I had the pleasure of interviewing Charlie Goretzka about her great crafty project - Little Doorways. At these events, children can make their own fairy tale doorway, perfectly sized for any number of dragons, elves, fairies and pixies to come tumbling out of.
What gave you the idea for the Little Doorways project?
I heard about little doors online and as I’ve always loved fairies, my heart melted at the concept of people spotting tiny doors in cities and woodlands. Years later I made a course at Kilve Court Residential Education Centre called Good Fairies/ Bad Fairies, which is a Creative Writing & Art course that also looks closely at Brian Froud’s art work. In 2016 I was asked to run an introduction to my courses at Kilve’s Family Fun Day. I usually make fairy peg dolls on my fairy course, but I tend to spend a lot of time with students making them and I only had one hour. The dolls can become quite tricky and frustrating to make, especially if students are very young, so I had an idea. I asked my husband if he could make me little door shapes. He made me fifty! After this successful event Beth Webb, children’s author, suggested I become a children’s entertainer, which is something I had on my mind for a while, I just needed someone to kick start me into action.
What usually happens at a Little Doorways event?
If it’s an outdoor/ indoor event, then I set up and children come along to make and take their little doors. If it’s a birthday party or workshop I tie in creative writing with questions like: Who goes through your little door? What do they look like? How does your door work? What’s behind there? Then I get the children to write a short piece about anything to do with their little fairy/ pixie/ dragon/ or whatever they’ve chosen, but their door has to be in the story somewhere.
What do you hope people will take away from a Little Doorways event?
For some, the magic of believing that fairies can pass through the little door of their own making, for others a decorative piece to stick to their skirting boards or fireplaces. Maybe a present for their family or friends. Some write a lovely story about their door and who passes through them before they make their door. But mainly it’s all about having fun.
In your opinion, why is creativity so important for young minds?
Creativity in young minds is important because I truly believe that this is where the magic happens. I had two options when I started Little Doorways: make the doors myself and sell them off (but then I’ve seen so many people doing this) or let children create their own magic. I’d never seen young people making them themselves. On my first craft fair I was utterly blown away by the creativity that sparked the young imaginations, and there were so many fantastic designs. I think as adults we’re very good at over-thinking a project, whereas a child would think it makes perfect sense to make a door into a lolly-pop.
Can you recommend any similar crafting projects that parents can do with their children at home?
Make more little doors! Seriously, there’s so many tips on Youtube on how to make them. You can use Polymer Clay, Fimo, cardboard, lolly-pop sticks and outdoor materials such as twigs and pieces of old wood. The limit really is your imagination.
What are your hopes for the future of Little Doorways?
In 2017 I hope to launch a Kickstarter to raise funds for the business. So far, I have borrowed almost everything I used in 2016 to make the events. Now sadly I have had to give almost everything back. I really need your help on this. All details to follow but in a nutshell: with your help, I will finally own a gazebo, tables, and accomplish my next step in the business, which is the Little Doorways Activity Packs. I am currently in the process of making a Little Doorways Activity Booklet with a main fairy/ pixie character, which will come with a door, a pouch of materials and I will sell these at events and Etsy.
Do you have any upcoming events this year?
I have workshops in the summer at Hestercombe Gardens, Fun in the Park at French Weir, Taunton, where children can make their little doors for free. Yes FREE. Many more event organisers are asking me to attend their events all the time so please keep an eye out on my Facebook page.
Fun Question - if you could make a door that represents your life, what would it look like?
Wow! What an amazing question! It would have to be egg shell blue, stuck like a window would be a locket with pictures of my beautiful family inside, a mini book (preferably with the cover of my own story) a pair of wings sticker: representing my roller derby journey, a rose quartz door handle, a diamond shaped gem on the top archway that symbolises the friendships in my life. Oh my goodness there’s so many more things I could stick on this door! I think this is such a wonderful question, why don’t you, the reader, give it a go? What would your life door look like? Please post below, or send me a message on Little Doorways Facebook page and a whole post full of everyone’s Life Doors.
Just one more thing before I go, never shut down those little ideas, they could become something big X