Winter Lights, 2

More Winter Lights!

Sunday 9th December

1 – 4 pm

some festive bottle lanterns!

Manifold Primary School

Warslow, SK17 0JP

As the nights grow longer and the festive season approaches, join us in the beautiful Upper Dove Valley for an afternoon of making…there will be paper for drawing and patterns for cutting – festoon your house, or maybe yourself, with your own Christmas cut-outs, or make a glowing lantern to light those dark winter nights

more bottle lanterns!

Materials provided but please bring a plastic bottle if you can – 500ml – 2 litre all work well

Free

No booking needed

Children need to bring a grown-up with them

Allow 45 minues for your activity

 

This is the last of the Summer Excitements! events, supported by South West Peak

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Gawain

November 2018

a dragon waits…

There was a long dark forest,

wicked woods, wild, wind-blown and whistling woods,

Where twirling leaves trembled on tall, terrifying trees,

With treacherous twigs to tempt you to a terrible fate

We are having a wintry Gawain and the Green Knight season this month

wooden spoon royalty

a new friend, or a new foe?

The Sir Gawain project saw a lively and successful weekend. There was painting, a new artwork from Sue Prince (with mass community participation, paintbrushes and pennies), walks, talks and excitements from Clive Foden, and  some 40 people, and more, joining us (Stone and Water, Creeping Toad, and Sarah Males) on Saturday to make a cast of medieval characters on wooden spoons at the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek

I am also working with the children of St Bartholomew’s C of E Primary School, Longnor, and Manifold C of E Academy, Warslow, to write the further adventures of Gawain. These are taking shape in exciting and unpredictable ways and now we are making puppets to animate our narrative poems….

But the long road home was waiting

A perilous path through the wild wastes

Where a wild wood grew over the hilltops

Through the dales

There were terribly twisty trees

Where owls rested on the branches

And wary wolves watched from the shade 

 

There were robbers in those woods

But fighting fierce foxes and

Struggling bravely to battle big, bad badgers

Gawain finally made it through the fierce forest

(Manifold)

enchanted forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through the woods in safety

Gawain stopped by a cool, relaxing pool,

The home,

But he did not know it

Of mysterious mermaids,

secretive mermaids

Who can sing, or scream, as loud as trumpets

Mean as monsters

Swift as snakes,

With claws as sharp as sharks’ teeth

They would drag you down, down to the depths

Down to your drowned death 

the Mermaid Pool at Blakemere

And of those mermaids there was one

Who had once asked the fairies of the forest

For a friendly favour, a wild and wonderful wish,

To become the most mysterious, the most marvelous,

The most powerful mermaid,

Ever 

 

Gawain rested by the water,

trailing his tired toes in

The cool refreshing water

When he felt a tug on his leg,

A hand pulling him into the dark water,

And down, down, down….

(Longnor)
So many people to thank here – all those artists, puppeteers and poets and Borderland Voices  who are coordinating my Gawain workshops in the schools

Winter Lights!

 

Winter Lights

Dove Valley Centre

Friday 7th December

1 – 4pm

As the nights grow longer and the festive season approaches, join us in the beautiful Upper Dove Valley for an afternoon of making…there will be paper for drawing and patterns for cutting – festoon your house, or maybe yourself, with your own Christmas cut-outs, or make a glowing lantern to light those dark winter nights

Materials provided but please bring a plastic bottle if you can – 500ml – 2 litre all work well

Free

No booking needed

 

Access: as far as possible, we’ll park people down by the centre itself but if we get busy you might find a sign on the gate asking you to park there and walk down the hill (a picturesque 5 minutes!)

