Discovery Sunday at RSPB Dove Stone reservoir promised to be a great day but the British weather had other plans. We set off into a spring like morning and were joined by a few intrepid early risers to decorate an Art Bird and make a nest box. But the rain and wind slowly crept across the hills, hiding the peregrines on Dove Stone Quarry and forcing us to shelter under our hastily erected gazebo. Then the snow set in. By lunchtime we realised our gazebo wasn’t built for the suddenly arctic conditions and decided we’d better call it a day and make a swift exit before we froze.
Well done to the brave few who joined us to decorate an Art Bird and make a nest box and we hope to return for a full day in Summer. Meanwhile how’s about abirdigloo for the resident penguins?
Discovery Sunday Art Bird 06
Discovery Sunday Art Bird 05
Discovery Sunday Art Bird 04
I think it might snow!
Discovery Sunday Art Bird 02
Discovery Sunday Art Bird 01
Need a bigger abirdabode
As part of Well Good Arts Week the abirdabode big bird box landed at Gallery Oldham to give everyone chance to decorate an Art Bird.
People flocked to the big abirdabode and we were very busy all day with visitors of all ages decorating a multitude of Art Birds. A grand total of 142 Art Birds were created in a huge variety of dazzling designs from vibrant visions in spectacular colours to realistic Robins and Bluetits.
Every Art Bird created will be on display as part of the abirdabode exhibition and the Art Bird Flock is certainly going to look fantastic. Kettle (the Oldham Otter) was amazed (and very jealous of the Art Birds’ colourful plumage!).
DSYR returned to Woodend Mill for another art bird box making session and despite the distraction of Mugly in a cone of shame achieved a good amount of creative work.
Painting continued apace for everyone and T-Jay got stuck in sticking timber joist details (stirring sticks from a local coffee shop) onto his Globe Theatre bird box. He looked to be regretting deciding to add so much details at some points and in need of a coffee himself. Tori added an authetic Shire map to the roof of her hobbit home and Eve’s pop art went bang with some beautiful freehand calligraphic brushwork. Holly revealed her drawing skills by showing her preparatory sketchbook work and Lily dazzled us with her decorative painting skills on Iron Man’s armour.
We reckon all the boxes will be finished next week, great timing for showing off as part of National Nest Box Week at Discovery Sunday at Dove Stone Reservoir on 22nd February.
Tiny timber details
Pop art goes bang!
My own fault!
Jacqui checks the progress
Sketch book briliant
Iron out the details
Vinyls and triangle
Cone of shame
Not a Welsh dragon then?
Greg goes green
wind mill in t’mill
Open the box
Not much time left to get the Barrier Breakers Bird Boxes built and so it was a busy, busy session.
Detailed painting continued apace and adding unique individual design touches to each art bird box kept everyone occupied. Michael proved he could paint just as well as he could cut out with the background designs for his Jurassic bird box, Brandon proved a skilled scroll saw operator and helped Adam cut out poppies for his WW1 memorial box. Katie’s love birds box looked fantastic and (Hi) Lee showed his delicate drawing skills in the decoration of his United shield whilst Nathan painted a lovely football pitch on the front of his rival City box.
Another Mane attraction was Sophie adding a wool lion’s mane to her cowardly bird box (we hope the birds don’t use it all for nest building or we may end up with a bald cowardly lion). Leah worked hard to paint all twelve Rugby Super League logos onto rugby balls to decorate her bird box (well all except for Hull Kingston Rovers…) and there’s now also a secret Lewis Hamilton hiding around one of the bird boxes to look out for!
One highlight of the evening was Kash making the tremendous achievement of using both the bandsaw and scroll saw to cut his Polish shield, despite initially being very nervous of the saws he persevered and afterwards said it was ‘easy peasy’. Great work Kash!
We were also thrilled that Greg said he could see the different personalitiles of the group coming out through the bird boxes they had created which is perfect. Creative engagement of this type should allow for individual artistic expression and that fact that Greg, who knows the group really well could see this in the work created really touched us and made us even more proud to be part of the groups achievements.
