Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Festive Felting Fun.

Stuck for a last minute Christmas gift for creative kids? Always fancied felting but not managed to attend one of our workshops? Never fear, Art.Works is here. Like a little Christmas elf swaddled in a woolly jumper and tinsel (and that’s just to keep out the cold!) I’ve been busy creating the perfect crafting kits for creative kids and adults alike.

Art.Works’ ‘Funky Felt Making Kits’ are a great introduction to felting and inspire an imaginative afternoon willed with fabric, soap suds and more giggles than the jokes in your crimbo cracker (guaranteed!).
Felting is an ecological art form, mixing fibres to form shapes and pictures. It’s a hands on process which, with a little elbow grease, compresses material together, transforming a wool fibre into a trendy fashion accessory.
Each kit contains a full colour step by step instruction booklet and all the resources needed to make a beautiful button broach. All you need to provide is a mat, a flat surface and a twinkle of energy.

Kits cost just £10 (plus postage and packaging) each and are available to mail order. To make sure you receive your ‘Funky Felt Making Kit’ before Christmas place your order by Friday 19th December. Just drop me a line either via email: art.works.coop@gmail.com or phone: Cat Jessop: 07816168981 and I’ll wrap up your kit with a dusting of festive cheer, chuffed with the knowledge that someone somewhere will be making a masterpiece this Christmas.

Alternatively kits are available to buy from the following stockists:

Gallery Ten, Rochdale
Pumpkins Interiors, Littleborough
The Crooked House, Littleborough
Touchstones Arts and Heritage Gallery, Rochdale

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Unleash Your Inner Child

Recently I’ve had many questions regarding my illustration; do you sell your
pictures? (Oh, yes!) Do you do commissions? (Oh yes!) Is the picture of the
monster actually a self portrait! (hell, no!).

So in a change to the regular blog format, charting what Art.Works has been
up to over the last couple of weeks (running family fun days, continuing the
residency and securing funding for a new mosaic project since you ask) I
thought I’d give you a couple of illustrations to print off and enjoy.

Now remember, colouring ain’t no child’s play, it takes a keen eye and diligent
mind to keep the colour chart flowing. Go on, I dare you, drag out the rusty tin
of crayons that’s gathering dust on the book shelf or swirl some primary colours
across an old plate. Mix and match media; paint, cut, crayon and create!

The nights have well and truly drawn in, so there’s every reason to add a little
colour to these dismal grey days. Send a picture of your finished masterpieces
into Art.Works, either via email: art.works.coop@gmail.com or post them up on
the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/artworks and if you’re incredibly
imaginative I bet you could colour in front of X Factor...

Mummies and Pharohs

Family Tree Pictures

Scary Monster

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Cameras Capture Co-operative Art

It seems a rose tinted memory now, picture the sense, June,  a balmy day blows blossom onto the bustling streets of Rochdale.  An animated crowd gather in eager anticipation, then wham, bam, yes you can!  The people of Rochdale come together to create an amazing piece of public art to celebrate Co-operatives Fortnight.

Those of you who regularly follow the blog you may remember reading about this exciting event back in June, you may have even picked up a pastel and taken part yourself, but to those of you who missed out on this fun filled afternoon don’t panic!  I can now exclusively show the film (created by Peace Effects Media) made to celebrate the co-operative collection of participators who took part in the event.

So dim your light, grab your pop-corn and share in our Co-operaitve Fortnight event by watching 60 seconds of show stopping art creation.  Enjoy!

video

*HUGE thanks go to Peace Effects Media for creating the film and the pupils and staff at Alice Ingham Primary School for giving permission for the film to be used on the blog.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Kentmere Kids Prove a Challenge to the Roman Masters

We all know those Romans were a productive lot, while the Celts were busy applying the mud and manure to their out houses the Romans were busy creating geometric stone walls, taking part in vigorous army training and creating marvellous mosaics.  

But, in truth, were their designs as animated and colourful as the kids’ from Kentmere?  I think not!

Because this week, inspired by the lifestyles of their industrious iron age forefathers, Kentmere pupils slaved over four fantastic Roman mosaics.  The masterpieces will be displayed in their new school building, due to open in January 2011.

