As the nights begin to draw in, Diwali, bonfire night, winter solstice and Chinese New Year will soon be upon us. Over the years I’ve delivered many very successful & enjoyable workshops for all of these festivals. Three of which are highlighted below. If you would like your school or group to partake in any of these activities, or if you simply require a little more information then please contact me via my contact page. I’m happy to discuss particular needs or requirements via phone or email.

Clay diyas - Holy Family RC Primary School, RochdaleClay Diyas

Clay diyas are often used temporarily as lighting for special occasions, while diyas made of brass are permanent fixtures in homes and temples. Diyas are native to India, and are often used in Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Zoroastrian religious festivals such as Diwali or the Kushti ceremony. A similar lamp called a butter lamp is used in Tibetan Buddhist offerings as well.

Workshop: These clay diyas are formed using air-hardening clay and are decorated with PVA glue, glitter, seeds & beans.  The pot’s design can be as complex or as simple as you like. This is largely determined by a child’s age and the length of the workshop. A simple clay diya can be made in an hour, with a longer session required for the more intricate designs. The diya in the photograph is one of the more complicated ones. This activity uses clay, glue & glitter. It’s a messy session!!!

Cost: £195 for a whole school day – £125 for a half day (including all art materials)

Age: This workshop is appropriate for infant, junior, secondary & adult

Rangoli tiles

Rangoli is a folk art from India traditionally done by women. The Rangoli, typically consisting of bright colors is a decorative design made in living rooms and courtyard floors during Hindu festivals . The patterns are typically created with materials including colored rice, dry flour, (colored) sand or even flower petals. Rangoli designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, or flower and petal shapes (appropriate for the given celebrations), but they can also be very elaborate designs crafted by numerous people.

Workshop: Theses highly decorative Rangoli tiles are made using wax crayon, pva glue and an assortment of seeds, lentils, beans & rice. The initial design work is done using wax crayon, which is then used as a guide when attaching the seeds/lentils. Participants are encouraged to create a vibrant, decorative & symmetrical pattern. Patience and precision is the key when it comes to attaching the seeds, especially if you want your finished design to be clear & neat. A rushed Rangoli will often be a bad Rangoli, which makes this workshop not hugely suitable to the very young. Year 2 or 3 is probably the earliest I would go with this one.

Cost: £195 for a whole school day – £125 for a half day (including all art materials)

Age: This workshop is appropriate for infant, junior, secondary & adult.

Willow lanterns - Holy Family RC Primary School, RochdaleWillow & tissue lanterns

Paper lanterns have always been widely used to celebrate Asian holidays including New Year, the mid Autumn Festival and of course, the Lantern Festival. The Lantern Festivals held across the Far East are celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month of the new Chinese Year. During the two-week festival children go out at night with Hanging Lanterns to temples to signify the end of the festival. The Chinese hang lanterns inside and around their houses with the belief that the light would help to ward off evil sprits. Nowadays paper lanterns of all shapes, sizes and colours are used for their beauty, artistry and tradition.

Workshop: These lanterns are constructed out of a simple triangular willow frame, with a tea-light holder securely wired into the base of the lantern. The only other materials used in this session are tissue & diluted PVA glue. As with most activities, the longer spent creating will result in the better work. This is a 2 hour activity. Again I would say that this activity is not massively suitable to the younger year groups. Year 4 is the youngest I’ve gone with this activity.

Cost: £195 for a whole school day – £125 for a half day (including all art materials)

Age: This workshop is appropriate for junior, secondary & adult.