Sharon Gale’s Blog

Art Cabin gets its own blog –
December 7, 2009, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Art Cabin

Due to the success of the Art Cabin, it only seems right that it has its own blog, so from now on please log into


How to paint salt dough using hundreds of brushes 23.11.09
November 24, 2009, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Art Cabin

All you need are 12 children, 12 palettes with acrylic blobs of colour, some pots of water and a good selection of paintbrushes … But beware, if you put ALL your pots of brushes within grabbing reach, then all your brushes will get used!!

The childrens’ decorations are looking very festive, having thoroughly enjoyed painting their salt dough, the next step will be varnishing and tying ribbon on them.

The messy rating for this activity is 9/10

Allow plenty of time to wash the brushes!

We also started the Christmas school play scenery. This year’s production is ‘Creepy Crawly Christmas’. As you can see from the photo, we were busy painting giant flowers.

I’ve also sneeked in a photo of a costume design by a year 6 for the Macbeth play, which years 5 & 6 have been studying.

The Big Draw competition artworks were dropped off in the very lovely Gentlemans Row, Enfield. Here’s keeping fingers crossed they liked our entry.

Salt dough – 15.11.09
November 24, 2009, 2:49 pm
Filed under: Art Cabin

Whilst making batches of salt dough on sunday afternoon (in a rush, as I had to go to my niece’s birthday disco), one gets pensive…….. at what point did I think this would be a good idea!

The recipe is as follows:-
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of table salt
1 cup of water

Mix the flour and salt, add the water gradually, kneed for 10 minutes, put in fridge for 20 minutes, then make up your design…… but beware… keep your dough to less than 1cm thickness and make molds out of card/masking tape for thicker designs and then cover with the dough (get a book from the library for thorough tuition). Then bake on a very low heat until hard ……… this seemed to take hours & hours! Coat your design with watered down PVA glue, leave to dry , then paint using acrylics. Finish off with a coat of varnish.

This week the children began to make xmas decorations. We had plenty of Christmas themed shape cutters, each child had a batch of dough …. and after a frantic hour of business, the children had produced some interesting Christmas shapes!

Lyn and I duly took these home to bake for what seemed like a week.

Big Mouth Celebrates birthday in the Art Cabin 9.11.09
November 14, 2009, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Art Cabin

Monday is probably the worse day of the week to have a birthday. It’s not right to celebrate before the event, and the weekend seems so far away ……  Anyhow, I decided I would take a few fairy cakes to the Art Cabin to share out and Lyn bought some scrummy chocolate for us to nibble while we spent the morning preparing for the art club and collating all the information necessary to enter The Big Draw Competition. The prize money  (if the Art Cabin was selected) would pay for so much equipment which is dearly needed if the proposed projects (printing, paper-making, mosaic, clay work, to name but a few) are to go ahead.

So this week, the Tudor portrait and MacBeth costume collages progressed. There is more ‘BLING’ on those pictures than Liberacé and  Mr T put together. The Tudors would have been proud!

The after school club was very relaxed, quite a few children were absent, so the noise level was considerably reduced. The children learned about shading and midtones and finished their fantasy castle pictures.

The fairy cakes were a hit with the children and I did have a nice birthday!

Monday 2.11.09 – the art club begins
November 7, 2009, 2:48 pm
Filed under: Art Cabin

sketch of lower jaw bone of sheep

Monday, ….. my feet didn’t touch the ground!

I (Big Mouth) used the morning to prepare (despite using most of the half term to prepare also) ……  believe me, there is never enough preparation one can do when dealing with 16 children age range between 5-11 years.

My lovely assistant Lyn arrived to help out despite not feeling 100%, that’s dedication for you!

The lunchtime art club was a pretty relaxed affair, years 5 & 6 were on the rosta today. They dabbled with sketching sheep and fox skulls (they were clean and bleached of course), they also began creating fantasy castles (dragging 3 colours of paint North, using different widths of card. When the paint dries, roofs and minute details can be added to give the illusion of huge castles. The messy rating is 8/10.

During the afternoon we spent time with small groups from class 3 & 4 making collage. The themes were Tudor portraits and designing costumes for Macbeth.

The after school club was a great success, the children worked on the same projects as the lunchtime crew,  but in more detail. They all seemed to enjoy it. I had to smile at the end, we had a queue for the loo, a queue to wash paint off hands, little ones too small to reach the taps and mucky fingers every which way you turned.

The lesson I learnt this week ….. be more prepared! …… We shall have bowls of water at the ready to wash hands in next week. Messy rating 10/10

The furniture arrives at last!
October 23, 2009, 2:37 pm
Filed under: Art Cabin

With the arrival of the furniture, the Art Cabin is ready to ‘Rock N Roll’. Big Mouth is amazed at the transformation, and can’t quite believe that back in March, this space was a cold, uninspiring, storage unit .

The art club which begins after half term is full, (and there’s a waiting list).

Big Mouth is busy planning creative workshops, not only for children but for adults too (more on this subject will be posted at a later date).

The Big Day, The Big Draw
October 13, 2009, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Art Cabin

Wasn’t the weather nice on Saturday?  It was just what we ordered!

There was a fantastic turnout and the Art Cabin came alive with the hustle and bustle of people getting their hands dirty (literally). I had a hunch things were going well when I saw a row of boys sitting at the desks, pens in hand, concentrating on their artistic doodles, occasionally checking out each others work and laughing.

Mr Disbrey was in charge of the clay area, visitors really enjoyed making thumbpots and sculptures. The sand pictures were a favourite too, some of the art produced from this medium was amazing. The doodling, fingerprinting caricatures and computer enhanced self portraits created lots of laughs. Putting earphones on and listening to some thought provoking music, which you then had to draw using charcoal, created some wonderful results.

It wouldn’t be an art day without some mess, and this was achieved with zeal in the hand-painting on vinyl corner. Despite the screams of laughter and the bucket load of green sludge coloured paint left over, there were some extraordinary Jackson Pollock style art painting to admire.

When it was time to pack up we still had a full house, but many hands make light work and my heartfelt thanks must go to everyone to stayed behind to clear up and to Brigitta who took some wonderful photos of the artwork produced. Quite frankly the day couldn’t have gone any better.