After an animated assembly introducing the topic, I received over 50 entries from the creative key stage two, each depicting elements of Roman life.  From shiny sword and shields to fruit bowls filled with ripening fruit, the pupils designed picture representing their understanding of Roman life.  Many of their designs were then transferred onto four huge mosaic boards key stage two all helped transform into colourful caricatures from the past.

It took a whole week of smashing, crashing and creating, but by Friday the hard work had finally paid off as the children put the finishing touches to their magnificent mosaics.  Never have I had the pleasure to work with such animated, enthusiastic pupils and I’m looking forward to putting the grout between the lines to unveil their amazing Art.Works.

And good news!  I’m chuffed to bits to be back at Kentmere very soon indeed.  I start my ‘artist in residency ‘in October and can’t wait to get imagining and  inventing once again to create some sumptuous designs with the pupils to make their new school sparkle.

Interested in having your very own artist in residence?  Or creating a mosaic with your group?  Just drop me a line to find out more.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Falinge Comes Alive with Art

Ever used the phrase ‘come up against a brick wall’ and felt frustrated, fruitlessly lacking inspiration? Not the people of Falinge!  They saw their brick wall as a creative opportunity, quite literally!
So I was pleased as punch when they invited Art.Works to come on board and make their creative ideas a reality.

Over the summer months Lower Falinge Housing Estate has been awash with poster paints, sticky palettes and plywood as six community groups from the estate got to work transforming a dull brick wall into an animated artistic space.

Over the course of eight weeks each group designed and painted three gigantic murals to represent their groups’ ethos.  From scurrying rabbits on a veg patch to a football match on an urban kick-pitch each group created amazingly unique art works which positively gleam in the late summer sun.

So, what kind of funky designs did each group come up with?  In no particular order:
L play: a comic strip illustrating a monster on the run from the mischievous kids, look out behind you!

Women’s Group: inspired by the paintings of Beryl Cook, a beautiful painting of their group enjoying a arts session on the estate, also featuring Percy the Cat!

Boy’s Group: an amazing mix media mural featuring football photos, speeding cars and towering skyscrapers

Girl’s Group: stimulated by Andy Warhol a photo-montage of their beautiful faces block printed and painted so brightly they make Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe look comparably dowdy!

Gardening Group: an animated illustration of their allotment including squirrels, foxes and even chickens! So meticulously painted it could have come straight out of a children’s picture book!

Young Wardens: all the kids of the world celebrate! The young warden’s design commemorates the vitality different cultures bring to Lower Falinge Estate.

Thursday 26th August 2010 saw the launch of the murals, now perfectly placed on Cartmel, Lower Falinge.  The launch was attended by each group along with their friends and family.  There were many ‘oohs’ even more ‘wows’ and lots of looks of amazement as the artists showed off their talented display of work.

The afternoon was brought to life with the Dancing Group’s performance along with face painting, henna painting, a bouncy castle and scrummy cakes.  A fantastic finale to a fabulous project on Falinge.
If you’re passing through Rochdale so make sure you check out the group’s work: Cartmel, Lower Falinge, OL12 6RQ


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Middleton’s Youth Make Mosaics

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure for a big surprise... in fact, you’ll have four!  Four huge ceramic tile surprises no less!  Because the youth of Middleton have been working hard to spruce up their woodland and park to create four awesome mosaics to make their estate sparkle.


On 27th, 29th and 30th July over 20 kids from local youth groups Burnside and Riverside came together on a mission; to make mosaics illustrating the fantastic features of Truffet Park, Langley, and they came up trumps!


To kick start the project the kids took part in a creative nature trail around the park’s four key areas, collecting arty artifacts which might stimulate some smashing designs.  Back at the base kids worked well weaving their artifacts into their willow stick frames.  From bark rubbings to branches, wild flowers to baby frogs! (The frogs were quickly taken back to their habitat I hasten to add!), no artistic evidence was turned away until it had be analysed by the young artistic eyes.  


Inspired by the trail the kids then took part in the big draw, a mass picture making activity, the most vibrant observations captured down on paper.  One young warden said:


‘We found lots of baby frogs in the pond, I enjoyed collecting big strands of bull rush to draw in my picture’.


