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TLC’s Hands-on Workshop Week

21 – 24 January 2020

The Learning Connexion is proud to present Summer Skills! This four-day event in January will take your creativity to new levels. Choose a class in either knife making, jewellery enamelling or leatherwork. Through a series of specialised boutique classes, run by experts in their fields and utilising our unique natural environment and resources, you’ll have a chance to supercharge your skills – and create your own new personalised works.

Summer Skills is about hands-on creativity, tapping into the history of the craft and creating your own unique piece of art. Whether it’s through jewellery enamelling, leatherwork or knife making, this is a rare chance to learn some wonderful old-school techniques with a contemporary twist of creativity. Enjoy a safe, hands-on, four days of fun guided by experienced tutors. Make a treasure you’ll value for a lifetime and create a summer memory you’ll want to share with friends and family.

Please note, spaces in Summer Skills are VERY limited, and expected to fill early. Enrol Now to avoid missing out on this rare opportunity to study with some of New Zealand's top creative talent.

For expressions of interest contact us at ps@tlc.ac.nz or on 0800 278 769.

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Meet our Summer Skills Tutors

Sally Laing – Jewellery Enamelling

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Taranaki designer jeweller and enameller Sally Laing originally hails from the United Kingdom, where her creative side was influenced by her grandmothers, who were both 'makers'. Her innate desire to create caught up with her and she left nursing to study art and design. Laing went on to study three-dimensional design in metals and train in Germany and England. Since then she has specialised in the art of vitreous enamelling, a complex process that entails fusing powdered coloured glass on to precious metals.

Her enamel and sterling silver contemporary heirloom jewellery has featured in exhibitions in New Zealand and across the globe.

When Laing moved to Taranaki she created her own haven, of sorts, in the seaside town of Oakura and has drawn inspiration from the colours, textures, patterns, and forms of the region's natural environment and wildlife to create her distinctive pieces.

People who attend her four-day Jewellery Enamelling Workshop can expect a chilled vibe where they can unleash their creative talents and produce their own piece of unique jewellery in silver and or enamel.

READ MORE about Sally's Jewellery Enamelling Workshop

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Tim Mills - Leatherwork

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Tim Mills has been working with leather since 1974, when he made his first leather belt.

Initially teaching himself, he gradually moved on to more complex projects including, bags, wall hangings, decorative projects, motorcycle accessories, chessboards, and furniture.

He currently works from his studio at Nautilus Creative Space in Owhiro Bay, Wellington. Tim’s work has appeared in many art exhibitions within New Zealand, and he is a member of the Association of New Zealand Leather Artisans. His work has been established with the domestic and export markets.

As an experienced tutor, having tutored at Southland and Nelson Bays Polytechnics, he is keen to share his knowledge with aspirants of leathercraft, both young and old. He combines a friendly approach with an in-depth knowledge of, and passion for leather.

People who attend his four-day Leather Workshop can expect to design and make items such as knife sheaths, journal covers, wallets, belts and sandals - take your choice.

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Dennis Berdinner – Knife Making

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Dennis is an experienced knife maker, with a life-long passion for sculpture and creativity. For the past 15 years, he has been passing his knife making skills on to hundreds of people as a well-respected tutor at The Learning Connexion School of Creativity and Art. "I am always amazed at how quickly they have been able to work with a design they have drawn up and then transform a piece of car spring into a purpose made tool," says Dennis. "Their delight with their handiwork is a thing of beauty too!"

Why knives? "Slicing a tomato with ease is a beautiful thing," he says. "A super sharp edge and a well-balanced knife makes all the difference when it comes to prepping food for a dinner or a picnic. I enjoy cooking and so teaching myself to make knives had a fairly primal motivation."

In addition to knife making, Dennis has been sculpting for as long as he can remember and works with soft and hard stone, wood, metal, snow and ice. His art draws on two sources: the external coastal environment where he lives and the inner world of his own imagination. Dennis likens creating sculpture to a mirror of his awareness and a process of self-revelation: “Through my work I explore my relationship with time, place and people”.

People who attend his four-day Knife Making Workshop can expect to learn how to develop a design, and use this to transform a piece of spring steel into a functional knife for use in the kitchen, by forging and grinding.

READ MORE about Dennis' Knife Making Workshop

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