Thursday, 17 July 2014

The return of Tiny! things

Sunday 13th July 2014
Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

princesses ready for adventures
Nothing in the Tiny! world is very big. We aim to make things no bigger than a child’s hand (dragons tend to be a bit of an exception) and we laugh, and play and draw and invent stories and send people away brandishing dragons, and princesses and cats, and bats and characters from Minecraft.....

The Tiny! workshops are a Stone and Water contribution to Buxton Festival Fringe’s “for families” section. (Stone and Water are a lively community group for whom I do a lot of project management). 

Tiny! events are free, open to anyone (you don’t need to bring a family, just to remember that we’re all part of one) and rather silly. Our artists don’t get paid for these sessions - they are part of what we give back to this town that joins in with our knitting of ancient landscapes, our exploring with stories and, a while ago, now went parading In Pursuit of Love and Passion

small bird = lots of concentration
This was our fifth Tiny! day and despite a damp start, one of the nicest with some 60 people joining us through the day.

Festival Fringe review, Sunday 13th July 2014
Today I tore myself away from the armada of orange that was Fringe Sunday, and crossed the river from the bandstand in the Pavilion Gardens to find the stone & water crew with their latest Tiny! workshop.
As last year's 'For Families' award winners, the imaginative Tiny! workshops have been Fringe staples for the past five years, so I knew I was in for a treat. It was lovely to see them back again with yet more creative ideas to enthrall and inspire all ages.
Perched like pixies or goblins beneath a tree with boxes of material, paper and pens, stone & water invited children to unleash their inner artist and create an array of colourful paper finger puppets. The children didn't disappoint, coming up with a host of tiny characters including princesses, dragons, bats, pterodactyls, butterflies, robots and more, and that was just during the hour I spent there.
I visited the workshop with my two small cousins. One very patiently worked hard concentrating quietly on a carefully coloured bird while her older sister prolifically produced a whole cast of finger characters ready to be brought to life against the sets provided. A cottage, castle, tower and forest became the backdrop to complicated epic tales of battles, dragons, weddings and captured princesses performed by the children and their new creations.
The artists were on hand with practical and artistic help, whilst never patronising the young artists they were working with. The workshop proved totally absorbing, especially for the very young who seemed entranced at the fantasy world they were creating, and very proud of their finger puppets.
Gordon (aka Toad) said "we're not trying to do anything big or complicated", but the (tiny) event captured children and parents alike, proving that things don't need to be big to be important, and that simple is often best. The playful workshop was a perfect time out from summer madness and rushing around, providing a much needed quiet break in the shade, with an added touch of magic and mystery.
Annie Osborne
dragons are great, but... tend to get stuck in doorways!

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