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It’s a new year and we have a new timetable of courses and workshops at Art in the Park!

Our talented and friendly artists are running a wide range of courses to suit any ability. If you want to get creative or learn a new skill in 2012 this is your chance! We will be running classes in woodworking, recycled fashion, pottery, mosaics, pewter casting and life drawing.

For more information about each course, dates and to book please click here!

This year’s Burgess Park May Fair was a huge success with lots of activities and a great turnout. There were animals from Surrey Docks Farm, face painting, a mega sports challenge, BBQ, raffle, cake stalls and an outdoor screening of Slumdog Millionaire.

Art in the Park was also involved, providing creative, artistic activities for children. Leyla Folwell‘s portable pottery wheel gathered queues of kids wanting to get stuck in and dirty!  A marquee was also set up for bunting, where children used pre-made printing blocks to put designs on fabric triangles before it was hoisted up with ribbons woven using plastic strips from shopping bags. Other artists who helped  make the day such fun were Bill Hudson, Jacob Bunton, Annie Newman, Matilda Jefferis and Jane Higginbottom.

The Heart Gardeners also chipped in with their plant stall selling variety of garden must-haves such as worm juice, taken from our very own worms.

For more pictures of the day, see Friends of Burgess Park’s links below:

May Fair: Fair-y Cakes!

May Fair: Fayre

May Fair: Making & Creating

May Fair: Books, Animals and More Cakes!

On Friday 8th April the Heart Gardeners opened their doors to visitors as part of the Silver festival. A number of people dropped in to look at our gardening project and the ceramics that we are currently making. A party of 8 from Love Walk Residential Home for the Disabled in Camberwell stayed for the whole session and both joined in with the gardening and the ceramics.

It was a lovely sunny day sow we were all able to have lunch outside and enjoyed a bowl of homemade pea and mint soup.

Our visitors just did not want to go home afterwards and we hope that we will see them again some time soon.

The Heart Garden opening day was also featured in Silver Festival’s catalogue, here for more details.

For more information, go to http://www.southwark.gov.uk/silver.

Fire-Etching WorkshopsWe recently ran two ‘Fire-Etching’ workshops as part of our Service Level Agreement (S.L.A) with Southwark Council. Southwark needed us to brand some signposts for Southwark Park but with the collaborative efforts of the local community.

Initially marketed as ‘Branding‘ workshops, we found despite a healthy turnout on our first session that many people were confused with the word ‘Branding’, associating it with the kind of branding you refer to in the marketing world. Our workshop was definitely much more exciting and hands on than this!

So, the workshop was rebirthed (over soup, bread and other grown tidbits from our garden) into ‘Fire-etching.’ I don’t like to brag (maybe just a little) but I came up with it thinking along the lines of scorching wood with fire.

The first session was held on Thursday 24th February and we were blessed with a rare day of sunshine (some warmth) and a bucket-loads of children to the playground. Easing participants to our outdoor fire-etching setup was then a question of safety as we could only have a maximum number of people etching at a time.

Our second session on the Saturday 5th March (you can’t have the same luck twice) was a gloomy and chilly day with not as much people turning up as the previous session but still a pretty healthy turnout. However, a more manageable number meant you could spend more time on one signpost, giving way to much progress that day. All in all, the two sessions bore very healthy results and participants found themselves intrigued and hooked onto ‘fire-etching.’

“What the heck is fire-etching?”

Here is a brief lowdown on ‘fire-etching’:

  1. Trace your design onto the wood using carbon paper,
  2. The carbon paper should be put under your design while you trace on it. Once done, it should leave a clear impression,
  3. Many iron rods with different types of heads are then left in the path of a live blow torch,
  4. Once heated enough and wearing very heavy-duty gloves, carefully and with a firm grip hold onto one end of the rod,
  5. One glove should be more heavily padded than the other, this hand should be the one holding the middle part of the rod (never hold the end which is heated up, it will be extremely hot and even with padded gloves, you will end up getting burnt!),
  6. Angling the heated end of the rod into a comfortable position, you can then ‘etch’ the design by carefully placing it onto the wood, essentially scorching the wood.

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More Fire-Etching pictures and narrative

We were all blown into the class by strong winds today but this didn’t stop anybody from turning up to paint. The group are working on studies for the upcoming Silver Views exhibition in April, with some of the students progressing enough to be able to move onto painting on canvases.

Here are just some of the comments from the group:

“I am enjoying this – not quite worked like this before.”

“I just learnt how to filter in sky – beautiful!”

“…friendly class – Im learning…”

“…interesting but I feel I’m not getting there – keeps your mind occupied…”

“Very frustrating!”

As you can see, there is mixed feedback, this just goes to show that this workshop can be as challenging and delightful in ways you didn’t know. On top of this, they all said I make a good cup of tea!

The Art Group painting workshop is held every Monday 11am – 1pm and is open to all those over 50 living on the Aylesbury or SE17. Run in partnership with Southwark Pensioners Centre (SPC). See our website for more details: www.artinthepark.co.uk

About Silver Views

Silver Views is Southwark’s celebrated exhibition for the over 60s. In addition to this, the April 8th-24th will feature a fortnight of events and acitivities happening across the borough and beyond. Silver highlights the creativity of its older community through performance and exhibition opportunities, as well offering a whole range of creative, cultural, learning, physical and social experiences.

For more information on http://www.southwark.gov.uk/silver or for a breakdown of some of the events, see Cafe Gallery where the exhibition is to be held.

Here’s something to cheer those who may having the winter blues, all of which are most likely snow-related. To those who haven’t got the blues, well…you’ll enjoy it even more seeing as you’re still perky during this ‘big freeze.’

Art in the Park had a pleasant surprise this morning when we saw a young man, the name of Taro Mckinson building (though already completed when we arrived) an igloo! When asked about how long it took to craft such a cavernous and sturdy igloo, he replied with an surprising answer, stating he started working on it since 1 o’clock in the morning! Also, with no previous experience of building igloos, his first attempt at it is very not bad! This metre and half (roughly, I did not measure) igloo sits nearby Chumleigh Cafe and the Children’s Playground in Burgess Park.

When told that Southwark Council would have to take down the igloo (for health and safety reasons), he smiled and said ‘It doesn’t matter, it’s just for fun.’ Unphased by this piece of news, he continues to build his next piece, a snowman using a bucket and spade.We will continue to monitor his progress and hopefully have some pictures of this later.

For those venturing out today to the Cafe, playground or if you are just passing through Burgess Park, be sure to check out (and take some pictures with you posing next to it obviously) before it’s gone! If our elderly volunteer Brian can have a snowfight against 3-4 children, then you certainly can enjoy the snow while it’s here. If you have any stories about snow, we’d love to hear about it!

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The pictures for the Active Citizens Awards are up! We previously blogged that one of our long standing volunteers had been nominated for this and won. Volunteer Centre Southwark have now uploaded (a whopping 138 photos!) them onto flickr. The evening’s performances were themed around Black History Month. Here are just a few of our favourites.

As part of master drummer Henri Gobi

Active Citizens Award 2010 Drumming Performance

Active Citizens Award 2010

De-Masokhi Dance Group

Volunteer up for her Active Citizens Award 2010

Art in the Park volunteer Cynthia shaking hands with mayor

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