After an energetic health and safety talk ‘goggles on intrepid illustrators, these here tiles are as sharp as shark’s teeth!’, Thursday saw kids identifying their pictures in the mosaic designs, could you spot a bee buried in the wild flower meadow? Then one, two three and smash!  The hard work started with a bang, a crash, a wallop!  As each team member got hands on with their tiles and elbows high in adhesive, working together to form sensational displays for their park.  As eager young artist Aran suggested:
‘it’s like making a massive jigsaw, but this time we get to make the piece using the hammer, it’s great!’ glad you think so Aran, so do we!


By Friday morning the mosaics were well on their way thanks to the nibble fingered youngsters and, with one last surge of energy the pictures finally took shape.  Youth Worker Paula Amos from Burnside Community Centre noted:


‘The kids are really engaged, you’ve done a great job reaching some challenging kids.. They’re all working as a team, it’s good to see’.


So, a few finishing touches, a smothering of grout and this time next week Truffet Park will be proudly displaying four awesome artistic mosaics created by their estate’s own young hands.  As hard working Park Ranger (he also makes ‘well sick ham butties’ apparently!)Mike Cunningham said:


‘The mosaics will brighten up our park and the hard work of the kids has really paid off, we’re all looking forward to seeing them up and displayed’


I couldn’t agree more Mike, but hard work, nargh, it was just a walk in the park for those kids...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Wonderful Ways to Work Together.



Up and down the country, in and out of the streets the beginning of July buzzed with communities working together in the name of Co-operation.  To kick start the very first Co-operative’s Fortnight the country celebrated the success of common partnership through open studios, band nights, quirky videos, and yes, you guessed it, mass participation Art.Works. 

Eager to participate in this national first Art.Works created the most artistic of afternoons slap bang in the middle of the birth place of Co-operation, Rochdale town Centre.  Together with the town’s folk of Rochdale we created a giant mural of the Rochdale Pioneer’s shop that would make co-operative hero Robert Owen proud!

On a blustery Monday afternoon Art.Works worked with fellow co-operators ‘Peace Effects Media’ to create a live art pastel picture and vibrant video.  We spread the co-operative message, (working together we can do so much more) and soon had a helpful crowd of passersby, shoppers and a whole assembly of school children ready to pitch in and pastel their town centre all the colours of the proverbial rainbow.

Without the good will of Rochdale’s finest residents we would not have achieved such a colourful creation, as one participant put it: ‘it’s good doing it like this innit? Get more out of it when we all pitch in’.  I couldn’t have put it better myself!

So huge thanks to the kids, the teachers, the grannies, the shoppers, the Falinge massive, the crew, them all.  Big up Peace Effects Media’ who are editing their awesome footage as I type (look out for the special blog post and feature on their finished product) and respect to Lindzi and John at Co-operative’s UK and David from the Co-operative Group for their help and expertise.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

A Little Round Up Of A Massive Month!

Goodness!  what a gloriously busy month June has been for Art.Works!  We've been sprinkling our creative star dust high and low, from the the very first Fruity  Fairtrade Session at Touchstones to harvesting arts for Handa's Surprise at Bowlee Primary School, and not forgetting all the felt making, flag flying and mosaic making across many Rochdale schools in between. It's been a non stop art shop for Art.Works, just the way we like it!


This week alone saw the start of our exciting new project ' The Great Wall of Cartmel', aimed at involving six community groups from Falinge Housing Estate in creating their huge mural masterpiece to brighten up their living space.  


On Friday we kicked off with 40 members  Falinge parents and kids group.  we flung our shoes off and dived feet first, (ok, feet only!) into paint before splashing and racing over lengthy leafs of paper.  Spurred on by their paint splattered introduction members then formed ferocious monsters in groups, ready to grin and growl from their giant mural. And why did the monster knit herself three socks? Because she'd grown another foot of course!


The women's group are now armed with their cameras ready to click, flick and snap their estate in all it's glory.  they're looking forward to paining inspiration for their multi cultural inspired canvas.  Watch out Falinge, ladies with lens about!


