Saturday, 17 August 2013

Richmond Park

Isabella Plantation
Two weeks of workshops in the Park trundled to a close yesterday

Two weeks of exploring...
our 4 metre long leaf-string caterpillar
the caterpillar growing



we started card lanterns last week....

one of our poly-birds inspects
 an almost-finished lantern

finished lantern
...and treasures

Thanks again to the Holly Lodge Centre and to all the groups who visited us during that times (some more than once!): Triangle Resource centre, United Response, Hounslow Extra Club, Merton Mencap, Kingston Fun Class, Hammersmith and Fulham Mencap, Acorns Group, and thanks, of course to the Holly Lodge Centre, Pat and all the wonderful volunteers; the Richmond Park Staff (especially Adam, Holly and Linden) and of course to the Park itself for its beauty, hospitality and wildlife!

Personal time found me enjoying isabella Plantation...

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Down in the Park

I'm in the middle of a 2 week residency in Richmond Park. My relationship with the Holly Lodge Centre here is an old one - we reckon that I've probably led workshops on their "summer fun" programme for 10 out of the last 13 years, leading adults and children alike astray with pirates, treasures, puppets and printing. We've gone from making big flags and lanterns through various puppets and book-building to this year where we've been doing (more) pirates.
everything an adventurous
pirate might need

"Pirate" themes help us look at the nature trail here as a place where adventures might happen and we go off looking for resources our tiny pirates might use. We build them shelters, find them camps. We make them plastic-bottle boats to sail on the pond. Draw treasure maps inspired by the area we work in and collect natural treasures here for their chests of ill-gotten booty!

Other sessions have been drawing more directly from the Park, using leaf-rubbings and printing to give us patterned cards, cutting tree and insect silhouettes to work together to make card-lanterns. these aren't finished yet - groups returning next week for final more pictures to follow!

pirate camp
ready for launching
setting sail over wide, uncharted waters
our pirates came in many sizes
Richmond Park is full of wildlife 
enthusiastic printing 
I always think black-wax rubbings look the best

half-finished lanterns

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Creepy Houses and Limestone Monsters

Mansfield Library: quiet, almost innocent

Wild, strange and dangerous days, these dog days of summer…As part of this year's Summer Reading Challenge, I've been doing workshops for Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Libraries making creepy houses and spooky landscape pop-ups. These have set out to inspire young people to tell us stories and to use the ideas they find in the books they read and apply these in other situations

So last Wednesday saw us creeping in Mansfield Library...

the tide starts to come in...

high tide, lots of people, lots of making!

a lovely selection of homes for the creepier customer

with your own burning room
and escape door (lower right)


Then Thursday, I was plunging again into our Carboniferous past and leading  workshops in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery as part of our Ancient Landscapes project. We were making puppets inspired by the animals of those prehistoric seas that gave us the limestone of the Peaks. A lot of creative license was exercised (not least over time periods and dates) and scientific presumptions challenged (how could anyone possibly know that trilobites were not rainbow patterned?)

Eurypterid in full predatory splendour!

a small, and rather dismal,
Next Creeping Toad wildnesses
5th -16th August: summer residency at the Holly Lodge Centre in Richmond Park, Surrey: closed sessions not open for dropping in
20th August: more Spooky Towers and Creepy Houses: Aspley Library, 10 -12, Bilborough Library, 2- 4, Nottingham. Free, drop-in events - give yourself 45 minutes at least to make your pop-up spookiness
21st August: even creepier houses, this time in Mansfield Library: 10.30 - 12.30 and 1.30 - 3.30. Again, free, drop in activities but give yourself time to do the making
22nd August, Sherwood Pines Country Park: away with the fairies, goblins and trolls: lively storywalks! Details, booking and prices:
29th August: Ogden Water Country Park: more faeries, elves, goblins and trolls: telling stories, making up new ones, finding evidence of terrible enchantments and wild adventures and making tiny goblin puppets to take home and upset the neighbours….Details, bookings and prices:

Next Ancient Landscapes events:
Tuesday 6th August: Winnat's Pass Walk: exploring the millstone grits of the Dark Peak. Meet: Castleton Visitor Centre Car Park, S33 8WP, at 2pm. Walk 2 - 4pm, some steep slopes and off paved footpaths

Wednesday 7th August: Life in Ancient Seas at Leek PlayDay
Brough Park, Leek, 11 - 3: meet the Ancient Landscapes team and make your own finger-puppet fossils or ancient seascape
goblin yoga

Come and join in…or we'll send the trilobites round