The Gift of Experience: Part One

Christmas is just around the corner and each year we all experience the same issue. How do you buy a good quality and thoughtful gift for your loved ones, which is unique and will bring lasting pleasure? Every year we all receive kind gifts of ‘stuff’, such as bubble bath and socks which are useful but unimaginative, or other items which are often consigned to drawers and cupboards and possibly never used. I’ve spoken to several local artists who may be able to offer something a little different, and enable you to bestow the gift of experience – giving years of joy and bringing a smile to the face of even the most difficult to buy for.


Screenprinting and letterpress workshops

Linzi Cason has had her own photography business in Blackpool for six years and in 2013 decided to branch out and offer workshops. Squirrel and Tiffin by Linzi Cason2Screen-printing is a technique that uses a mesh-based stencil to apply ink onto a surface, such as t-shirts, posters, stickers, vinyl, wood, or other material. During the workshops, which are suitable for small groups of up to 4, clients are able to make their own frame and mesh and create images within the session but they can also take them home and continue at the kitchen table, a fantastic and creative activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Letterpress is a traditional method of relief printing using a printing press. A worker composes and locks movable type into the bed of a press, inks it, and presses paper against it to transfer the ink from the type which creates an impression on the paper.Squirrel and Tiffin by Linzi Cason The frame created can then be used to print 200 to 300 items, making it ideal for such things as business cards or saving on costly wedding invitations. The letterpress sessions are suitable either for couples or groups of three and would be a great gift idea for graphic designers and other creatives.

Both sessions provide skills and materials that can be taken away and used again and again. Screen printing workshops are £60 per person per day (stencil screen-printing is a one day course, photo screen-printing is two days) and letterpress costs £60 to £100 per person per day. For more information, please contact Linzi Cason at [email protected]


Circus skills sessions

Do you know someone who has always yearned to run away with the circus? Or someone who is a bit of an adrenaline junkie? We might have the perfect gift solution.

Stephanie King is a local performer who has worked as an aerialist for circuses, theatres and TV for the last 17 years. She trained at Zippo’s Circus School and by 18 had her own circus juggling and hula hoop acts. Aerial Artist by Steph KingShe offers a variety of amazing aerial skill sessions such as static trapeze, aerial hoop, silks and freestyle rope. The sessions start at an extremely reasonable £15 per hour (dependent upon skill level, current performers may be charged more).

She also teaches hula hooping for fitness, juggling, beginner’s Diablo and poi. She works locally as a pole fitness instructor at Reform gym. For more information, please call Stephanie King on 07519 192020.


Personalised artworkTangerine Art Co by John Marc Allen

If you have any loved-ones who are keen on the superhero genre or art in general, you should definitely check out The Tangerine Art Company. Founded by John Marc Allen in 2012, its distinctive bold pop-art style has been showing up around Blackpool and garnering lots of positive attention wherever shown. Tangerine Art Co2 by John Marc AllenUsing mainly the digital medium, John taps into the strong imagery of iconic films, comic books and video games, creating striking and beautiful pieces. He does take commissions and could easily recreate your child or partner into the comic book character of their choice, perfect if your loved one is wild about Wonder Woman or has always wanted to be the Batman. Prices start at £50 for an A4-sized personalised commission. Drop John a line at [email protected]


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