The girl's group then got to grips with Warhol, transforming the Striking Cheryl Cole into a colourful canvas of silky cerise skin to a perfect purple pout,  nice!  The girls have decided to put their own image onto their canvas and will brave the colourful palette once more to create a quirky Warhol inspired mural.  I can't wait to see their transformation when we start the painting later in the summer. 


Here's to hoping all other community groups on Falinge feel as inspired as our intrepid artists on Friday, they've set the ball rolling, the paint palette swirling for a lively transformation of Falinge's Cartmel Wall.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Sunshine and Showers for Felting with St Edward's


Some might suggest it was the perfect piece of art activity for   ferociously  hot Friday; water sprays, bowls of soap suds a cool vapour in the classroom air, soothing felt making.  But don't be deceived!   I neglected to mention the extreme exertion required when felt making. The vigourous rubbing of olive oil soap to bind fibres, the rapid rolling back and forth, back and forth, of felting mats, the pummeling of fires.  Think of a room fueled with over zealous bakers, pumping, pounding, squeezing, squirting; that's the scene of a felt making classroom.  


Oh it might have been hot outside, there might have been litres of cooling water galore  inside, but that didn't distract Year 6 pupils from St Edwards' putting all their energies into forming fantastic felted pieces of art.


On a hot and sticky Friday in May pupils worked with Art.Works to create amazing felt animals, birds and plants to be displayed on a banner in their school.  Working in 3 groups of 16 the pupils immediately took a hands on approach to learning.  To kick off the sessions the pupils'  imagination came alive with animated suggestions they wanted to praise God for.  From the hump back whale to saffron winged butterflies, all creatures (great and small!)  were considered during the sessions.


The creative kids then selected their brightly coloured fibres to bind , shape and form.  Then, shirt sleeves rolled high above the elbow, soap suds and squirt bottles at the ready, pupils put their back into forming and producing a jungle of creatures that could put Noah to shame!


Art.Works had a fantastic day with Year six at St Edward's Primary School, their enthusiastic approach to art kept us entertained and their comments ensured we left St Edward's with an enormous smile on our face...


'This is brilliant, Cat is very funny (and) crazy.... Trish is kind... I want you to come back to our school' 
Year 6 pupil, St Edward's Primary School, Rochdale

Monday, 17 May 2010

What a platform for an exhibition!


There's something quite therapeutic about gazing out of a train window when you pull into a station.   It's faintly cathartic to watch others board the train, or imaging the adventures of those disembarking.  Your eyelids might get droopy, your breathing may match the rhythm of the train, that is of course unless you pull into  Todmorden Railway Station!  it takes a second glance, an involuntary gasp of breath, a rush towards the train's doors before the conductor blows his whistle.  and what makes this small Yorkshire station prompt such a flurry of activity, why, an art exhibition of course!


From the 8th May to the end of the month Tricia (of Art.Works fame) will be exhibiting and selling her vibrant and 'quirky' paintings in the platform one gallery, Todmorden Railway Station.  After a hugely successful launch, in which 3 paintings where snapped up by eager eyed buyers, there's been a constant stream of visitors pouring over the colourful canvases.


Trish said 'I'm so happy so many people were able to come to the launch and I'm really excited to see all my paintings displayed together in one space.'


So, if you find yourself pulling in to Todmorden station why not hop off for the train for a while and indulge in a little creative delight guaranteed to put a smile on on the face of even the most miserable of Monday morning commuters!


Info: Platform one gallery is open Thursday- Sunday 11am-4pm.  all proceeds from sales will go  to buy clean water facilities for friends in Uganda.  Thanks to Phill Atherton for the photos!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Little Fingers Make Murals for the Garden

So, who said painting can only be done with a brush?  This week the early years and reception children at All Saints Primary School, Rochdale have been proving everyone wrong.  The creative kids have experimented with using all their body; from their tiny little toes to their clay covered finger tips to make some seriously messy murals! Experimenting with tone, colour and texture the children enjoyed splattering paint across the boards building layers with the paints and their bodies to tell an artistic tale.


