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.
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!
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).
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.
Success at Grassroots as the big, big abirdabode is finished.
Two days hard work by everyone and the human sized nest box is complete and looking fine!
No pressure for abirdabode this week as on arrival at Grassroots we noticed that item three on the weeks work schedule was finish Birdhouse! Everyone rose to the challenge and worked extremely hard to ensure we reached our goal, and to stay warm in the sub zero temperatures!
Marnie and Loz cut extra roof planks whilst Neil and Kelly trimmed the eaves to fit, Nathan, Kelly, Andy and Jacqui completed the mosaic and timber round designs for the nest box sides. The additional last minute task of making a set of twelve sparrow nest boxes was completed in just under two hours by the speedy team of Darian, Ben and Mark.
With just ten minutes to go before lunch on Friday we raced to assemble the big abirdabode. After a swift panel saw adjustment to the peaks of the side walls everything fitted together beautifully and the Big abirdabode was complete and looking amazing. Everyone was thrilled and extremely proud of what their skill and hard work had achieved.
We’re now looking forward to installing the Big abirdabode in Gallery Oldham and giving everyone a chance to admire it.
Thank you to everyone at Grassroots for all the hard work and enthusiasm, it’s been a brilliant few weeks and a real pleasure to work with you all. The cakes are on us at the abirdabode show launch on March 14th!
A very snowy Wednesday morning and we returned to Trinity House to continue making some house shaped abirdabodes. Although a couple of the group couldn’t make it in due to the snow Edna, Brian, Joyce and Eleanor were keen to get going.
From the drawings we’d made the week before the plan was to make a set of house shaped nest boxes to reflect the houses and mills of Oldham.
Work commenced with mixing some background colours for each house, a series of red, browns and oranges that were applied with dabbing brushes to give a bit of texture. For added interest colours were mixed directly onto the boxes or different tones applied to different sides of the nest boxes. Once the base coat was dry it was time to add some detail. Painting individual bricks by hand was a daunting task so we’d prepared a set of brick pattern stencils to use. We tested one on a scrap of paper and they worked brilliantly. Everyone was amazed with how real the brick and stone work effect was, especially Edna who could hardly wait to add dark red bricks to every side of her nest box even before the base coat was fully dried.
Our first layer of detail added it was time to dash off before the snow got too heavy. Before we left we made a plan for the next layer of details to add to the boxes; chimneys, windows with curtains, a pink front door, trees, gutters and possibly a wheelie bin… All in all Trinity Terrace is going to look great for the abirdabode show and we hope the birds appreciate all the hard work!