Cross Cultural Collaborative, Inc. (CCC)

ETCHING AND BOOKBINDING WORKSHOPS March 15-April 10, 2002

These were a series of workshops in Ghana. Guest printmaker was Bethia Brehmer of Wellfleet, MA USA 

The first workshop was conducted March 15-16-17 at Cross Cultural Collaborative,Inc.
headquarters in Nungua. A fee of $33.00 was charged to cover daily lunch-materials and lessons. Most participants were sponsored by their employees which are publishing houses and universities. All of the participants were professional artists and men. The motivation was high, the skill impressive and the atmosphere definitely creative. There were 8 attendees. The small number was due to lack of advertising rather than lack of interest. Future workshops are sure to attract more people.

Etching is a unique printmaking technique that requires specific materials and a press. Bethia loaned a small press and provided many of the materials. A generous donation of materials was also made by Chemical Graphics.

The cross cultural experience started immediately as substitutes were sought for some of the materials and processes such as heating the copper plate which had to be done on an improvised fire rather than a hotplate. A power outage made it necessary to reschedule the slide show.

The second workshop was also held at CCC, Inc. headquarters on March 23 and 30th for children from the MMOFRA FOUNDATION. The MMOFRA FOUNDATION is a non-profit based in Ghana that is dedicated to encouraging childrensí literacy. There were 25 children in the age range of 10-15 who attended this free workshop. They were taught etching and simple bookbinding techniques. A story about a young African in his village was read to them and they were asked to use ideas from the story as their etching illustration.

On April 6 a free workshop was held for the Nungua neighborhood children. CCC, Inc. feels that itís important to include their neighbors in the creative process that is being nurtured. Although open to all children, the younger ones showed up. It was felt that etching would be too complicated for them, so we concentrated on bookbinding techniques.

The final workshop was conducted on April 9th and 10th at the Ministry of Education resource center. It was also a free offering and attended by 22 teachers. The first day was an etching workshop and the second a bookbinding workshop. The level of skill and interest was very high. Many of the participants wanted to continue for a 3rd day, but we just didnít have time in the schedule.

Because etching is a new technique to most of the participants the interest level was very high. Unfortunately many of the supplies like copper plates and etching paper are not available, so unless some line of supply and source of money to buy them is established, itís doubtful that this will become a viable craft. The Ministry of Education resource center found someone to make a press, so that is a good start.

The bookbinding materials are easier to find and the technique included in the school curriculum. 

CCC, Inc. made a donation to the MMOFRA FOUNDATION so that some books could be purchased for the children and also donated a book on bookbinding techniques to the library at the Ministry of Education.

We, the workshop facilitators, felt that all of the workshops were very successful and feedback from the students agreed. Lasting friendships were formed and creative collaborations will continue.

Ľ click for a slideshow of some of the etchings made by participants ę

CCC, Inc. accepts and appreciates tax deductible donations to help bring artists and materials to Ghana. If you can't help financially, but have any art materials, equipment, books, cameras, etc... please contact us if you have something that you think would help our program. We'd also like to hear from you if you have an idea for a cultural exchange program.

close window