The Gingerbread Craft Club Comes of Age.
When I took over the running of the Kensington Dollshouse Festival back in 2005 from Caroline Hamilton, one of the 1st things I introduced was our Craft Club for budding miniaturists. (somewhere along the way it became known as the Gingerbread Craft Club, though I am not sure why..)
Realising that we needed to engage a new generation of makers & collectors, I wanted to give our younger visitors the opportunity to have a go at making something for their dolls house themselves. I always feel the best dolls houses are a combination of beautiful miniatures made by specialist craftsmen, souvenirs bought back from our holidays, presents from friends & family & things that we have made or repurposed. We wanted our young visitors to go home from our shows with something they could put in their dolls house with pride.
Over the years the GCC has produced food, gardens, pictures, furniture, packaging & hundreds of peg dolls (always popular!) We have collaborated with some great craftsmen too. One year Manuela Micheli showed the GCC kids how to make food from polymer clay, another year, Jill Bennett created a unique & beautiful shop scene to build from paper. Last Christmas David Ward gave a masterclass on sculpting & at the Summer Show & this year Shepherd Miniatures designed some layouts to be turned into some popular packaging. We always cater for all age groups so there are easy projects for the younger children to do, or something a little more challenging for the older children.
Interestingly, the craft club gets full up very quickly & it is amazing how many of the parents also take a minute to “help” their children make a dress for their peg doll!
Now the G.C.C has reached adulthood with no signs of slowing down. We probably had our busiest clubs this year, will well over 50 children taking part at each of our shows. We have to give a huge thanks to Alison Horne of the Pig Style & her festive helper Salma for running an incredible Club House this Christmas. As you can see, Glitter was the name of the day, as the G.C.C kids decorated Christmas Trees for their dolls houses. The room was packed, but no one seemed to mind as they concentrated hard on their creations.
We also have to thank our exhibitors over the years, who have kindly donated all sorts of materials for our G.C.C kids to use. We are already thinking about how we can improve the Club House for next year (It may need to move to bigger premises!)
The Gingerbread Craft Club runs from 12.00 – 16.00 on the Saturday of our Summer Show (May 18th in 2024) & from 14.00 – 17.00 at our Christmas Show. It is free for all young ticket holders & suitable for all age groups (3 & over)