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Postcards from the Pandemic - With tips for doing Zoom Demonstrations

Posted by Sally Lees on

Fetival of Making Sally Lees

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!  

Sally Lees dying aluminum black with london zoo animals for festival of making at cockpit arts

Anodized and printed aluminium coming out of the dye bath

 Sally Lees - Postcard demonstration

Finished demonstration postcard with ink pad and rubber giraffe stamp

     Sally Lees - Cockpit Open Studios

Quick selfie whilst setting up the display in my studio

Challenges of online demos...

Like most of us pre lockdown I had not had many meetings online let alone done a demonstration. So along with most other makers I practised and practised for my zoom demo. I decorated the area in the camera shot and placed all of my equipment within reach.
My friend's son was co host and we were ready to go! Everything went well and I was able to successfully print and dye the aluminium for my audience whilst explaining the process.
It was actually great to show off my skills online with my friends and family being able to attend even though they are in Spain.

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.

You may need a microphone too depending on how sensitive the main device you use which can be also be bought cheaply online.
Good luck with your zoom demos!

   Sally Lees giraffe postcard  Sally Lees - Postcard from the pandemic

Giraffe postcards for the secret postcard sale at Cockpit Open Studios in 2019

#postcardsfromthepandemic #londonzoo #giraffes #handmade #CockpitArtsFestivalofMaking #CockpitArts #anodizedaluminum #aluminium #madeinondon


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