Pupils took part in an interactive story session, trying to find the perfect home for little bird and his friends.  Then, beady eyes at the ready, armed with magnifying glasses, they scoured the school grounds in search of that ideal nesting place.  No stone was left unturned, no plant plot left unexplored, as the pupils decided where little bird may live.  Eventually an oak tree proved the perfect home, near enough to the silver streaked slug to be neighboroughs, but far enough away from the road to avoid the buzz-buzz of traffic.


But little fingers itch to keep creating, so after a thorough soil analysis the children used their experiences to paint four gigantic murals illustrating the bird's flight from the long, lush grass to the cool shade of the oak tree.


Over two fun filled days pupils have walked through paints to create a path for the birds, they've made tracks by driving toy cars through paint and smearing it across the boards.  The talented toddlers have rolled tufts of lush green grass high onto the meadows for the mural and printed leaves to canopy the trees.


And now, (after a little meddling on my part)All saints early years and reception children have formed  a fantastic piece of art to brighten up their outdoor classroom, and of course, give little bird a place called home!


If you'd like more information, check out our photo album on the Art.Works facebook site: www.facebook.com/pages/artworks or drop me a line: 078 1616 8982 to receive or 'outdoor classroom' resource pack.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

It's all change on the blog front!

So.... you've might have noticed a few changes a foot, no, I'm not talking about the faint smell of summer in the air, or the increasing anticipation as the general election approaches, I'm talking about the Art.Works blog of course!


After receiving requests from follwers for a more accessible format for the blog I've descided to have a reshape.  I hope you find the new look blog easier to follow, read and interact with.  You'll notice some snazzy extras too:

  • a resources shop: (it's in a tab at the top) this is going to feature resources for you to download for free or buy to help inspire creativity in the class room and beyond.  There will be lesson suggestions for key dates like Fairtrade fortnight, anti bullying week etc.  It will also feature the resources we sell, interactive and informative resource packs for curricular texts and environmental projects as well as the all important 'Art in a Box'; resources for you to buy and create in the classroom, or indeed wherever you fancy!    If there's anything you'd like to see featured in the resource shop, shout out! let me know and I'll see how I can help.
  • an arty shop: (again look at the tabs at the top).  This will have original pictures and prints designed and created by yours truly, available to buy.  Do you have a special occasion you'd like to commemorate?  drop me a line and I'll design a piece of work especially for you!  The arty shop will also feature the  'Art in a Box' resources for you to buy, purely for the fun of it.  If you've ever fancied making a funky felt necklace, or your own ceramic mosaic you can now do so from the comfort of your own sofa!  Just choose the box you want, I'll send you the box including resources and instructions, then it's up to you, your imagination, and a little elbow grease!
  • a facebook page! for up to date info of what we're up to join our facebook group: www.facebook.com/pages/artworks
And, of course, if you want to know even more about what we're up to you can subscribe via email, just pop your details into the box to the right labeled 'subscribe via email' (funnily enough!) and we'll let you know of up and coming workshops we're running with kids and adults.

So...thanks for following the blog so far and I hope you'll find the new look blog the bees knees!  *Unfortunately the new blog still features my over zealous vocabulary, like an ever flicking thesaurus, it's just something I'll have to keep working on...

Friday, 9 April 2010

Felt Fantastic and More Fun Filled Adventures


So the schools are way, but the cat will still play! I've been making the most of the school's Easter holidays by touching up on my own artistic skill, I've now added a whole new dimension, felt making!

That's right, roll up your sleeves, grab your squirty ecover and pop the bubble wrap, because all are vital tools in the felt making process! On Saturday 27th March I joined Jo Gornall, the expert felt maker for a day of creative construction. And some squidding, soaping, rolling, foaming hours later, hay presto! I'd produced my own fantastic felt masterpiece.

Keen to put my new found talent into practice I have incorporated felt making into the next big Art.Works commission. In May I will be working with the delightful pupils at All Saints's Primary School, Rochdale, to create two gigantic wall hangings which will transform their school's entrance. The work will include felt formed by the pupils, perfect dove prints, ceramic fish, and a little tile mosaicing too. Just another fun filled, soap spilled, messy Art.Works session then! And I can't wait!

