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Kids school and holiday art clubs

Wild Art on Wimbledon Common – day 1

This years Wild Art on Wimbledon Common was conceived and designed by artist and forest school practitioner Philippa Snell. Due to last minute unforeseen circumstances Philippa was unable to lead the course but our team were able to deliver the course with her expert tutelage! DSC_0155

Bright and early we set up camp with some shelters to protect us for rain that was forecast. It really is a beautiful spot, whatever the weather and the trees give ample shelter from light rain.DSC_0156

We prepared our kit, then welcomed the children.

We began with a full health and safety briefing, a walk around the boundary of our camp and some lessons in how to use sharp tools like saws, loppers and secateurs.



Adults to do the sawing and gloves were worn when using secateurs


We began to set the scene for the next 2 days by explaining Samhain  - a time when the the veil between worlds is at its thinnest. The children prepared portals to other worlds by making ground pictures. This got our imaginations going and stories started to emerge.


We explored our surroundings and experimented with the materials available to us. Moss, ferns, logs, leaves and berries.


Some adventurous collecting began!DSC_0193DSC_0182

Portals took the form of eyes, through which you could see to another world,


Some had their own power source to project you elsewhere.

Others pulled you in and spat you out in different directions.DSC_0201

Some drew you in to a fiery place

Or clock-like time machines, took you to another time.


We then imagined the people we might meet on the other side of the portal and built a home for them.DSC_0213

We experimented with different building techniques.DSC_0214

On different scalesDSC_0217

Some lived in the treesDSC_0219 DSC_0227

Some were nest-like DSC_0222 DSC_0224

DSC_0304Some lived in tiny wooden huts.

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Others tried to build complicated castles

with amazing engineering skills!


We took a tour of each others villages explained their properties and introduced their people.

DSC_0251After lunch and a good run around we learnt how to make lanterns out of willow. Lanterns were traditionally hung outside houses at Samhain to show ancestors the way.DSC_0257

We stripped willow branches and made a circle.

DSC_0259 Then used 6 longer sticks to make a frame.


This was a two person job – we needed to help each otherDSC_0263 DSC_0266 DSC_0267

One to hold, the other to tie.DSC_0272 DSC_0273 DSC_0274 DSC_0276

Once we had the shape, we collected the best of the autumn leaves to weave into the frame.

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We had to weave wool around the frame then poke in leaves and ferns.

DSC_0287Some of us also made dreamcatchers – so pretty!DSC_0290

We strung up the lanterns ready to take a nightlight. They looked beautiful and really started to change the feel of our camp.DSC_0292 DSC_0293 DSC_0295 DSC_0296 DSC_0298 DSC_0300 DSC_0301 DSC_0302 DSC_0305 DSC_0306IMG_8703IMG_8705

Tomorrow we will continue to explore the theme of otherworld and see what other spirits we can release. We will start the day with a little mud sculpting!

Thank you to Philippa for all her expert guidance – we think she was speaking to us through the portals as we worked!

Click HERE to see DAY 2′s activities



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