What we’ve been up to!

Posted by Catherine Cains on

I’ll start with an apology. I know I don’t update this as much as I should and I really need to get into the habit because while it looks like I haven’t been up to much, we have actually been doing lots of things in the name of home learning and I thought I’d share them here as the resources to make them are all free :)

So my son had a task for the Eisteddfod which was to ‘make a dragon with a moving part’. There was no other criteria than that and of course we can’t just go out and buy materials at the moment so I was left trying to find something that we could make with the materials we have at home. When I was doing my degree, and all through my art career, I’ve loved working with paper and cardboard so I started a little hunt on Google for some free instructions and templates.

First off I found this site which while at first glance is a selling and support site for printers and toners and the like (I think 🤔). But, they also had lots of resources and templates that are free to use. I found one that was for a walking dinosaur so I spent a bit of time changing the dinosaur template into a red dragon 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 And this was the result (he has been a little bit squished in the meantime but was very sturdy when first constructed).

This is the link to the website where you’ll find lots of ideas that you can make yourselves: https://www.creativecenter.brother/en-gb/home/home-category/paper-crafts-origami/do-it-yourself-projects?page=2

Having made this little chap myself as a trial run, I thought that it was a bit fiddly for my son to make unfortunately so I had another little search for some different projects. I managed to find another fab site which was a bit more Design & Technology based and that was ideal as the task was meant to be a D&T task. Now again if you know my son, 8, then you’ll know that he won’t have much patience for cutting out and preparing parts and materials so I got everything ready for him in advance. All he then had to do was follow the instructions and construct the model which incorporated cams, camshafts and cam followers, all fabulous for D&T! It worked like a dream. He was focussed and thoroughly enjoyed not only the process of building the moving model but also the end result. He searched for and chose the images that we used for the sky in the background, the mountains in the foreground and the dragon itself. I was so incredibly proud of him for making it but doubly proud when he actually won 1st place for year 3! Here’s a little video of it working and if you’d like to have a go at making it too then here’s the link: https://www.exploratorium.edu/sites/default/files/tinkering/files/Instructions/cardboard_automata_guide_final_screen.pdf

This is a photo of the whole thing showing the cams and handle beneath:

For myself and my own projects, I am constantly working on an idea I have for a children’s book in the background but I’ve also been creating a few children’s portraits to add to my series but also as commissions for Mother’s Day. Here’s a little video I made showcasing some of my latest illustrations, I hope you enjoy 😊 And if you’d like to commission something similar yourself then please do get in touch :) I think that’s brought us up to date pretty much so I look forward to the next time! 


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