Steph Hartman is the founder of Collage Club LDN, a community dedicated to celebrating the art of collage-making through workshops, events, and collaborations with fellow creatives. On Sat 8 July, you have the opportunity to join Steph and Papersmiths for a hands-on workshop that explores the use of washi tape in creating unique collages. During the workshop, you'll learn how to layer tape to create tonal backgrounds and intricate patterns inspired by underwater worlds and summertime days. To give you a better idea of what to expect, we spoke with Steph about how she set up Collage Club, her teaching approach and what attendees can look forward to during the event. Read on to learn more!
Can you tell us a bit about Collage Club LDN and how it got started?
I initially started it as a way to use up all the magazine clippings, and paper I’d amassed after finishing my degree – I invited all my friends over for dinner and we spent the evening collaging. There was no end goal, just a bunch of friends hanging out and cutting and sticking together.
What inspired you to start teaching collage workshops?
Those first sessions for friends and a couple of drop-ins I’d run for a mate’s craft night in Brixton really showed me just how powerful a little bit of collaging can be and the positive effect that making something with your hands can have after a day working in front of a computer screen. I figured more people could benefit from taking some time out of their day to collage and I felt I could provide just the right space for that!
How do you approach designing a workshop, and what elements do you focus on?
I run monthly workshops that have different themes and warm up activities, and each is designed to feel inclusive and accessible to anyone, regardless of experience level. I also run workshops with a specific focus on technique or style like this one with mt Tape.
I always design my workshops with fun and play front and centre, and always with the best selection of materials and tools for attendees to work with.
What advice do you have for someone who is interested in trying collage but doesn't know where to start?
Come along to a workshop and give it a go! I think allowing space for creative play as an adult is so important and something we should all strive to incorporate into our lives more. Use what you have around you – old magazines, things normally destined for the recycling and enjoy the process rather than getting too hung up on the final outcome. Approach it with a sense of playfulness and experimentation and good things will happen!
What sets your collage workshops apart from others out there?
There have been lots of collage workshops popping up in recent years, but I like to think the Collage Club Ldn community keeps coming back and growing because of the atmosphere that’s been fostered. People often come to workshops alone and always say how relaxed and welcoming they are which is super important to me.
I’ve collaged ever since I was able to hold a pair of scissors as a tiny tot and my passion for the medium has never dwindled – I think my evident love for it has been integral to the success of Collage Club workshops.
I also think the quality of materials provided is top notch. I’m always on the hunt for brilliant things for people to cut and snip and I take so much pleasure in curating materials for people to use.
What can attendees expect from the Papersmiths x Collage Club LDN MT Tape workshop?
To have fun! The session will be a relaxed space to experiment with using MT washi tape as a collaging material. Guests will be guided through the best ways to work with the tape – using craft knives to map out delicate shapes and ripping techniques that can be used to layer up background colours. We’ll be taking inspiration from underwater worlds, summertime colour palettes and shapes that made a nod to the work of Henri Matisse too.
The group size will be smaller than a usual Collage Club workshop, so there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and chat through any ideas that are sparked throughout the session. Whatever collaging experience you have, you’ll leave with a beautiful composition to take home and display with pride.
What materials will participants need for the collage workshop, and how can they best prepare?
Everything is provided so there’s no need to stock up on anything in advance. Attendees will be able to dig into a colourful selection of MT tapes and they’ll each have a craft knife, cutting mat and card substrates to use throughout the workshop.
Finally, what exciting projects does Collage Club LDN have planned for the future?
My first book, You Will be Able to Collage by the End of This Book has just been released and I’m throwing a party with our friends at They Made This to celebrate! Collage Club will be popping up at various events across the summer too, including Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Festival and V&A East’s Great Get Together event so keep an eye out!
You can purchase a ticket for the upcoming workshop via Eventbrite here.