But if you visited Gallery Oldham to see the abirdabode exhibition over the last six weeks you may have been invited to seek out the ten Art Bird Boxes hiding amongst the books in Oldham Library; The Secret Art Bird Box Trail.
These ten art bird boxes were created by abirdabode artists Richard and Jacqui. Working with the many groups on the project was inspiring and they couldn’t resist making a set of Art Bird Boxes of their own.
They hid them in the library as a bit of fun and if you want to seek them out there is a clue sheet available here, but you’ll have to be quick as they are only there until next week (although we’re sure they’ll pop up again somewhere else soon!).
A quick hint for Art Bird Box watchers– they’re shelved by theme and categorized using the Dewey Decimal System.
Helen joined the abirdabode project very late in the day but proved up to the challenge of making an art bird box. With a little help from Dylan (superstar assistant) Helen spent her first every DSYR session making a diamond bird box from a kit of pre cut parts (the same pattern used with the Barrier breakers group). Having mastered power tools she returned for her second session armed with a very detailed drawing of a beautiful summer meadow design bursting with bright colours.
Helen’s bird box is certainly the brightest and sunniest and the detail and colours are quite something to see.
Vicky’s bird box is based on a traditional church building and has being designed specifically to provide a nest site for sparrows following Vicky’s research into our endangered birds.
The design consists of two standard bird box shapes joined together to create an elongated church shape and homes for two families of birds. Vicky is decorating her bird church with mosaics focusing on grey tones enhanced with vividly coloured detailed designs.
Izzy has made the most architectural bird box based around the fire station where Walt Disney established the Disney empire.
My artist is Walt Disney. He and his cartoons have been inspiration for my Bird Box.
History of Disney and the fire house.
In the War Disney drew mouse cartoons. The soldiers bought the drawings. After the War, Disney named the mouse Mortimer. His wife later said ‘Mickey’ sounded better. Steamboat Willie in 1933 was the first animated Disney short feature. Disney cartoons progressed. In 1971 Disney World Florida opened. When Walt died, a candle was lit in the fire department (a building on main Street)
Disney had a private apartment in the fire station to watch his park progress. When the candle was lit it meant Disney was in the park. When he died the candle was permanently lit. So his spirit is always in the park.
Hannah has created a birdbox based on the logo for her favorite band (and as featured on what we suspect is her favorite t-shirt).
The inspiration for my bird box was the All Time Low ghosts logo. All Time Low is a band I listen to. I wanted to design a bird box based on something I loved. I did 3 ghosts, all different sizes.
I did this by trying to cut out the shapes of the ghosts so that they all mould together. However this proved to be difficult, so the ghosts don’t mould perfectly together, however they do fit together well. The ghost on the right is the smallest and the ghost in the middle is the biggest.
The ghost on the left will be purple, the ghost in the middle will be blue and the ghost on the right will be red. The middle ghost will be the ghost the bird will nest in. One of the eyes will be the hole the bird goes into. The other eyes of the ghosts will be white. The base of the bird box will be black.
Choosing a cartoony graphic logo as inspiration has allowed Hannah to create a bird box with a really strong and clear sculptural form and great colours, as well as being a friendly and fun looking nest box.
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!).
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.
The last Grassroots session before Xmas and everyone was in a festive mood and before heading out to the poly tunnel to continue making there was just time to try on a policeman’s hat to see who it suited best?
Hat hijinks finished the group swiftly divided into teams. Kenny, Nathan, Paddy, Mason and Loz set to work with Jacqui and Andy adding more reclaimed timber cladding to two of the bird box sides, By the end of the morning they were looking great with a variety of colours and textures making a really striking finish. Neil, Nathan and Kelly worked especially hard with the complicated task of building the curved roof from old floor boards, the measuring ad cutting involved a bit of a guess so we hope it fits better than the policewoman’s hat!
My bird box is of Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I chose this because I love the film as it interests me because it is very unusual the animation is unique. Also every Christmas Eve I watch it before I go to sleep. I am also a fan of the creator, Tim Burton.
First things first I made my maquette which was completely different to my practical work ; this was because you could not bend the wood as my bird box is circular.
This is one of the more complex art bird boxes to construct as it is spherical in shape. Building it involved calculating the sizes of a series of circular layers required to build up the contours of the head using measurements taken from the maquette. The head required ten discs of 18mm plywood each cut to a specific size. Using the band-saw and a trammel jig cutting ten discs didn’t take too long.
The layers were then laminated with waterproof PVA glue in two sections so the inside Jack’s head will be accessible for cleaning! Once the glue had dried Richard turned the pile of discs into a rough sphere shape using the lathe and sander.
abirdabode are off to Festival Oldham today to take part in the Rooted Festival in the Gardens at Gallery Oldham. We have a big box of birds to be decorated and the first big abirdabode (which Percy loves!).
We’ll be there from 12 till 4 and hope to see you there…