Tag Archives: Nicolar Bell

Partake workshop

7 Nov

I was invited by Partake to do a workshop at Wakefield College on 10th October for the Cathedral launch event. My workshop was a part of an open day for the college’s pupils to try out different act activities, also an initiative to help artists work in schools. Other workshops at the event included origami, animation, architecture with sweets and bracelet making.

Artist Nicolar Bell joined me for the workshop. Together we made templates for finger puppets, plush toys and cardboard robots so that the children had a range of characters to choose between. All of the children were able to take away their own creations when they were finished. Bunnies and octopuses proved to be very popular choices, as did the cardboard robots. It was interesting to bring the workshop to this new environment after a summer of workshops at different festivals. This time around, there was no straw to bring home in the luggage mixed in with the fabric.

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Spotty bunny

Purple octopus fingerpuppet

Nicolar’s marvellous fox templates

23 May

Nicolar made some templates and step-by-step instruction sheets for the workshop on Tuesday to help people make a plush fox nexk jewellery piece. Here are her posters:

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Re-Toyed Trash workshops for Situation Leeds

9 May

Workshops poster with time

We have confirmed the following dates for workshops to be held at theartmarket as part of ‘a corner in the market’ for Situation Leeds 2007….

1st Workshop: Saturday 19th May 1-5pm

2nd Workshop: Tuesday 22nd May 1-5pm
with visiting artist Nicolar Bell

Plushies! These new workshops shall be focusing on using fabrics to make plush characters and creations. We shall be re-using unwanted fabrics, such as old clothes, bed sheets and offcuts. Obviously all fabric that we use will be clean, it will either have been discarded as clothing or unwanted as fabric. We want to help you give this fabric a new life in the form of your unique creation. As usual we will be providing all the equipment and materials that you need to make stuff, but if you want to bring along some fabric that you think is pretty tasty to work with, then please do so.

In the both workshops we will provide pens and paper for people to sketch out their designs prior to making a plushy.
In the second workshop, Nicolar Bell will have templates to enable anyone to make one of their own plush fox neck pieces, like the one below.

Fox plush

All things made in the workshop can be submitted to a final exhibition beginning Saurday 26th May and will be photographed to be included on the blog and in a publication of all works from all of our workshops.

For those of you who don’t know where TheArtMarket is, it’s in the Merrion Market, which is at the back of the Merrion Centre, which is the one with Morrisons in it, which is on Woodhouse Lane, which is a big road that leads up to the Uni.

Nicolar and I will be collaborating to produce some posters for these events, so watch this space for those.

Exhibition photos…first days

9 Dec

After Dan, Nicola, Zoe and I managed to clear out the rest of the junk left in the interior of the shop, we gave it a good clean and rearranged the shelving in preparation for the exhibition. As we pulled up the metal shutter for the ‘Re-Toyed Trash’ exhibition opening at 1pm on Thursday, several curious glances from other shop owners in the Merrion Market suggested that we had transformed the space into something new.

theartmarket exterior

We had two offers in one day from men who wanted to paint us a sign at a low cost. They had discovered that our shop was newly opened and were quick to get in with their offers. Once I had told the men that the two ladies who were renting out the shop were graduates from fine art courses and were going to paint ‘theartmarket‘ sign themselves, the men left looking rather disappointed.

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We had many curious passers-by who were not intentionally in the Merrion Market for our exhibition and would come and ask us questions. I found this to be a great benefit of the location of this venue, we not only had people who came down after seeing our posters around the town, on the internet and via emails….people who were wandering through the Merrion complex would stroll in and check the exhibition out. One man remarked that it had a very ‘welcoming’ feel to the space and this is unlike many galleries, which can be less welcoming to the general public on the street.

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I enjoyed the encounters I had with people wandering in and asking me questions, I met many interesting characters in the first two days. One lady (not pictured here) after seeing some of Dan Walls work told us a story of how her friend’s dog ate another friend’s parrot and how looking at Dan’s work reminded her of this. She also insisted on making a contribution and wrote in our guest book stating that she would like to see more of these creations. IMG_3433Dan's Frederfeeko toys

This is Dan Walls ‘Badgerborg’. When the stomach area is pressed the badger makes a wailing noise and when the shoulder is pressed the badger moves. Dan often re-uses the mechanical components from the toys that he finds and puts them together to create his unique toys.

'Badgerborg' by Dan Walls

This is Dan’s rabbit bag . He works with road kill and gives dead animals a new life in his work. To enable him to use this kind of material in his work, Dan has been learning taxidermy for the last 5 months. He only ever uses found objects, re-used materials and (already) dead animals in his work.

Dan's rabbit bag

This is Jonathan Bointon’s ‘Glassback Bear’. This soft toy has shards of glass protruding from it’s fur. Jonanthan says, ‘this distorts the ideas of cuddliness and comfort that one usually associates with teddy bears.’'Glassback bear' by Jonathan Bointon

Nicolar Bells’ ‘Stitchikers’ soft toys. They travel the world via people passing them on and their travels are documented by the bearer of the Stitchiker at the time and photos of their whereabouts are uploaded onto Nicolar’s website. One lucky Stitchiker managed to be passed on by Des Lynam (left in the photo below).

'Stitchikers' by Nicola Bell

Nicola Bells ‘Eew!’ toys. ‘Eew!’ stands for Ecologically Ethical World. Each character represents a sustainable solution, for example wind or solar power. Each of them is made from sustainable or recycled materials and these toys attack the idea of creating designer toys in plastics and uncompostable materials.
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