talk about scabies with a Q&A session. Drawing pictures of scabies mites and things they remembered about scabies from the talk.
Preparation: illustrated presentation (PPT or equivalent) – check with school regarding IT requirements and a large enough venue for all children to draw afterwards.
- coloured pens/pencils or paints
- A4 plain paper – coloured or white
What we learned: using paints would have produced stronger drawings, with brighter colours and thicker lines. This would have reduced the time needed to edit the drawings so that they were bright enought and suitable for digital printing on fabric.
Things take a lot longer than we had anticipated. Originally we had thought they would stuff and close the mites during the second workshop (we planned to sew the outers together in advance). After this first workshop we decided to make and stuff the mites in advance, so that the children only decorated them.
Immediate action: Beanbag files edited and sent to digital print company.
Workshop 2: Activities -making mites, making information leaflets on scabies, making scabies badges, making the games mat.
The classes were divided into their own classrooms. In one, the mites and badges were made, in the other the games mat and information leaflets were made. Half way through (roughtly 45 minutes into the session), they swapped rooms.
Making the mat was a communal task, requiring 2 helpers, but it was simple to do the swap as the new children took up where the others had left off. Theyu dropped into the sewing and sticking between working on their information leaflets. These were individual, so the children started new ones when the classes swapped.
Mite-making involved decorating their own mites, and was very labour intensive, requiring 5-6 helpers for each class.
Preparation: cut-out and sew 50+ mites across sizes, using the patterns. Stuff the mites, and hand sew them closed. Make an example mite of each size, making sure they have the correct number of legs for their size.
Cut out mites for the mat, using the patterns for various sizes. Cut out the mat base. Sew on an example mite, stick on an example mite.
- sewing machine
- fabric scissors
- needles and thread
- badge making machine
making mites and mat
- odd lengths of bright printed and woven fabrics
- 2.5 metres wide felt fabric for mat base
- 1 x metre each of 3 different coloured felt fabric for mat mites
- sewing thread
- polyester stuffing
- large eyed needles
- ribbons and braids etc as available
- pipe-cleaners for legs
- stick-on eyes
- glue gun
- fabric glue – we used 4 tubes
making badges and information sheets
- 6 sets of thick and thin ended coloured felt-pens (it would have been useful to have had these for Workshop 1)
- pack of A4 coloured paper
- badge blanks
What we learned: that things take longer than anticipated! Again! Some children had not completed their mites,so we had to include this in the thrid workshop. The mat was not finished.
Workshop 3: storytelling, completing mites, pupils choose their bean bag and play the scabies scramble game. L9 and 10 Photography pupils from Seahaven Academy to attend with their cameras to work with story groups and record role play with the mites.
Preparation: sew and fill beanbags. Complete the scabies scramble game mat. Organise with Seahaven regarding transport and liaise with storyteller.
Materials: see workshop 2, plus
- 4 kg rice for beanbags
- 10 x flipchart pens
Seahaven Academy took the mites with them so that they had them for the additional Workshop 3a, discussed below. What we learned: more time needed for developing stories with Seahaven pupils, so another 2 hour workshop was organised to enable this.
Workshop 3a (interim, unplanned): storyteller working with Seahaven Academy students to develop storylines and storyboards.
Workshop 4: 9am-2.20pm working with animation consultants at Seahaven Academy in the IT suite laying down files and taking photos, developing animations using Photoshop.
- flip chart
- flip chart pens
What we learned: that things take longer than anticipated! Once again..Make sure that all photos are taken against a plain, neutral background to avoid lengthy editing out of the background. Scripts and storyboards must be written/made and available to all participants at least two weeks prior to this workshop. This means that props can be made, and voice overs recorded in advance.
Workshop 4a (interim, unplanned): 2 hours – complete taking the photos, record voice overs.
What learned: we had budgeted for an animator to facilitate the workshops and work on the animations, and this was indeed necessary. The animations will be completed by our consultant animator using all the material produced througout the workshops, but still working in close collaboration with us.