By Alanna Warwick-Smith
3 Girls & A Kiln on Market Street in Camana Bay is a Grand Cayman-based art collective of, you guessed it, three girls — women actually — that has become a pillar in the local art community. It is not only a place to buy ceramics, wooden signs and other local artwork, but it is also a place to learn how to create various arts and crafts in a fun, social and supportive setting.
One evening last month, I ambled into the cosy studio already feeling the Christmas spirit due to the sparkling lights of Camana Bay and the “Christmas breeze,” the annual windy conditions that bring welcome cooler weather starting in November.
I was attending a holiday string art class led by guest artist, Plamka Evtimov of Artsy Silk. I was anxious attending this class alone, but was warmly welcomed by Plamka, Aimee Randolph (one of the three girls) and the class of people ready to celebrate the holidays with a bit of creativity.
As a product of Generation Z, I spent a significant amount of time deciding between designs before settling on creating a string-art string of Christmas lights on a dark, wood-stained board.
I knew that the process of creating string art involved stretching strings between a series of small nails, but I had thought the nails would already be in place on the wood. I was excited to find out, however, that we would be nailing our signs to then wrap the string! For anyone looking for a stress reliever, this class was more affordable than therapy and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to hammer out a little bit of stress.
The process was simple and cathartic, hammering around a stencil while nibbling on the cheeseboard included in the cost of the class. Plamka was on hand the whole time to gently advise if we had gone astray or needed to hammer a little bit harder. The group chatted and sang Christmas songs while bonding over shared travel experiences and the Taylor Swift Christmas country album. Had I just met my new best friends?
After completing the hammering it was time to wrap the string. We had to select our own string colours and we were encouraged to live our best lives and choose our favourite colours no matter how bright or bold. 3 Girls & A Kiln are purveyors of creativity and originality and work hard to teach that in their classes. Still, I chose a more traditional festive red and green. Once I wrapped the string, it was time to paint. With a stencil stuck to the wooden board, Aimee instructed us to use a dabbing technique, not brush strokes, to prevent the paint from going under the stencil — a technique I would not have thought of otherwise.
When it was time to pull the stencil off, all I kept thinking was, “Don’t mess up, don’t mess up, don’t mess up.” I messed up and then spent the remainder of the class cleaning up the lettering on my masterpiece. Was it perfect? Of course not, but I was very proud of my accomplishment. I would encourage everyone to attend a string art class to experience a similar feeling.
For more information about 3 Girls & A Kiln and to view a schedule of its monthly classes, visit 3girlsandakiln.com/events.
This article originally appeared in the December 2019 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “Stringing and singing my way to holiday art.”
About the author
Alanna Warwick-Smith is a Marketing Coordinator supporting the real estate marketing team for Dart. Alanna has worked in Dart’s flagship development of Camana Bay for the past seven years, when she began her career working at the town’s bookstore, Books & Books. A lover of the written word, Alanna reads and writes poetry in her spare time, and has written content for a range of platforms in the past, including her own blog and Camana Bay Times.