Cardboard Calendar

6The brief was to design and deliver a workshop /activity making a calendar with the Hackney Coffee Club on Mare Street for people with mild to moderate dementia and their carers. I wanted everyone to go away with a hand-made object that was sturdy, lightweight, practical and useful.

The solution: a desktop calendar that came in three parts which slotted together. Holes were were made in the cardboard and the sheets were attached with split-pin paper fasteners. The aim was to create an activity that involved a range of relatively simple tasks plus the final decorating stage.

I tried to encourage individual creativity and was gratified to see some very interesting results not only with abstract combinations of colour and shape but also cut-out imagery which, in some cases, reflected different countries.

Pop-up Village

Having spent a long time working hard on new projects over the Summer, I welcomed the opportunity to do a school visit again last Friday.

I worked with all classes at The Granville School in Sevenoaks on a range of projects from group pop-up books to a large-scale pop-up village. The teachers and children were wonderful and embraced all the challenges with enthusiasm, with proceedings helped along by an extremely dedicated art teacher. The idea of a 3D village was the school’s so I designed a pop-up one, in a book. I arrived with a number of key pieces to construct this and the school supplied the rest. Class 6 created 30 wonderful, highly detailed buildings to fit to the structure.

I wanted everyone to be involved in the day which meant doing quite a few workshops. My aim was to pass on enough knowledge and skills to enable the children to finish in their own time. I look forward to seeing photos of the completed work.

The Granville sml

Pirate Pop-ups


I was recently sent a Ramakian postcard and Cut-out statue from my friend and colleague Joseph Coelho who is on his travels in the Far East. It’s a coincidence that I should receive something that you cut out and construct as I’m currently preparing a series of large frameworks that not only pop-up but have parts that fold up and slot into place as well. It’s for a visit to a school near Greenwich at the beginning of March.

pop-up ship 02Usually when I do this exercise I’ll present the children with a framework consisting of abstract shapes and challenge them to make something out of it. With this school I’ve been given the theme of pirates so I’m creating frameworks that are clearly the beginnings of three ships. It’s relatively easy to create pop-up boats but more difficult to make them fill up the whole space, hence the fold up bits. I’m very interesting to see what the children do with these – check back later to see how they get on.

pop-up ship 01 pop-up ship 04pop-up ship 03

The Book of Light Poems

book of light poems 18I like the idea of a book without text which then becomes complete with the addition of spoken words. I’ve just finished constructing The book of Light Poems which will be used by Joseph Coelho in The PoetryJoe Show, soon to start touring.

As we developed the project, it became clear that we needed a ‘book’ to contain the bits which made the visual part of the show work and that it required a certain look to get across that special quality of Joe’s poems. There also had to be an some element to carry through the theme of light.

The show’s Autumn schedule is filling up fast with a few early shows, including this Sunday at the Warwick Arts Centre. To see all the dates so far, click here.

book of light poems 22book of light poems Abook of light poems Bbook of light poems Cbook of light poems D