When you see a website that advertises a workshop named “How to make a Victorian tunnel book” in an urban shop that grows its own lettuce and has chicken on the roof, you say yes! And then you go one Thursday evening to the Farm:shop on Dalston lane to find out what the what a tunnel book actually is. Then make one alongside a small group.

The idea of Trade School is to pass on knowledge, share learning and have fun. From bread making to bike maintenance and yoga, teachers donate their time and skills to showing the group of strangers something new and receive something back that they’ve asked for – in this case a plant, a book, some help with an exhibition.

So on to “How to make a Victorian tunnel book”…

Which turns out to be a rather nifty and creative way to present a scene that can be as big as a room or as small as a… well, an apple. You’ll see…

And it was brilliant… Art is therapy. Sitting in concentration with a bit of idle chit chat with all your real attention focused on cutting and sticking and creating something that at first looks so complex, you think you couldn’t possibly do that in a couple of hours. But you do… maybe not brilliantly, but you do it! And each creation from our group of eight, was each completely different in their own unique way.

I hope this continues on another date as I can’t wait to see what I can learn. I’m also looking forward to helping set up an exhibition of the teacher’s wonderful work.

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