A Workshop was Born!

A workshop was born! by Dr Bibiana Chan

CRS is proud to commit to a model of ‘Co-design and Co-produce’ in ALL CFS Creative Workshops. ‘Co-design’ is not just a trendy word to put in our promotional flyer. It is the ‘key’ to success in running ‘youth-focus’ services.  After hosting 20 ‘Succulent Terrarium’ Workshops, I was looking at offering a variation to this most popular CFS workshop. I consulted the 15-year-old BB (my nickname then) who would love to play or decorate with coloured sand. I was given some Mason glasses (jars with handles). I experimented with an inner tube to put in the centre of the glass. I bought some coloured sand from a Dollar Shop. I also found a collapsible ‘soft’ funnel made of Silicone which I could connect a tube to its ‘neck’. This was my ‘paint brush’ for the coloured sand. I was ready to create some ‘Succulents in Coloured Sand Glasses’!

After experimenting with different colour themes and inserting figurines next to the succulents, I felt ready to host a pilot workshop. With a new wave of COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant happening, I decided to host an online workshop. I invited some CFS members to be my ‘guinea pigs’. We followed our usual protocol –

1.       An Icebreaker Activity (facilitated by a young member McKayla);

2.       A brief introduction of the Colour Theory (by the CFS Junior Florist Jasmine)

3.       Creation of the ‘succulents in colour-sand glass’ – the core activity (presented by Bibi)

4.       Sharing your experience (co-facilitated by Bibi & McKayla) – McKayla presented some infographics on ‘Dealing with Disappointment’ (when things didn’t work out as planned).  

5.       Filling in an online evaluation form

I then ‘studied’ the feedback from the evaluation forms.  I invited two of the young members who attended the pilot workshop to help me with creating more succulents in coloured sand glasses. They were for the Valentine’s Day Theme Pop-up Stall. I listened to their suggestions including providing a small glass for participants to ‘practise’ before they created the ‘real’ thing. This worked out to be the best idea ever!

As Omicron was under control and young people in NSW started to get their 2nd jab (COVID-19 vaccines), CFs returned to Chatswood Youth Centre for an in person workshop in February. Once again, I invited a young member to host the icebreaker activity. I offered Anthony some ideas but I told him it was up to him how he wanted to ‘run his show’. He shared with me some of his preliminary ideas. On that day, he did a great job! I was so proud of him.

The ’Colour Theory’ part also showed a great improvement. Instead of just ‘talking’ about the theory on a screen (at the online workshop), I prepared samples of pebbles and sand in a monochromatic scale of various colours. Participants could see and ‘touch’ the colours and put the samples side by side to ‘feel’ the effects (monochromatic tones of ‘harmony’, complimentary colours of ‘contrast’, the ‘white balance’). The different textures provided by the sand and the pebbles were ‘sensational’!

I also sent out DIY kits to a couple of super crafters (the Co-Chair of the CFS Youth Subcommittee Jacque was on the list) to test out the DIY instructions.  I adopted their feedback.

A new ‘Co-design & Co-produce’ workshop was born! Yay!  

             I liked all of it, it was pretty calm and relaxing and the end product looks really good. It is really relaxing and fun!

When we put the sand and the pebbles inside as well as the practise (on a small bottle) was easy and fun.

It’s really fun, you should try that.

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