Every now and then I like to make things in 3-D – it’s a good way of developing a character and getting to know it from all angles. Recently I’ve been writing stories about rabbits and had an urge to make one, and here’s the result. I started with a little plan in my sketch book to match the drawings I had been doing, then made a rough pattern out of scrap fabric and pinned it together to see if it would work. I had a lovely bit of grey velvet and some purple satin that seemed just right to line the ears and underneath the feet. Next I tacked it and turned it inside out to check it was still in order – at this stage I had to make a few adjustments around where the legs meet the body – tricky business, the gusset. Chain stitch made the mouth and nose and detail on the paws, and the finishing touch was the tail. I couldn’t think what to use and finally hit on the idea of an old sheepskin glove which had lost its partner – trim the fingers and turn it inside out, and it makes a perfect rabbit tail. The whole rabbit turned out rather enormous – you can see the scale when he’s standing on my desk! But a nice armful to hug. Maybe he will have a book or two to go with him one day…
While having a clear-out at home, I came across these three funny characters. I made them a few years ago when I did an MA in Illustration and Animation at Kingston University – they were part of a project about synaesthesia, a strange medical condition in which senses get mysteriously connected, so that people taste shapes, feel flavours, hear colours or any other crazy permutations.
Each of these three has a zip for a mouth, and when you unzip them you can turn them inside out so that they turn into a different character – each one represents a sense so that they are connected, and can also ‘play’ with each other.
As there are only 5 senses but they needed to be in pairs, I had a problem – the inspiration struck – the final one is, naturally, the Sixth Sense, who I named Mr Six. He’s a bit special with a green silk bow tie and crazy antennae, and six velvety toes:
I haven’t looked at these creatures for years, but it’s been great fun getting them out again.
For the last couple of days I have been at Ronald Ross Primary School in Southfields creating a giant blue whale with Years 4, 5 and 6. It’s been great fun and we have tried to make it as lifelike as possible, with baleen and even barnacles. The framework is made from willow.
Lots of people came and enjoyed playing with the giant cubes and looking at pictures at the private view at The Old Sweet Shop on July 17th.
Tolworth Girls’ School wanted to create an artwork using recycled materials and involving everyone in Year 9. I took inspiration from artist El Anatsui and devised this wall hanging made from recycled juice cartons. Each girl made a segment of 25 tiny squares linked with wire, and they also etched their own designs into the silver and gold packaging material. The result is a flexible hanging that can be hung in folds to catch the light. Sue Edkins also worked on this project.