Monday, 4 October 2010

The Wardrobe of Wonders at Erddig....

Some photos from Erddig Apple Festival, a lovely day.....full of crafty fun with crown decorating, paper flower making, playing  with props, dressing up and storytelling

Miranda in the midst of A Snow White rendition

our papier mache apples! full of rattling pips!

decorating crowns....lots of fantastic apple kings and queens!

Miranda and Silence the Swan puppet perform a duet with Geoff of Drama in Education with his Victorian games events!

Apple baby!

The wardrobe festival props galore, lots of children had fun exploring the contents and dressing up in what they found...we even had a little girl announce herself to be the 'Season Queen'! brilliant!

paper flower making with the audience

ducks....prior to the rain easing off, this was our core audience!

some of the wardrobe's merry troupe!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Erddig Apple Festival and the Wardrobe Fantastic!

Having just returned from a fantastically fun weekend spent at Erddig Apple Festival we have had a chance to see the reaction of an audience to our wardrobe ideas and activities. After four months of prep it's been brilliant to see how children are able to interact and enjoy all the wardrobe props and stories. Pushing the boundaries of the children's book format into a more interactive experience has been a really rewarding experience and after today, we are brimming full of ideas for future events and ways of getting children's imaginations reeling!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Apple Day Preparations and MA Exhibition

 We have had a very busy couple of weeks, not only have we been preparing the wardrobe for exhibition in a show of MA work to welcome new and returning students back to NWSAD but we also have been preparing for our first major public event. Over this weekend we'll be taking part in the Apple Days at Erddig in North Wales, with the wardrobe and its contents illustrating the tales spun by our storyteller, Miranda West.

So in preparation for this we have been working on making some props and puppets to bring to life key points in the stories, which as well as being used by ourselves and Miranda, can also be passed around the audience. These include some apple rattles, which we've made out of papier mache, using lovely large bramley apples as moulds, and which we have filled with lentils, so they make interesting noises when shaken.
These were also fantastically therapeutic to make, sometimes it's nice to just make without having to engage your brain too much.

We also scaled up our previous puppet attempts to create the 3 goddesses for one of our stories, and Jess created them using gum strip over bunched up newspaper with cardboard used to build up the features of the faces in between the layers of gum strip, and then twisted long lengths of the gum strip to create hair styles. We decided to just create the heads and to leave them plain, with just a coat of gold paint rather than painting on faces like we did with the smaller puppets, so that they would be more iconic and other worldly. We attached the heads to long sticks of wood, so that they can be lifted quite high, and be quite imposing and eye catching, also the gold paint looks rather spectacular when it catches the light.

We have also made lanterns, decorated fabric to appear like the night sky, made some star mobiles and an 'apple baby' to be used as props. We have also sorted out a costume for Miranda which has layers which can be added and removed depending on the story she is telling and the character she is being, so as well as being the storyteller at times she will also be as a prop from the wardrobe, and have a magical persona. As we came up with Miranda's costume we also sorted out plenty of other costume bits and pieces to fill the wardrobe with, so that there is the possibility for children to dress up as characters from the stories too.

Here are some pictures of the wardrobe as we exhibited it over the last few days alongside some work by fellow MA students.

And to finish this is Oli and Lukas helping us to transport the wardrobe this afternoon, with an anxious Cait looking on as we realised the sign from the top needed removing in order to get it into the car and, just after this picture was taken, 2 of the casters fell off, again! but these will be fixed, with longer screws this evening. At least we know it is definitely waterproof after standing with it in the rain, which could prove very useful judging by the weekend's forecast.