Cirque de Papier Workshop – free event at the Grundy

We’re excited about making circuses next Saturday 31st at The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool!

If you’re aged 6 – 12 years and are in the Blackpool area be sure to book a place!


Heidi's circus animals in colour

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giraffe and zebra

Comedy Carpet Book Launch

We had a wonderful day in the ballroom at Blackpool tower being entertained by hundred’s of local school children dressed in black and white performing the Charleston, complete with the wurlitzer that rose out of the stage. The event was in honour of not Gordon Young’s birthday but also the launching of the Comedy Carpet book about the work of Gordon Young and fellow designer Andy Altmann. It was an honour to meet Gordon, who is such an immediately likeable artist and his lovely team. We are very excited to be the owners of our very own, signed copy of the book!

The Comedy carpet is situated opposite Blackpool Tower in front of Blackpool Tower, the 2,200m2 work of art contains over 160,000 granite letters embedded into concrete. It refers to the work of more than 1,000 comedians and comedy writers, the carpet gives visual form to jokes, songs and catchphrases dating from the early days of variety to the present. It is so visually spectacular and complex it was a daunting task for us to set about finding a way to navigate the carpet, it’s jokes, comedians spanning the last century, their catchphrases and comedy props in a way that children could engage with. We hope via a family board game that it might spark discussion across the generations and give the youngsters of today an idea of British comedy.

The event was also an opportunity to show our comedy carpet board game which we have worked on with school children in Blackpool schools as part of the larger Comedy Carpet School’s programme. It is hoped that the board game can be developed further and could go into production. Gordon Young was delighted that not only was the carpet always occupied by visitors, day or night, rain or shine but also that it had lead to other’s giving it a life of their own. Within the school’s programme it has not only inspired the making of an educational board gambit also the making of a black and white film of the Charlston on the Comedy carpet but also workshops surrounding the circus, drama , mask making and stand up comedy exploring the difference between positive and negative humour. We are very envious of the school children in Blackpool for being offered such a varied programme of education.

“The Comedy Carpet, Blackpool”  A work of art by Gordon Young designed in collaboration with Why Not Associates is now for sale ISBN 978-1-86154-339-4

Blackpool Tower Ballroom Book Launch

The Charleston

The Charleston


Comedian cards

Catchphrase cards

Catchphrase cards

Prop cards


Book signing by Gordon Young and Andy Altmann

Book signing by Gordon Young and Andy Altmann

The book itself!

The book itself!

Our copy!

Gordon Young the artist behind the Comedy Carpet


A booklet!


Kate looks better in cardboard!

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Peter’s shoulder features here!

The Comedy Carpet today viewed from the tower!

The Comedy Carpet today viewed from the tower!

We ended our visit to Blackpool by popping into the Me&FYC Pop up Boutique for some xmas pressies. Fabulous work by 17 local and regional designer makers. Not only are the items all hand made with love, care and skill by individuals and offer a real alternative to mass produced items but are incredibly affordable therefore accessible to all. To all those with the physique for a poncho I’d say go snap up the EXQUISITE pieces by Crafty Cloth! There are handmade soaps, jewellery, glassware, cards, textile home ware, clothes, up cycled book decorations, fabulous lighting… the list goes on!



Back to school!

Exciting things are afoot in Blackpool! Can’t give too much away but we spent two days in consultation with the wonderful pupils from year 3 at Hawes Side Primary School. The children worked beautifully with one another and came up with some brilliant visual ideas. Even those that were a little hesitant initially got fired up, stuck in and contributed some amazing work. Got very messy and had lots of fun!

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Truly Scrumptious Creative Christmas, Vintage and Handmade Fair

Wowzers what a busy weekend. Two days and two stalls at Dotty D Lightful’s Truly Scrumptious Creative Christmas, Vintage and Handmade fair – Blackpool Winter Gardens. We met some wonderful shoppers and stallholders alike.




Product Launch – Object Project, Blackpool

We had a fabulous time in Blackpool this week for the launch of Project Object products going on sale at the Grundy Art Gallery and Tourist Information Office shop, Blackpool. We were joined by family, friends and apprentices to celebrate the launch complete with a vintage ice cream van and round of crazy golf (Doug Fishbone & Friends Adventureland Golf).

Inspired by Blackpool’s archives and built heritage, vintage souvenirs and illuminations – Lois Blackburn had produced a wonderful apron and tea towel, Tim Denton had manufactured three fantastic lamp shades and we had produced gondola tram and Blackpool tower 3D card modelling kits and individual diorama box pieces. All of us had access to Central Library’s archives and illumination works and worked with groups of apprentices from the community to come up with concepts, ideas and prototypes for our products.

