Open Studios during a pandemic
2020 was distressing year for most people. Being held prisoner in your own home though not too uncomfortable was also disconcerting.
At Cockpit we were luckier than most. After being at home for a couple of months we were able to go into the studio providing that we could socially distance whislt there. Complex timetables had to be drawn up between sharers to be able to esentially avoid contact with each other.
We had planned to open up to the public for our open studios but unfortunately we were unable to do so due to social distancing rules.
So we planned a virtual Open Studios!
We could do demonstrations, talks, conversations with other makers - anything as long as it was creative and entertaining.
I decided to do a demonstration of how I dye aluminium and made an aluminum postcard similar to the one I had made for the secret postcard sale in 2019. I had taught the method at my teaching job and to individual learners in my studio so it seemed to be the best option. Plus it would be fun!
Anodized and printed aluminium coming out of the dye bath
Finished demonstration postcard with ink pad and rubber giraffe stamp
Quick selfie whilst setting up the display in my studio
Challenges of online demos...
Some tips for Zoom demonstrations
I wolud definately recommend that if you do a demo on zoom that you have a host and that you co host. Remember to record your zoom demos too. Watching yourself afterwards without the on stage nerves helps you to iron out any issues for future zoom sessions.
I would also recommend that you purchase a goose neck phone holder to hold your tablet or phone and have another device on a tripod over your working area. Do be careful if you are doing anything that may harm your phone for example vapour from the dye won't be kind to your phone nor will a propane torch if you are filming yourself soldering!
If you do use your camera to film yourself make sure that it is fully charged and that all notification alerts are switched off - you don't want your visitors reading your tweets or what's apps! This goes for any device you use for filming of course.
Giraffe postcards for the secret postcard sale at Cockpit Open Studios in 2019
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