Kyle paints flowers
Kash and the attic
Hi Lee detailed
Rugby ball or robin’s egg?
We are thrilled to be working with the RSPB for their first Discovery Sunday event of 2015 so join us for a fun day out at Dove Stone Reservoir as part of the 16th Annual National Nest Box Week and help give a bird an abode.
On Sunday 22nd Feb the RSPB and abirdabode project artists are joining forces at Ashway Gap to help you to give a bird a home.
Join us between 11am – 3pm for activities that include:
- Making a simple nest box for your garden*
- Decorating a bird silhouette to become part of the abirdabode exhibition at Gallery Oldham
- Learn about nest boxes and helping birds in your garden
- Get a sneak preview of some of the amazing abirdabode Art Birdboxes made by Oldham groups
- Chat to the RSPB experts about local conservation
- Get a glimpse of the resident Peregrine Falcons as they start their nest building **
Discovery Sunday runs from 11am to 3pm at Ashway Gap picnic area, about half way round the main trail. Parking is available. It is a drop-in event, the art activities are free, but there is a charge to make your own nest box (£5 for non RSPB members, £4 for members).
To help support the event you can download, print and display your own poster here.
Click here for directions to the reservoir and more info on RSPB Dove Stone.
All activities are weather dependent and may have to be cancelled at short notice in the event of severe conditions like snow or ice.
* We only have limited kits available so this activity is on a first come first served basis.
** Peregrine activities cannot be guaranteed and may be replaced by other birds without prior notice
At Trinity House this week painting was completed and fine detail added using different roof tile, door, window and ‘very posh’ fanlight stencils.
Following last weeks request we also added chimneys to the houses along with a wire aerial for Eleanor. Joyce had the great idea of using one of the spare chimneys as a door step – we’ll just need a really tiny donkey stone to polish it now!
Once the basic painting was completed it was time to add some individual details to the designs; Joyce added a detailed door with fanlight, Edna added some shrubs, grass and flowers to enhance her birdabode’s garden and Brian painted a redwing and wagtail on the side of his house – possibly the start of a graffiti career?
Working at Trinity house has been great fun and we were really pleased that the staff were so positive regarding the engagement by the residents, they’re planning to deliver more similar art activities and we’re hoping to be able to pop back soon and offer some advice and support.
Our last session was topped off when at lunchtime Edna made an impromptu speach in front of everyone thanking us and saying how much she’d enjoyed working on her bird box.
Thank you so much to everyone at Trinity House and hope to see you at the abirdabode exhibition soon to admire the completed Trinity Terrace!
Bright front door
Edna gets reddy
It’s nest box decoration time for the Dove Stone Youth Rangers and to make life easier all round we’re running the next few creative sessions at Woodend Mill (it saves moving the Art Birdboxes whilst the paint is still wet and gives the DSYR a chance to observe artists in their natural habitat!)
The DSYR arrived at Woodend Mill on a wet sunday and proceeded take over Jacqui’s new print making studio which had been temporarily transformed into a painting studio for the day. Once the distraction of playing with the abirdabode mascots (Percy and Mugly) the group dived into the paint and with Jacqui’s help mixed individual colours following a set of paint swatches. Once a base coat was applied to each Art Birdbox a quick tour of Richard’s and Jacqui’s studios took place whilst the paint dried.
Everyone was amazed by the creative layout (or mess) that is Richard’s ‘man cave’ (thank you Zak!) and were fascinated by all the different media, materials, equipment and completed and in progress artworks strewn around the studios. As it was very cold in the mill we swiftly returned to Jacqui’s print studio and continued painting until parents arrived to collect everyone (the parents were also amazed by the studios and had a chance to play with Percy and Mugly).
Same time, same place next week then!
Look behind you!
Holly ready to paint
Why use gloves?
Georgia ready to paint
Zak ready to paint
Lily in red
Eve ready to paint
Jake ready to paint
Cat in the hatitude
Tori ready to paint
In the man cave
Bronagh ready to paint
Lily ready to paint
Helen ready to paint