We are in awe of how much is going on with arts and culture in Blackpool, it is a very exciting place to be at the moment. Bonker*s Clutterbucks would like to take this opportunity to thank Blackpool Council and the very enthusiastic duo Clancy Mason, Arts Engagement Manager and Kerry Hunt, Education Officer, Grundy Art Gallery for appointing us to take part in the project. Huge thanks also to the wonderful team at the Local and Family History Centre, Central library namely Tony Sharkey, Anne Cameron and Gary Carson, for allowing us access to the superb archives including the Cyril Critchlow Collection and answering our seemingly endless questions!  It is the first project we’ve undertaken of this kind and has been a wonderful journey for Bonker*s Clutterbucks. We have loved being immersed in the wealth of superb historic visual heritage and thoroughly enjoyed working with the great folk of Blackpool. 

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Project Object – Week 4

We had our fourth and final workshop at Solaris yesterday and our project apprentices began to finished off their 3D card models of the gondola tram and diorama scenes within a suitcase. Everyone chose aspects of Blackpool that interested them from the archives and used their own resources . Some have concentrated on one piece while others have produced multiple models. Many apprentices expressed that they didn’t feel very confident drawing but enjoyed collaging copies of the archive material.

We discussed the journey our work has taken during the project and the next stage involved, getting the card modeling kit produced. We briefly touched on CE certification, Copyright law and issues surrounding printing and die cutting. Towards the end of the session we put the finished pieces together in a group and explored each other’s work. We were amazed by the beautiful card models and dioramas produced, each piece is totally individual and collectively they demonstrate the diverse range of skill and talent in Blackpool.

We have been blessed with such a lovely, enthusiastic and generous group. The sessions have been so relaxed and enjoyable, we are sorry not to be gathering again. We hope that the project apprentices have enjoyed the workshops as much as us and have gained from the experience. We have certainly picked up some great techniques from the group and hope to incorporate many of the ideas generated, into the finished design. We look forward to showing off  the group’s wonderful work at the Creative Industries Event at the Grundy on the 19th June and can’t wait to see what the other groups have been up to. 

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Project Object – Week 3

Another great day in sunny Blackpool on Tuesday which began with a bespoke guided tour of the Winter Gardens by one of our project apprentices Abigail, who is so incredibly bubbly and enthusiastic about Blackpool and it’s heritage… it’s infectious! Abigail talked about Blackpool having been in the doldrums in recent times and her personal decision to try and make a difference by training to become a heritage guide. She is an inspiration. The twelve function areas within the Winter Gardens were just amazing in their opulent Art Deco, modern, Constructivist, Spanish, Regency and Baroque splendour and we were filled with a sense of awe at the sheer scale of of the building as a visitor attraction.

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Fully inspired, We had a great afternoon working together with our group on our card models and dioramas. One of our participants, Susan showed us the gondola tram she’d meticulously embellished with excuisite beads and lace curtains at home and shared with us some of her own brilliant card model creations. We had our very own mini illumination display thanks to Jean, her tram diorama and very nifty miniature spotlight! Loved seeing her selection of trams through the ages and use of mirror card. We looked at figures to include in the dioramas and it was out with the glitter, glitter glue, sequins, feathers and sand this week. All great fun and very relaxing! We love that everyone’s wholeheartedly throwing themselves into the project and introducing their own particular style and flair. It’s great to see individuals problem solving and finding design solutions. We have so many talented and experimental individuals and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to share ideas, spur each other on and celebrate the varied heritage and spectacle of Blackpool. We hope everyone left with a great sense of achievement because the work created was brilliant!

Blackpool Gazette – Project Object

Delighted to see the wonderful feature about Project Object in the Blackpool Gazette 7th May 2012.

Project Object Blackpool

Bonker*s Clutterbucks are so excited to be taking part in this great project in Blackpool in conjunction with artists Tim Denton and Lois Blackburn, to work with the community and to come up with a range of quality sellable products inspired by the cities wonderful historic archives to be sold at The Grundy Art Gallery Shop and Tourist Office Shop. We plan to explore the cities wonderful historic archives and create some imaginative 3D card models and dioramas inspired by Blackpool architecture, transport and circus through workshops. 

If you’re interested in taking part and live in the Blackpool area we’d love to see you there, details below.