Barrier Breakers have green fingers (and red and blue and yellow…)

Our second visit to the brilliant Barrier Breakers and it was time to get painting, once we’d finished construction of the nest boxes that is…

Building the roofs for the diamond shaped boxes was made easier by using a specially constructed roof jig to hold the pieces at the required 90degrees whilst screwing them together and once the final pieces of the boxes were fixed  and all the roofs completed painting began.

Base coats where swiftly applied in a multitude of colours and then planning for details and top coats was made whilst the paint dried. Everyone enjoyed choosing colours and planning the look of their nest boxes; Nathan and (Hi) Lee are working in collaboration to produce rival Man Utd & Man City bird boxes so painted a base coat of green to be detailed as a football pitch next week. Leah also chose a green base for her Rugby Team theme, Kyle and Michael chose light blue as a sky effect and Sophie went for a lovely rich lion golden brown.

We were also thrilled to welcome new Barrier Breaker Katie to the project and she proved a dab hand at bird box making and in no time had her nest box ready for her beautiful  love birds theme design.

Some of the group will be cutting out 3D elements to enhance their designs so there was also scroll saw and band saw training to take part in! Kash took over as official group photographer for the night and took some great pictures (as well as a few selfies!).

All in all it was a very busy session but once again the group all worked together brilliantly (especially Nathan and Lewis who took on wandering assistants roles and helped everyone finish their making) and achieved a tremendous amount and had a great and really creative time.

Iron Man saves the birds

Lily’s Iron Man Nest Box is probably the most complicated in terms of shape and construction due to the number of parts required; one body, one head, two arms and two legs… But not only has it got to look like Tony Stark’s alter ego but Lily has chosen to make her nest box in the style of a Lego Iron Man.

I chose this because I think it would be a suitable size for a bird box and at the same time the design means it would be a unique shape. The colours are different and aesthetically pleasing.

The actual nest box part of Iron Man will be inside his torso (with the birds entering through the Arc Reactor of course) and this was the first and most straight forward part to be made.

Lily draw a very detailed set of plans and dimensions from her maquette and had no problem making the torso as a slightly tapered box shape. The legs were made in a similar way from thin plywood with the curved upper leg made from a piece of drain pipe. The most complex part to build was Iron Mans head but with Bronagh’s assistance to cut a number of rings for form the outer edge of Iron Man’s helmet and support some bendy ply to form Iron Man’s face the end result looked great.

Holly’s Dragon Castle Art Birdbox

Holly’s Art Birdbox will take the form of a fantasy castle guarded by a fearsome dragon carved in low relief.

My Birdbox

 My birdbox design is inspired by my love of reptiles, which leads to dragons, causing my design. My initial plan was to have a generic-looking birdbox with a dragon curled around it, as if it was trying to get inside, I upgraded this to a Castle to fit with a stereotypical dragon theme and worked from there.

 I started by making my maquette, which is slightly different to my final design, which has dividers to make the inner area smaller so it would be easier to warm up and take less materials to pad out.

Georgia’s Ray Zell comic strip art birdbox

Georgia’s Art Birdbox is a refined pyramid shape and will be decorated with comic strip artwork.

Georgia’s bird box

My inspiration to my bird was Pandora, Pandora is a comic in a magazine I collect, I didn’t want copy the cartoons in ther comic so I thought of a way to be more original, so what I did was try to create a cartoon girl in the style of Pandora e.g. the style of the body, face, clothes etc.

I did this by trying to base my girl on things that happened in the cartoon e.g. other charters, also using their features, after I had chosen the features I put them all in one character.

The girl on my box is my finished cartoon, with all the features I choose to put on the girl, I though of things such as, the shape of the girl, the face and features on the face, how the clothing will link to her personality.

For the background to my girl I am going to use manga, what i mean by that is to make the girl stand out more I was going to use the effect of lines going out from my girl, I am using this effect because I think it will bring my cartoon girl out more, it will also make her more bold and make her stand out throughout the box.    

