The Creative Dimension Trust (TCDT) hosted an event at Bonhams in London on 18th November 2019 to showcase its latest student's work. TCDT offers fully funded workshops and work experience placements to young people to develop fine hand skills with leading, international specialists. 90% of TCDT students come from backgrounds where
opportunities of getting a career in areas such as puppet making, set design, gilding and signwriting would be unknown to them and seem inaccessible.

The showcase at Bonhams included a puppet fashion show entitled SUPERNATURE, which was designed and installed by internationally famous set designer Simon Costin whose previous clients include Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Stella McCartney. SUPERNATURE was chosen as a broad theme, students worked around ideas to do with pollution and global warming.

The catwalk was built by students who attended the From Dream to Product workshop this summer. During the workshop students learned a different discipline each day from laser cutting and engraving to fabrication, engineering and finishing. The workshop was led by London-based bespoke fabricators Zone Creations who specialise in acrylic, resin, plywood, wood and metals. The skills learned at the workshop are transferrable to a multitude of future careers, including product design, engineering, furniture making, project management, and set making for films and theatre.

The arched entrance to the catwalk was painted by Trompe L’Oeil students at a workshop taught by globally renowned fresco painter Sarah Hocombe. Students painted realistic illusions of brightly coloured flowers in acrylic paint using the methods and materials used in interior decoration. This workshop is particularly suited young people interested in set design, illustration, interior design and painting.

The puppets that strutted down the catwalk were made at the Table Top Puppet Making workshop run by exceptional puppetry practitioner Sian Kidd. Each student created a soft sculpture puppet with basic operating techniques. During the course the students developed textile-based puppet-making skills through working with varied materials including foam, felt and leather. The process involved creating technical 2D drawings which were then used to make the 3D puppets. This workshop is aimed at those seeking to do further study or embark on a future career in TV, theatre, film, animation or fashion.

The outfits the puppets wore at Bonhams were specially created by Fashion in Miniature students led by José Hendo. Fashion label José Hendo takes a fresh approach to contemporary design, challenging the obsolescence nature of fashion, and the throw away culture. Students were taught techniques for various hand and machine embellishments.
This workshop is aimed at those interested in learning some of the skills required for careers in fashion, theatre, film, and set design.

During the Flame Working workshop students learned the basics of this glass technique using clear borosilicate glass rods (PYREX). During the week-long course students created glass plant forms from which featured as props on the fashion show catwalk. This workshop was run by Zoe Garner, based at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland. Using scientific principles such as symmetry and balance, Zoe poses wider questions about the environmental impact of our day to day activity, and our interest in materialism. The skills learned are transferable to fine art, illustration, animation and architecture.

In addition to the fashion show, Rian Kanduth, one of the UK’s most experienced gilders, worked with students on the night to create Christmas baubles which were available to buy. A Kung Fu Panda inspired model, made at the AHMM architectural model making workshop, was also on display at the event.

During the show Jay Patel was given the first TCDT annual award. Jay is currently in his third year of studying architecture at Westminster. Back in 2016 he attended a TCDT Stone Working course where he gained “a real appreciation for the craft”. Since then he has attended several TCDT workshops, both as a student and a tutor. Jay was also introduced to Allies & Morrison architectural practice by the Trust and went on to do an internship at their offices.

Applications are now open for TCDT’s Stained Glass, Etching, Jewellery Making and Denim Upcycling workshops in February 2020.

Further information and course details can be found on the TCDT website.