As well as indulging in this organized chaos I've now designed Art.Works new 'Art in a Box' resources for schools, been approached with the idea to run holiday workshops for Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre, and just today, won the tender to work at Abby Acre Care Home in Oldham to create a tasty mural for their new dinning area. Details of all these exciting new projects will soon feature on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled!

If you're interested in any of the work Art.Works offers, or want more information why not drop me a line? email: art.works.coop@gmail.com or phone: 07816168981, I like nothing more than a good gossip!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

New Eco Schools Workshops with Art.Works and Touchstones


It might have been all quiet on the blog front but rest assured, the keys on this keyboard have been going like the clappers, all in the name of art!

Last week was an exciting week for Art.Works as we got ourselves in gear for the next school year. Thanks to the extraordinarily generous Education Co-ordinator at Touchstones, Rochdale, Art.Works will soon be featured in their school's programme! Karen Vine, Touchstone's Education Co-ordinator said she was 'looking forward to adding a new eco dimension to the schools programme', not as much as I am Karen!

I've been busy creating innovative workshops to inspire pupils to engage with art, drama and even a bit of eco warrior-ism, all in 2 new ninety minute workshops. From April schools can book, through Karen at Touchstones, the Art.Works sessions 'Fruity Fairtrade' and 'Re-work it'. They will enjoy hands on workshops in the inspiring surroundings of Rochdale's impressive heritage centre, Touchstones. The sessions will be a snip, at around £68 each (this price will be finalised later in the month).

So, to any environmentally aware teachers out there, it's a great opportunity to get out of the class room and into the museum of inventive disarray (that's the Art.Works sessions, not Touchstones in general!)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Celebrating Book Week With Bowlee Primary





What do you get if you mix 60 place mats, 60 felt picnic lunches, 60 cat masks, 10 table clothes and 60 T-shirts? a very big lunch of course! and that's exactly what Browlee Primary created last week during National children's Book Week.

Kicking off with an interactive performance of 'The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch', there was no shortage of pupils willing take centre stage and become characters from the tale. From the industrious Mr Grinling, polishing his lamp and sweeping the deck, to Mrs Grinling, the most dextrous baker near the seven seas, pupils lit up the story with their animated acting skills. But let's not forget those pesky seagulls, what, you might ask, does a hall full of pupils screeching like seagulls sound like? music to my ears of course!

Pupils then sprung into action taking part in drama games and arts activities with Art.Works. On Monday Reception children painted the bobbly side of the broccoli to create inspired place mats. Year one were transformed from kids to kittens creating funky cat masks to prowl around the school in. We created some scrummy picnics with year two, crisps, cakes and sumptuous chocolate bars, unfortunately they were carved from felt, not too tasty then!

Key stage two pupils shone brightly as they continued to make and create on the theme of The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch on Friday. Year three's wonderfully wooly 3-D fruits looked good enough to eat. year four printed the perfect picnic blankets to display Monday's felt foods on. They designed their printing block, cut their stamp and formulated a pattern, what a gifted and inventive bunch!

And it seems Brimrod Primary might just be harbouring Britain's fashion designers of the future. Year 5 swapped the studio for a sweatshop as they designed and printed nearly 60 T-shirts illustrating key characters from the lighthouse Keeper's Lunch.

What productive pupils, what cheerful staff and, of course, what an amazing adventure. Art.Works couldn't be happier after celebrating Book Week with Brimrod , so thanks to all who took part, and remember, next time you hear a seagull, just whip out the mustard...

Friday, 26 February 2010

Splashing paints in the library


It might have raining outside, but in All Saints CE Primary the sun was shining, in fact it was gleaming, a huge circumference of a solar grin splashed across Ebony Wormald's canvas.

Art.Works has had a most enjoyable afternoon today, working with an artistic trio in All Saints school, Rochdale. Adam Hussain, Hannah Hussain and Ebony Wormald sparkled as they spalshed their winning designs for the school's library onto huge canvases.

The talented threesome got to work straight way, selected the particular paints for their palette, choosing the right brushes and creating bursts of colour, shape and texture. Their master pieces are sure to make their library buzz with animation and creation. Indeed, so intent were the pupils on producing the perfect picture, I had trouble getting a word out of them! Only my terrible singing finally raised a few cries of horror and disbelief!

