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Community Engagement Officer, Emma Smith reflects back at this year's taster workshops.

As another year draws to a close, we thought it was a good time to look back at our taster workshops this year. Our taster workshops are delivered by talented local creatives in Hull. The workshops aim to offer people the opportunity to do something creative, gain new skills and bring people together through maritime-themed activities and crafts. Sessions are run by community craft group #WeMadeThisHull and also by local artists Jemma Brown and Rachel Elm.

Wool wrapping artworks created with the Lighthouse Project. Photo credit #wemadethishull.
Weaving workshop with Portobello Methodist Church. Photo credit #wemadethishull.
Badge making at the Bransholme Chat Shop. Photo credit: Jemma Brown.
What Have We Done?

A wide range of creative activities have taken place in 2023’s taster workshops including lino printing creations inspired by the hull mermaid, soap scrimshaw, mural painting, wool wrapping maritime pictures, marbling, creating narwhal puppets and lantern making. 225 people have taken part in a workshop in 2023.

Developing New Skills

Our taster workshops have given people the chance to develop or learn a wide range of skills. People have learnt new creative skills including lino printing, mural painting, weaving, drawing and marbling. In many cases this was the first time they’d had a go at this artistic process. People have also developed communication and collaboration skills and have enjoyed the opportunity to meet someone new. The workshops also give people the chance to learn more about our maritime heritage and to engage with history in a fun and creative way.

Lino printing and marbling workshop inspired by the Hull Mermaid. Photo credit: Jemma Brown.
What People Think About the Taster Workshops

“Can we have more sessions?”

“Loved this, haven’t explored maritime before but we’re really interested in history”

“My teacher told me I was bad at art, but I’m doing it!”

“So interesting”

“The wreaths activity at Cups and Scoops was good a great venue and [very] relaxed.”

Why We Do It

There have been many positive impacts from the taster workshops with most people reporting to have met someone knew, learned a new skill and learned something new about Hull’s maritime heritage. The workshops have also given people an opportunity to explore ideas creatively and try new media and creative techniques and processes.

“I love the way people from different walks of life all come together to create a project that is different to anything they have done before. Learning new skills, meeting new people, knowing a bit more about our maritime history all add up to a friendly taster session.” (Jane, #wemadethishull Chair)

“The students loved the tasks which challenged their imagination and creativity. We looked at legendary tales and sea creatures capturing news and old ideas with their drawings and interpretations. The students are aged 14+ and come from a variety of backgrounds, with differing abilities. The students thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and it was a great end to the year.” (Teacher at Venn Boulevard Centre about artist Jemma’s workshops)