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.
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.
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.
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!