Tell us about you; what you do for a day job, your connection to and what you love about and what you’d like to change about Chelmsford.
My day job is as a Senior Learning Mentor and Resident Artist at Thriftwood College. It is an SEN college-a fabulous place where I enjoy sharing my love of all things creative with the students. I have lived in Chelmsford all my life-I was born at St.John’s hospital, where I also had my two sons, one of which went to Thriftwood School and then College. I grew up in Gt. Waltham, have lived in central Chelmsford and now live in Gt. Leighs. There are many things I love about Chelmsford-I love the fact that the City is surrounded by beautiful villages and countryside, whilst still having a vibrant centre, and I LOVE the people! People are willing to collaborate, help each other out and are friendly and kind-hearted. People that are not ‘Chelmsfordians’ are welcomed with open arms-maybe this is because we are so close to London, and are used to welcoming the migration of individuals to and fro. Of course, the proximity to London is a plus too-I love going to new art exhibitions and events there. What would I change? Well-I think things are starting to change with regard to the creative community being ‘seen’ and being able to make an impact on the life of Chelmsford, but I would absolutely love more art galleries and central artists studios, unused buildings being used for creative communities (and as shelter for rough sleepers), creativity being one of the underpinning considerations in any planning of events, community structure and promotion of Chelmsford.
What is Ready Steady Hook? Where did the idea come from?
Ready, steady, HOOK is a new strand to my self-employed work as an artist and creator. I started to crochet when my brother died 8 years ago-I needed something to occupy my mind while I was grieving. From then, I have crocheted virtually every day-I can’t relax in front of a tv without doing crochet! I love the different patterns and colours you can combine, and I have used crochet in some of my artworks too-along with embroidery, which I also love. I have long been asked if I can teach people to crochet, as, despite it’s past reputation as an ‘old person’s hobby’ it had a revival in recent years and many young women and men would like to be able to do it. Having been a college lecturer in the past, there was no excuse really to not share my skills and love for crochet! However, I wanted to make sure all my lessons plans and resources covered everything and were ‘just right’ before I took the leap. I have hand-drawn all the diagrams, put a kit together of everything a beginner would need and drafted all lesson sheets myself. I don’t know whether any course could be as thorough!
What next? Do you have any long term ambitions?
My next step is to start the first beginner’s course on 21st September, and then use the same format for creating a ‘next steps’ course-i.e devise the lesson plans and all resources myself. Long-term, I would like to think that I can also run weekly crochet-along groups or advanced sessions where people come along with the item they are crocheting and get some help with something they’re not sure of. I would also like to run single workshops for making particular items. One of the best things about starting something like this, is you start to build a community and I am very much looking forward to a diverse group of people just getting together for the love of a craft.
How can someone get involved or support you?
Ready, steady, HOOK has a facebook page for people to ‘like’, and once you are a student, you will become a member of the Ready, steady, HOOK student group. I’d like people to share content with me to put on the page or ask crochet related questions for me to answer on the page. I also have a ready, steady, HOOK instagram page for people to ‘follow’ . The beginner’s course is 5 weeks long, allowing for people to practice in between each session, and allowing time to really get to grips with everything, so if they have ever wanted to do a really relaxing, interesting and fun craft that can have diverse applications, just contact me to get booked on!
Links to follow you/your project
My art Website www.lynnexcell.co.uk
My art FB page www.facebook.com/lynnexcellart
My art I.G page www.facebook.com/lynnexcellart