Bishop Street Methodist Church

Art at the Chapel Explorations into Art and Spirituality

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How to make a Spray Paint and Stencil Banner


A big Thank you to everyone who came to the banner workshop last night and to our wonderful workshop leaders Steve, Chris and Miriam. It was a fascinating evening jam-packed with great ideas and inspiration.

Thanks also to Dave my husband for taking these photos during the evening.

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This workshop led by Miriam taught the technique I learnt from the wonderful Anne Thalmessinger who uses it in many of her own banners.  When I wanted some special banners for our wedding last year Anne showed  me this techniqueand helped me make some like the ‘love’ one in the photo which hung above the place we said our vows.

Modern Church Banner


The banner on the right is one of Anne’s which shows how she often combines the spray technique with painted elements.

This technique is a quick and effective way to cover large areas of fabric in an eye catching way. It can be used to create backgrounds, borders or whole banners. It can also be used on paper and to decorate things like t-shirts or bunting.



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If you want to create stencil lettering or other drawn elements you first cut them out of paper and use double sided tape to fix them to your fabric. This ensures they don’t get ‘blown away’ with the force of the spray paint.

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Our table of treasures, flat things make the best stencils, especially natural objects like leaves and grasses. Lace, paper dollies and bits of rubbish such as bottle caps all work well. Lighter objects such as feathers will need a spot of double sided to stick them down.

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We used boxes to place our fabric and objects in to help prevent spraying the walls and carpet!! Our fabric came from our local scrap store. Its important to spray directly down to avoid moving the objects. Don’t spray too close put leave above a 15 cm gap between the spray and the fabric. Build up your colours gradually in layers. You may like to move some objects in between colours. We used enamel craft spray from wilkos but any spray paint e.g. car spray paint will do. Why not do a call out at church for any unwanted cans?

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As each workshop was only 20 minutes long including the demonstration the above pieces were made in just over 10 minutes each! If you want a quick and very effective banner making technique why not give it a go!

Modern Church Banner

Banner by Anne Thalmessinger and Sally Clarke showing the spray technique Ruth will be demonstrating.


Love Banners web

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Art Exhibition and Creative Workshop at Bishop Street

Art – the healing spirit

The Remit Exhibition will be showing from Thursday 8th May until Tuesday 20th May 2014. This thought provoking exhibition includes a wide range of artwork and poetry by Remit students.

Remit Art Exhibition, Leicester

Art Workshop

See the flyer below to find out details of the fantastic Art Workshop we are hosting  as part of this exhibition…

Art- The Healing Spirit Workshop leaflet a4 (1)

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Giant Puppet Making Workshop with “In Another Place”

Last month I was lucky enough to be invited along on a trip to Liverpool to learn how to make Giant Puppets. The trip was organised by Rachel Parkinson from Leicester North Methodist circuit who had been very impressed by seeing the huge characters at Greenbelt last year. The company “In Another Place” were all wonderful people generously giving us their time and patiently showing the five of us every last step that goes into the creation of their ‘giants.’

Here are a few images from our day.

Giant Puppet Making Workshop

It all started with some very messy Papier Mache as a stuffed bin liner is transformed into a head!!!

Giant Puppet Making Workshop
Ta da! …Here’s one they prepared earlier being admired by Rachel.

Giant Puppet Making Workshop
Step two involved getting very messy yet again as we learnt the very special muti-layered cardboard technique. Apparently this makes the card so strong you can build beds out of it!

Giant Puppet Making Workshop
The extra strong cardboard is perfect for creating hands – complete with curved fingers.

Giant Puppet Making Workshop
Creating the frame was next on the agenda as we learnt how to fix pieces of wood and lengths of cloth together to form a device that can be comfortably strapped onto a puppeteer.

Giant Puppet Making Workshop
Their idea of creating a neutral basic garment for the puppet which can be dressed up with colourful overcoats and scarves gives the puppet the possibility of having multiple personalities.

The rectangle in the front is a mesh ‘hole’ for the puppeteer to see through.

Giant Puppet Making Workshop

We found ‘Mary’ relaxing in the puppet store.
Giant Puppet Making Workshop

Then it was our go as we all got strapped into the puppets and had a chance to release our inner child as we made them dance around the room, bow and shake hands with each other.
Giant Puppet Making Workshop

It was a fantastic day and I can’t thank our hosts enough.

You can find out more about them at

The plan is to make a whole ‘Nativity’ of Giant Puppets before next Christmas which can be used as a form of joyous outreach in various outdoor locations around Leicester. If you would like to be involved in making this happen please get in contact with Ruth by emailing her at or by leaving her a note in the Bishop Street Church office.

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The Bishop Street 2013 Christmas Tree!

This year at Bishop street we decided to have a slightly different approach to decorating the tree. Each week throughout Advent people were invited to participate in a Christmas Tree Decorating Activity to help us focus on what Christmas is really about.

WEEK ONE:  To begin with we focused on the word HOPE. Not all presents can be wrapped up: What can we give those close to us and in the wider world this Christmas?We chose a gift tag for the tree and wrote on it what we hoped to give and receive this Christmas.

Some great suggestions were jotted down to encourage us to use our time and thoughtfulness to give gifts that can’t be bought such as offering friendship to someone who is lonely,  lifts to someone without a car, or simply a smile to brighten someones day.


WEEK TWO:  This week we contemplated PEACE and created colourful paperchains adding patterns, prayers and messages while we thought about how each person in our community is an important link with a part to play as our interaction and friendships bind us together.

WEEK THREE: Now it was time for the most important word of all… LOVE. This week we  chose a character from the nativity story and found them on a Christmas card. We imagined we were that person, putting ourself in their shoes and trying to understand what they would have been thinking and feeling at that special time in Bethlehem. We used these cards to create decorations for the tree and wrote some of our thoughts on the back.

Christmas Tree

WEEK FOUR: Finally as Christmas drew close we celebrated Jesus’ birth and all that it means to us with the word JOY. This week we made decorations which glittered and sparkled There were poems and song lyrics about Joy to inspire us as we thought about what Joy means to us.

It may not have been the most stylish or sophisicated Christmas tree out there but we loved it anyway because it was beautiful and colourful and decorated by many hands!

A big THANK YOU to everone who participated in making such a fabulously “meaning-full” tree which we all enjoyed so much.

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