If you have any especial concerns about access, please get in touch:  stoneandwater@btinternet.com

Dove Valley Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the first of a busy weekend of Wintry light events for Stone and Water…..details for the others will follow but…

Friday 7th: when we finish at the Centre, we’re heading over to the Christmas Fayre at St Bartholomews Primary School in Longnor to do a similar activity there (5 – 7 pm) before joining the village for their Lights Switch On that evening

Saturday 8th: improvising some Victorian Lanterns at Wincles Primary School as aprt of their Victorian Christmas Fete from 3pm

Sunday 9th: Warslow: Winter Lights activity at Manifold Primary School, 1 – 4 pm – details to follow

 

These are the last of the Summer Excitements! event, a project supported by the South West Peak and the Bingham Trust

Dogs and ducks and drawings

Mills, canals and creatures

Friday 2nd November 2018
a Derwent Stories event

the canal and trees

A day on the canalbank at Cromford Mill as part of the  Discovery Days Festival . People passing by, dogs passing by, lots of looking and talking and careful joining in….a very small buzzard being watched by a very small person, concealed water voles, dog prints and narrow boats.
Jacob’s Mill with its innovative use of sunlight
The railway carriage at High Peak Junction
Melissa’s precise drawing of a badger
Mill machines and turning cogs, spinning threads
A beech tree turning red and gold as the season turns
Howard the dog whow atches the ducks, and
Barney who watches the mud, and
Shandy who watches the stick….

Wheels turned, slowly spinning histories into cloth,
Weaving lives into brick and rail,
Loom and yard,
A racket, a whirr
Wheels turned,
Spinning faster.

Mills, canals and creatures: holiday drawing event

Mills, canals and creatures

Friday 2nd November

Cromford Wharf, Mill Lane, Cromford, DE4 3RQ

Sessions: 10.30 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 3.30

Meet: classroom at Cromford Wharf (opposite the Wharf Café)

the canal inspires…

 

a bird on the water

Using old pictures, local wildlife and our own ideas, we’ll design giant mill machines and autumn landscapes on long rolls of paper – help us create a 20metre monster of a machine!

 

Draw, design, sketch and scribble a mill as long as a monster, a canal full of creatures, a world of wonders and delights: join our team for a day of giant pictures and miniature moments

 

well-scribbled trees

As autumn edges towards winter, let’s try to catch the sharp edges of buildings, the wrinkles on the canal, the worn steps and wooden lintels of the mill buildings. Watch the canal and add The Portrait of a Duck. Or dream about the mill’s complicated machinery and fit some strange contraption of wheels and cogs and levers and lines somewhere….

 

and stories unfold with our drawing

Last time we did an event like this at the Mill, the finished picture spread along about 4 tables or lay out on the grass like a beached whale! A day of relaxed drawing – drop in for a scribble or two, draw us something for our piece and – or – do your own drawing to take away!

 

Like all the Derwent Stories events, Mills, canals and creatures is open to anyone who wants to join in but activities are structured around families with children with additional needs

 

This is part of the Derwent Mills Discovery Days programme with events running through October. Follow the link to find out more

buildings at the wharf

 

Rock guitar and apples….

Apple Day

Dove Valley Centre,

14th October 2018

early for apples maybe…

An applyfish, not to be trifled with

Small feet flapping on a tablecloth,

small hands wave with fruity good cheer,

an angel flutters wings

and a strawberry fish and an Appllyfish* swam together through the waters of the Dove….

 

This was a Creeping Toad event for Stone and Water, I do hope no-one was expecting sensible….

 

There was a musician, a musical apple, who couldn’t play but who could hold his guitar and head bang dramatically……

 

We were at Apple Day at the Dove Valley Centre. A celebration of old orchards and new trees, a wonder of cakes and apple juices. Apple Days are almost always lovely events. This one was wet. Very wet and very cheerful with about 80 people over the afternoon coming to taste and test apple cakes, sip apple juice and help crush the apples that arrived in bags and boxes and baskets from trees across the Moorlands and the High Peak.

 

Quietly, there was also a chance to think “owl”, to watch images, to talk about help and listen to their stories, to see what any of us could do to support these beautiful, mysterious ghosts of field, meadow and open moor

 

And I was there to tell stories and lead people astray…so we did

 

There will be some film of our assorted puppets posted shortly

 

the strawberry fish, very rare, very wiggly

Apple Rock Star, one day

 

(* like a jellyfish but freshwater and probably tastier)

 

This event was a combined one with partners including Stone and Water’s Summer Excitements! project and Buxton Museum and Art Gallery’s BM125 project

The next Summer Excitements! activity will be posted on this blog soon

The next BM125 activity will appear on the Creeping Toad and Buxtom Museum pages soon

Stone puppets and pebble people

PEBBLE PEOPLE AND STONE PUPPETS

A Creeping Toad activity for
Derwent Stories and
BM125

 

Thanks to Jo Wheeler for the photo

 

a cheery puppet c/o Jo Wheeler

Every stone tells a story: a tale that runs over millions of years. It might be a story of mountains and eruptions, of magma and lava and the long slow cooling of ancient crystals. It might be an adventure of ancient seas and the slow accumulation of sand and mud and minerals. There might be bones becoming fossils, shells building shapes….