Eve’s Pop Art Bird Box

Eve’s Pop Art Bird Box is a simple form based on a traditional nest box shape but made into a unique artwork the use of classic Pop Art imagery.

About Eve’s Bird box

My bird box is inspired by pop art. I chose pop art because I like the look of it and it stands out, its different and not many people have the idea of doing it.

I am just doing a normal, average bird box and then putting pop art on each of the sides. If you picture it in your head it doesn’t stand out a lot, but the way I am placing things and the colours I am using stand out a lot.

 The first thing I did was to make a maquette out of cardboard and taped it together. After that we made a plan for the actual bird box. It had all the measurements on it to work out how big the pieces of wood were. The week after Richard cut all the wood into the correct measurements. I have just screwed it together and I am now working on the detail because I am making that on a separate piece of wood to make it stand out. Next week I am going to cut all the detail out and stick it onto the actual bird box.

Last day at Rock Street

The DSYR’s last day at Rock Street and the bird box making was really hotting up (despite the freezing weather outside).

Time is of the essence and the massive pile of plywood is swiftly being turned into the structures for some amazing Art Bird boxes. T-Jay discovered that his Globe Theatre Birdbox was even more complex than he’d realised and enlisted Greg’s help to glue the multitude of pieces together to form the twelve sided structure. Tori has converted her Hobbit House Art Birdbox into a communal nets box for house sparrows as they are a particularly endangered species in the UK (and so they can live in true Hobbit style as friendly neighbours). She also showed us the set of CAD plans she’d produced of the bird box!

Luckily Dylan rejoined the group this week and proved an dab hand at birdbox construction and an invaluable assistant for both Holly and Hannah. Hannah proved her bandsaw skill by showing Holly how to use the new bandsaw safely and accurately.

Georgia’s pyramid box looked amazing and just required a few gaps to be filled to ensure it’s waterproofness and Zak’s Art Deco snail took form with the assistance of Kayleigh and a spot of bendy ply wrestling.

Jake fitted his cube box together and started cutting the large number of parts required for decoration pieces.

The group are working as a great team and all in all it was a great last day at Rock Street; with another similar afternoon of hard work all the DSYR’s Art Birdboxes will be made and ready for decoration by Christmas!

abirdabode lands at Grassroots

The start of December and the abirdabode project landed at the Grassroots Community Orchard. Thursday was cold and dry so we were treated to a quick tour of the allotment and orchard (which has almost 200 fruit trees!) and saw the chickens, ducks and bees.

The first group task was to assemble a work bench. Everyone got involved and by the time the bench was assembled it was time for a well earned tea break so we headed inside and started making plans for the Grassroots abirdabode.

The Grassroots abirdabode will be a human size Big Art Bird Box to form the centerpiece of the abirdabode exhibition and which can be used at Grassroots for storage or shelter (and for Andy to hide in!). The group  decided to build it using reclaimed materials as this suits the ethos of Grassroots.

On Friday the sun came out and we started building the Big abirdabode in the very warm poly-tunnel. Some new participants and some old friends joined us and with the use of the newly built work bench work proceeded splendidly and by lunch time we had planned the bird box build and had two side frames complete!

From cardboard to plywood, maquettes into reality!

The Dovestone Youth Rangers’ Art Birdboxes are really taking shape following last weeks plan drawing and dimension sorting session. Working from their cardboard maquettes some of the designs needed to be adapted slightly from the to make sure they worked as Bird boxes – we followed the criteria offered by the RSPB and BTO for the entrance holes sizes and heights.

The Birdboxes are in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles as expected and all are made from a base of exterior 18mm plywood. Parts for the Birdboxes were cut from the plywood by the group using their newly acquired band-saw and scroll saw skills but some of the parts which required the use of a table saw were cut by Richard in his studio working from the scale plans ;especially those requiring compound mitres and much head scratching.

The Bird boxes now consist of a large pile of parts ready for assembly and decoration.