I'm looking forward to finishing off the edges (that's like crossing the t's and dotting the i's in teacher terms) and taking the canvases back to the imaginative students next week.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Art.Works in Africa!

There might be snow on the ground here in Littleborough, but in Africa there's a mosaic to be made! While the rest of us are stamping our feet and rubbing our fingers to keep warm Trish is busy getting creative in Aru, in the Congo. Not deterred by the lack of conventional materails, or indeed the searing heat, Trish has been working with the community to make a fantastic floor mosaic. They've been using stones, pebbles and a curious mix of Tuff Bond and water, how's that for creative thinking?!

I'm hoping Trish's French has improved a little since she flew out over a week ago as the last I heard she was 'going to have to rely on the art and drama of pulling of funny faces!!' to teach the pupils at the local school. oh, dear... but I can't wait to hear about her African adventures, spreading Art.Works to the furthest most points of the Atlas.

Back in frost bitten Blighty I've been busy taking bookings for book week, creating an awesome resource pack (if you've ever wanted to know how to screen print a t-shirt with sticky fingered seven year olds nows your chance!) and freelancing at Touchstones.

I left lots of smily faces puckering up with a huge cheesy grin on Saturday as I facilitated at the family fun day in Rochdale's inspiring museum, Touchstones. We created a pop up paper camera, perfect for capturing all those moments so vivid in the imagination, but the conventional camera lens doesn't always see. Everyone say cheeeeeeeeeese!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Summer will sparkle in Failinge


We are chuffed to bits at Art.Works this week. Following on from our success a few years ago working with Failinge Youth Group to create their stylish mosaic; a prominent feature which welcomes visitors to their estate, we're at it again! and this time it's bigger and better than before.

We have just received confirmation of funding to work with some of Failinge's exciting new community groups such as the over 50s group, the parents group and, of course the youth group. Jackie Robinson, Failinge's Priority Area Worker, said she was looking forward to working with Art.Works on this new project.

In Summer 2010, the tenants and residents of Failinge will be rolling back their sleeves to create 10 large scale murals illustrating their fantastic thoughts on life on their estate. I can't wait to work with the groups and help their imaginative ideas turn into an eye catching wall of colour and vibrancy. It'll be an adventure, all group members will be armed with a brush and a paint pot, working together to add a little sparkle and transform their community space.

And if that's not enough, we'll be giving the community centre a bit of a facelift too! The youth group have decided to revamp the dull grey shutters on their building and add a splash of colour to make the structure shine.

So roll on the summer, roll back the rain clouds and get ready to be dazzled as Art.Works and Failinge paint the town red! (or green..or yellow...or blue..)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

lighthouses, lunches and a lot of art.work!




Another first from Art.Works! Because we're just big kids that can't grow up we've decided to launch a book week extravaganza! Excited? you should be!

We're celebrating world book day (4th March) in style. think big, big butties, big seagulls, big characters. What am I talking about? why 'The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch' of course!

Fresh off the press Art.Works has created a fun filled day to explore the themes of this classic children's tale. What did Mr Grinling do at the Lighthouse all day? How do you deter a screeching seagull? Is Hamish a courageous kitten or a real scaredy cat?

Through role play, mosaic making and a little bit of printing too pupils in and around Rochdale will be taking part in the most animated book day this side of the book's deep blue sea (at least I hope so...)

Friday, 1 January 2010

Art.Works


it's a monumental day, the very first blog from Cat at Art.Works, and, too be honest, I find it a bit scary, once I click 'publish post' it's here, on line forever! It'll be like an English essay littered with superlatives, but I'll try and get it right.

We at Art.Works have been busy beavering away, facilitating exiting projects in schools, with local services and even finding time to create are own little masterpieces.

We're just wrapping up our first special needs room renovation at St Mary's RC Primary, Oldham. With the help of kids in every key stage we've transformed a dull store room into a tactile learning space and can't wait to put the final touches to the room.


So get that paint brush out, give your primary colours a squirt and join in our colourful adventures here with Art.Works