Best school days

I spent a wonderful day at St Sampson’s Infants School this week screen-printing with 70 children and staff on the last day of term. Given the time frame — two hours to do 80 prints with dozens of very small novice printers — the only option was to take a ready prepared screen rather than faff about cutting stencils. We used a photo taken at the PTA barbecue a few days earlier. Here is our print:

Screen printing with St Sampson's Infant School
Screen printing with St Sampson’s Infant School

 

And here’s Iris’s. She’s six and a half and was helped pulling the squeeguee by two of her classmates. Not bad, eh?

An impressive effort for a six year old!
Printed by Iris, age six

Screen printing at Sark school

We are back in the studio after a phenomenally fantastic weekend in Sark. For anyone who doesn’t know it, Sark is a small island with a population of just 600, a 45-minute boat ride from Guernsey. The Sark Folk Festival has been running for three years now and is a small family-friendly, relaxed music festival that brings together folk bands, morris dancers, hirdy girdy players, bag-pipers, lobster catchers, craft makers and now screen printers!

School transport in Sark - there are no cars on the island!
School transport in Sark – there are no cars on the island!

Since we were lugging all of our screens and inks to the festival we decided to offer a workshop to the school as well. There are 34 children at the school between the ages of 4 and 16, taught in three groups. We anticipated a quick two-hour workshop, but a lot of the children decided to design their own stencils rather than use our pre-cut ones so we were there for most of the day.

The combination of small-island life and being taught in mixed age groups seems to make for very independent thinkers and a very supportive group of children.

Sark school pupils preparing screens to print
Sark school pupils preparing screens to print
Some of the younger children printing
Some of the younger children printing

The computer game Minecraft seems to be all the rage in Sark (we’re way too old to know what that is but we were amused when a flipped letter made the slogan “I love Winecraft”) and the ubiquitous One Direction is popular, but there are a lot of original thinkers at Sark school. Have a look at some of their creations:

A few of the finished products drying in the sun
A few of the finished products drying in the sun

And some of the bags already in use:

Bags already in use! (if you want 'horses' on a bag with a Scotty dog who are we to protest?)
Bags already in use! (if you want ‘horses’ on a bag with a Scotty dog who are we to protest?)