I’ll be running two half-term workshops at the Verulamium Museum (The Museum of Everyday Life in Roman Britain) in St. Albans next month. Verulamium was the third largest city of Roman Britain and the museum stands on the site of the Roman town.
Both workshops are based around the theme of the Roman kitchen, allowing plenty of scope for food, implements, vessels, tools, pets and other rooms in the background. Workshop 1 will consist of making simple individual pop-up frameworks and adding the various elements to build up a 3D picture.
Workshop 2 (free) is a drop-in session where you get to help co-create a giant work of three dimensional art! The children will create and add the elements to a large pre-prepared, collapsible, cardboard framework, using the museum’s exhibits for inspiration. The finished piece will be displayed at the museum for a short period of time.
Further information about the workshops and the museum:
Below are some examples of the great work produced by the kids at my workshop at the Verulamium Museum, St Albans yesterday.
The workshop was linked to a bigger project, All In It Together, run St Albans Arts Team, with the aim of exploring ideas of propaganda versus reality with particular reference to World War 1 – a lot of the posters were produced at the time by St Albans based printers Dangerfields at the time.
The children created swing cards with pop-up elements which showed transformation from slogan-based designs to depictions of destroyed landscapes inspired by the work of Paul Nash. Some wanted to depict other wars – WW2, the Blitz, evacuation – creating narratives around stories they heard from grandparents, parents or school.
Back from Budapest where I spent time working with the kids and staff at the British International School. I was helped by the school’s wonderful librarian who acted as my wing-woman for the entire 3 days and made sure everything ran to schedule.
After my initial school talk, I ran a series of workshops with all classes where I showed the children how to make their own pop-up books.
A pattern for the sessions emerged fairly early on when I matched each class to a mechanism, guiding them through the process so they all had a completed pop-up framework ready to go. Following a discussion about their storyboard ideas – the blank storyboards were sent ahead of my arrival – I used some of their material to demonstrate how to convert mechanism into fully illustrated 3D scene. Some of the images show these, others show the children’s work-in-progress.
The school places huge importance on reading and runs several initiatives to encourage the love of books. At a certain point each day, everyone drops everything to read for five minutes. The doors were also being decorated as book covers while I was there – check out the Detective Paws ‘door cover’.
I was back in Stopsley Primary last Friday to see Y4’s finished pop-up books and to talk to the parents about the 2 day project. After learning a number of basic techniques on day 1 and sharing them between classes, the children went on to develop these in their own individual ways to produce books combining text, images and pop-ups.
I felt they had achieved a fantastic result and there were plenty of examples of where the children had experimented, come up with original ideas and managed to figure things out for themselves.
One girl inverted the large V fold to create a parallel plane on which to stick a palm tree – hard to explain but it makes sense if you look at the picture (last one) – and I’m not quite sure how she figured this out. One boy created an arch based on the vertical V fold which probably would have been too complicated to teach to that age group in the first place. Unfortunately, no picture for that one but the point is they were able to come up with their own designs and techniques using what they’d been shown on the first day – very impressive!
Also worthwhile mentioning the wonderful teachers who took part in this, in particular, Jason Sutch who co-ordinated the project.
First school of the year tomorrow at Stopsley Primary in Luton for a 2 and a half day project in pop-up book design.
Day 1 will consist of learning the basics. Each of the 3 Year 4 classes will learn techniques which they will then share between them before my next visit. Images show the ‘manual’ I’ll be leaving to guide them and to show the starting point for day 2 when we develop the books further.
What I like about Illustration Friday is that it gives me the chance to revisit some of my past work. This week’s word is ‘Treasure’. The picture shows, what else, artwork from pop-up picture book no.2, Pirate Treasure Hunt, published by Tango Books.
I 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.
Images of ‘Icicle‘ at the Art on Ice event in the London Canal Museum last Saturday (See previous post)
photos Julian Richman
Icicle is a collaboration with Irma for the Museums at Night event at the London Canal Museum on Saturday 18th May. I used my paper engineering skills to realise Irma’s concept for a piece constructed from card and Melinex which will be suspended over a rectangle of Melinex. The piece is in response to the theme of ice, using materials which create the tension, sharpness and illusion that Irma was looking for while also reflecting the two other pieces she’ll be showing on the night.
The Ice Wells at the London Canal Museum come alive on the night of 18th May, 5.30 – 11.00 pm with film installation, painting, poetry, ice sculpture and photography. Arts on Ice is a night at the museum exploring the depths of the ice wells and ice trade which operated from the building during the 19th Century.
A range of artists from Islington and further afield exhibit ICY works of art – ice sculpture, film installation, painting – the museum is transformed into an Ice Palace to the arts. Descend into the ice wells – 5.30 – 7.30pm. Suitable for fit, suitably shod, over 10s (vertical ladder descent) Bookable on the night – limited numbers. Licensed bar will be open from 7.30pm Entry £5
Full details here.
How to get there.