Monday, 12 May 2008

Julie Arkell and Polly Dunbar

What a wonderful papier mache workshop Julie Arkell gave on Saturday at the Cross Street Workshop in Brighton. Seven of us attended the first day of a two part workshop where Julie showed us her techniques for making her beautiful creations. And how easy she made it look! By the end of the session we had all discovered the joys of papier mache and ended up with our own 'creatures' to take home, leave to dry and finish off before the next workshop in 3 weeks time.

The second session involves 'dressing' the figures with knitted bonnets and handstitched clothes. This is grown up playing dolls at its best!

On Sunday I took my two 5 year olds to hear illustrator Polly Dunbar talk about her lovely new book Penguin at the Old Market in Hove. Polly has been a favourite in our house since we discovered 'Flyaway Katie' a magical book about how a child's imagination can lead to wild and wonderful things. Polly's drawing of Katie pulling up her bright yellow tights still makes us laugh every time we see it!

The talk involved slides of Polly's books with Polly accompanying these with the story. Children helped too with Polly's beautiful handmade puppets - the umbrella octopus was genius! Polly also did some quick drawings on her flipchart one of which I managed to bring home (with permission) showing the penguin biting Ben's nose. The 'real' penguin is in fact a large soft puppet given to Polly by her brother with the warning 'watch out - he might bite'. This was the simple inspiration for her book.

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