Looking at a stone can become an exercise in the detection of ancient processes and modern erosions. But taking your knowledge of a stone and turning it into a puppet gives us a chance to play with stones as characters and to tell their stories in livelier ways

This is a puppet making activity – building your own stone’s story is another activity which will follow – but once you have used a stone to insprie a puppet, you can probably decide on a character and a backstory for your pebble puppet without us trying to organise you!

Getting started

fossil rich limestone from Peak District hills

Look at a stone: hold it, handle it, look at colours, shapes, inclusions – fossils? crystals? other pebbles? How hard is it? Does it crumble or flake?

Close your eyes and scribble the stone on a piece of paper into a sort-of person……

Making a puppet
These puppets are simple hand and rod ones that stand about 20 cm tall. We usually make them quickly and are working with several people at a time. Working at home, you can do everything in a more relaxed way. Or maybe not

You will need
There seems to be a lot of things: read through the directions and see where you could use something else if need be

  • a bath sponge or two
  • some thin card (or art foam)
  • scissors – big sharp ones are useful as well as sensible children’s ones
  • glue: “rubber solution” glue is best – Copydex or similar
  • a handful of dress-making pins
  • googly eyes maybe
  • permanent pens – Sharpies are good
  • scraps of wool or rags
  • about 40cm of cloth tape or riboon – or just strips of cloth (DO NOT cut up school shirts without permission)
  • a couple of barbecue skewers or similar
  • masking tape
  • a pipecleaner
  • a stapler

1. Sponge: cut your sponge in half – maybe not quite equally – one piece will be the head and the other the body. It is nice if these can be different colours – so use two sponges and make a puppet with a friend? We also use painty sponges: ones that we’ve used for acrylic paint so that they have ended up stained into interesting colours

2. The body: cut the “body” sponge in half to make a front and back (this is where large sharp scissors are useful). Arms and legs are strips of tape….with a standard bath sponge as our starting point, we’d usually go for arms about 10cm long and legs about the same …but there is no reason why a stone should have matching limbs, the same numbers and proportions as us or anything…..Slobber some glue over the inside of the spong, place the arm and legs ribbons on the glue. Add a neck ribbon as well – long enough to let the head move easily. Add some glue on top of the ribbons then fit the other half of the spong back into place. Hold everything in place with pins

 

 

 

3. Head: use your sharp scissors to snip a cut in the underside, making it deep enough and long enough to poke the neck ribbon in…..slather some glue in there and poke the neck ribbon in (the skewer help with getting ribbons and hair into the sponge. Pin in place

4. Now, working carefully around the pins, start drawing patterns on your sponges. You could do this first but we usually like to get the glueing done and drying. Fossil patterns? Or maybe stick on some glittery foil as crystals, or just scrap bits of foam as other rocks

5. Head: keep eyes to the end but just now you could try giving your puppet some hair (or maybe moss? or seaweed?). Use scraps of wool or cut up carrier bags perhaps. Put a little glue on this and then poke it into the sponge using the skewer. This can be tricky but is the best way of glueing things firmly to the sponge

6. Eyes: either draw some eyes on card or use a pair of googly eyes (or more?). Glue eyes in place, add a mouth or other features.

7. While the eyes are drying, draw some hands and feet on card or foam. Cut out and staple these into place on the end of the arm and leg ribbons

To animate everything, if you stick half a pipecleaner onto the end of a skewer, that can then be stapled over the pipecleaner to the back of one of the puppet’s hands. Then, if you hold the back of the head in one hand and the skewer in the other, you have a puppet ready to go wandering off on adventures. Usually one hand and one rod is enough the make a puppet active. You can try more rods but it can all get a bit awkward trying to manipulate everything….