Monday, 4 July 2011


Is there order in Nature?   The subject of a week at the end of May making Sculptures with Primary School children.   I was invited to work with pupils at a School in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire to make five Sculptures using natural materials and to stand in the School garden.

My proposal to the School was Totemic Sculpture at least 1.8 metres high constructed from cut up pallet wood and rustic Hazel, Ash and Apple stickwood

I like the idea of Garden Sculpture doubling as Bug Hotels or bird nesting boxes and this suited the Schools overgrown garden which had a border of mixed herbaceous shrubs.

Days were divided into four sessions each with a new group.   All children had at least two periods working on the Sculptures during the week and I worked with a total of over a hundred children.

We used basic tools, hammers and nails, hand saws, cordless drill and screwdriver and wood screws.   I supplied scrap pallets to saw up, sacks of chopped sticks cut from our orchard and two metre long coppiced Hazel rods.

The first stage was sawing up the pallet wood and making 24 rectangular frames.   The frames were then overlaid or infilled with cut sticks in rustic patterns and with as much variety of design as possible.

For each of the five proposed Sculptures the top sections were made first by assembling four or five frames into interesting, individual and fully three dimensional constructions.

These Architectural constructions were good to look at as Sculptural forms especially the way they changed as you walked round seeing them from different points of view.

On day four the Sculptures took shape as long Hazel poles were stood up in five pyramids.   Lifting each construction of frames up and drilling and screwing it into the top of a Hazel pole pyramid.

The final stages were nailing cut lengths of heavy pine into sqares for the bases and attaching them to the bottoms of each of the Hazel pole pyramids.   The five Sculptures were carried to the garden where dead shrubs had been cut down to make five spaces.   We mixed concrete and filled each bases then covered the concrete with chipped bark.

A video was made during the week which is going to be used as a teaching aid in Lincolnshire Schools.   The School have been awarded the prize for the best creative project in Lincolnshire by EBP the Education Business Partnership.

All the creative work I do with Lincolnshire Schools is made possible with help and funding from CfBT, the Lincolnshire Schools Improvement Service and Lincolnshire County Council.