Wednesday, 7 April 2010

scrap store

As ive already mentioned Ham are going for best eco friendly community and as a result we are going to try and create costumes and props out of recycled materials! As this will also help save money. I contacted merton scrap scheme where the university has a membership so we could get some materials. Our membership runs out in April so i need to talk to Trever about renewing the membership. As the project will involve so many materials it is not practical to get all the materials we need as we do not have anywhere big enough to store it all. Not being certain on costumes just yet there will also be materials that we will need that we are not aware of yet. Before now, storage was a concern for us, particulary to store things such as the structure for a huge catapiller/dragon type thing that we plan to create as part of the parade. We are not going to make it completely as we thought all participants of the event could each add a piece to it, so that eventually it is created by the community as a whole.
I contacted another scrap scheme in twickenham, which i went to visit with Laura and Kim although it turned out to be a shed full of rubbish as opposed to a scrap scheme!! we were let in told to take what we want, sign out and shut the door behind us after we left haha!! took us around 40 minutes to find it, which didn't help as i was throwing up every five minutes!!We managed to find sum scrap paper which we took and a tube full of plastic bags but that was all! despite it being dissapointing, we are now aware that the majority of our materials will have to come from the merton scrap scheme.
We have also finally found a place which we can store some of our stuff, it just needs to be emptied as it was used by last years drama in the community group! although we should proberly have a little look and see if there is anything we can salvage before throwing it all away! Any helpers volunteering?

mexican night....fundraising!!!

Wellll done fundraisers!! mexican night here we come! The first fundraising event has taken place and it was a success! was a shame the S.U wasn't full to the brim but we done extremely well and it was a wicked night! With us all dressed up ready for spring break and jenny dressed as a fajita....topped us all as usual!! only Jen could pull that off bravooooo! The S.U had been decorated during the day by most of us with the items created by the design team which included several palm trees, flags, pictures of mexican men and pinatas! Despite the pinatas not being completely dry and still being soft haha they were an extra to the evenings events!...they were at least stuffed with sweets of course! The night began quiet but as the night went on, more and more students began to fill the S.U! Taking it in turns to sit by the door and charge for entrance we made several hundred pounds after paying for security! Not a bad evenings work! Despite the nights purpose being to fundraise, I feel it brought the group together as we were in a relaxed enviroment were we could have a laugh without answering questions or joting down notes! I feel it gave the company a boost of positive energy which was perhaps needed after all the long meetings and hard work that can sometimes bog us down!! For me it felt like the project was really taking direction, it was like a realisation that it is actually going to take place. I think i sometimes forget that when im constantly planning and experimenting with design as opposed to socialising within the community, which after all is what the project is all about; bringing the community closer together.


The meetings with Tina are going well. We decided to start designing props and accesories as apposed to full costumes that the parade could wear. Some of the ideas we came up with were, masks, hats, banners, decorations for pushchairs, wheelchairs etc, flags, tiars/crowns, cloaks, puppets, ribbons fastened to the end of sticks to create cheerleading like props, and flowers. We decided this would be the best option for 'costume' as not only would it be impossible to design and make complete outfits for around 4.000 people but we also thought it to be important for the groups to show their identities through their own uniforms. We began playing around with flowers, in which we tried several ways including, using plastic bags which made colourful, big, full flowers, lillies made out of paper, (which despite being beautiful and delicate, would be runied in rain and ripped far too easily) and by using coloured card, which was cut into strips and folded over to make petals. The last design was the quickest and simplist and we found, accidently, that if they were made too big they could actually be worn as a headdress.
We then moved onto masks, which were created easily through using a mould and maskingtape. They were easy to cut into shape, and were again cheap and easy to make. They were also just thick enough to be able to hold extra features such as hair etc but were not too thick for these extras to be attached easily. Deciding this to be the easiest way we decided to create some extra moulds so there would be enough for around 15 people to make them at the same time. Despite all using the same method to create these, it was surprising how many different styles of masks we created; animals, people, full masks, half masks, and elaborate surreal masks.Through the flexability of this method of mask making, no two masks would be the same.
We then moved on to hats where we created several simple structures which could be used as a base for a variety of styles including elaborate hats, jacobean, bishop, crowns, tiaras, or could be used to fasten any extras we thought neccessary. After each of us created our own, we realised they were all rather feminine and so we brainstormed and experimented by creating some more masculine styles. Some of our ideas included fastening playing cards, creating a bat and ball to attach on top, darts, basketball etc. Through the simple base of the hat, creating these extras and adding them was simple.
Despite starting to create these props, the idea for the project has changed. The event will tell a story, with possibly fairytale characters, such as princesses, kings, queens, monsters, fairies etc. With this change we need to find out whether storytelling is the theme for the design or is a story taking place as part of the event? If a story is taking place what is the story and what characters will there be? and are we making props/ objects to create characters as oppsed to actual costumes? In order to create costume items that will cover the vast range of participants it is important to get a contact list of all the groups that are definately going to be involved, so we know the costumes that will need to be designed.
once we have the answers to these questions we will be able to crack on with designing.

karate clubs

Out of the 10 community groups i contacted only two have got back to me. Dissapointing obviously, especially after sending them a second email and they still didn't reply. However, two karate clubs are on board which is good news. Having originally thought we were having small perfomances in the gardens of Ham they both agreed to give a small demonstration as well as participate in the parade. Despite the performances no longer happening they will both still be taking part in the parade. I am visiting one of the clubs tomorrow evening where I will watch one of their classes, i may even have a cheeky go at a kick and a punch, and will then discuss the plans for the parade. The other club I have arranged to meet next week. The meeting should hopefully result in me finding out the numbers for participants and for me to answer any queries they may have!!!

bell ringing

I went with Charlotte, Rachel and Sarah to visit some bell ringers in Isleworth, which we are aiming to incpoporate into the parade in some way or another. To begin with, I was uncertain how this would work, but after discussing it with the girls, I have realised they would incoporate the bells by either tieing them around their ankles , wrists etc or by giving a demonstration in Ham House gardens. I think it would add an interesting element to the parade, in that the parade should appeal to other senses not only the visual. I think the bells would help to create the carnivelesque atmosphere and would enable people to identify the groups identity as church bell ringers. I also think it is important to include these kinds of groups, as it is significant for a community event to include all groups from the area. As a Christian nation it is also important to incoporate them into the event.
On our arrival we were taken to one of the highest points in the church where we were shown the bells and how they work. I was suprised at how many different sizes there were and the range of sounds they made. We watched the bells ring for a while after being told to sit down with our feet on the floor as the power of the bells was so strong, catching our foot on a rope could have taken us up to the tower!!! As we watched we could feel the room rocking slightly from the vibrations. We were then given a chance to ring the bells ourselves! It took a suprising amount of strength and concentration to control them. I was also shocked at the variety of patterns the bells could be rung in. Sitting there watching made me realise that the bell ringing was a community event in itself both for the people participating and those outside who were included though hearing the bells ring. I look forward to them participating in the parade where with some luck they'l have the same kind of impact.