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.
Zak has taken art deco as his theme and combined this with a sculptural form taken from nature – a snail.
His bird box involved some complicated cutting out to make the snail shell spiral and some tricky carpentry to clad the curve in bendy ply, but with a little help from Greg it came together really well. Unfortunately the painting involved many, many colours and proved just as time consuming, but the end result is going to be great…
You can see the finished bird box at Gallery Oldham from March 14th until May 2nd at the abirdabode exhibition.
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.
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.
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?
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!).
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!