In 2007 I travelled to Yemen with the British Council, to run a workshop in parallel with the touring exhibition Alchemy. I spent three days in Sana'a running a workshop with local women who wanted to develop some basic jewellery making skills.

Most of the women already had experience of making objects using paper, clay or fabric, and some were extremely skilled embroiderers. Using hand tools only we experimented with bead making using found objects.

On reflection, the most useful thing I did was take them to a hardware shop where I pointed out all the most useful tools for making things at home. In three days (and with no workshop) it is hard to teach any type of skill from scratch, but I think the success of this workshop was more to do with knowledge and confidence than with tangible making skills.