Friday, October 07, 2005

Sculpting & Swimming

It's been a hectic few days. Rather stressful too. Our main source of stress at the moment has been the news that Jon is likely to have to appear as a witness for Paul McKenna in his high court action against his current record label. Apparently several hour long conversations on the phone with McKenna's solicitors, and hours spent retrieving and preparing information for them, just won't do. Nope, looks like it'll require a week in London come mid November, with all the attendant stresses, strains and loss of income that'll cause. Sigh. Here's hoping they settle out of court before it comes to that.

On a more pleasant note, it's been a very successful couple of days for Emily's home ed. Yesterday we spent a long time working with money, and she also started using webs to plan her writing. I was impressed with the factual piece she wrote about looking after the cats. Very well thought out and interestingly phrased. Yesterday afternoon we went off to Normanby Hall and spent ages identifying different trees, taking bark rubbings and collecting bits and bobs.

Back at home, I asked Emily to think about making a natural sculpture using the materials she'd collected, and set her the task that she should design something on the theme of Normanby Hall, something which reminded her of the many hours we've spent there. She spent a while pressing the leaves we'd collected, and laying our her treasures, experimenting with different ideas.

This morning Emily announced that she'd come up with her sculpture plan - it was to be inspired by the shape and beauty of a peacock's tail, which I think was an exceptionally good idea. She'd really thought hard about how to make best use of what materials there were, and about what kind of things are symbolic of Normanby Hall. So, there followed a happy three hours making the sculpture - she had an absolute ball doing this, it was even more fun than I thought it would be. I did nothing towards the sculpture except keep her company while she worked - she did all the drilling, hot glue gunning, wiring, beading etc totally by herself. Right at the end we did enlist Gramps' help with his power drill, as the hand drill Emily had been using didn't have a bit big enough to cope with the largest holes needed to attach some of the 'feathers' to the base, but other than that it was a completely independent piece of work.

You can't really see in the photo, but each 'feather' has different embellishments on it, including some fairly intricate beading. Each of the feathers is a large twig bending in roughly the right direction, and they're all fixed into a heavy log she found on her travels. Very proud of her efforts on this, right from the conception and design to the final creation. Only thing is, it's extremely large, lol. We should have thought about where to put it before she started, but it's ended up on the sideboard downstairs for the time being. Daresay it'll find its way into the garden soon. She did a very good critical analysis of it too, explaining what she thought she might have improved (she wanted the feathers at a better angle to create a more fan like shape) and what she might have done if she'd had more time. Sadly even in HE world time is not unlimited. Had she had more time, Emily says she would have liked to create a voile background between the feathers, and beading chains to link them together.

We also made some fairy wands with left over twigs. Some wooden fairy wands arrived from our wholesalers yesterday - they're very pretty, but basically they're just twigs with beads on and pretty craft wire attachments. We can do something like that, I thought - and so we did. That's a lot of fun, I can see us getting quite a collection together.

This afternoon we went swimming, and Emily made more good progress. She's getting very confident now! She's spent the rest of the evening looking at an Usborne Beginner's Guide to Latin and coming out with all kinds of stuff from it. I wasn't allowed to take Latin at school (not enough interest from the other teenagers - brilliant system, school, huh?) so I've no clue what she was saying most of the time, but she seemed to be having fun!

1 comment:

Kris said...

That's a wonderful bit of sculpture! We're very very impressed. Not sure I'd like to let my lot loose with a hot glue gun though! lol

I always wanted to learn Latin too - and the only school I went to that offered the subject didn't run the class through lack of interest! Schools are the same countrywide, it seems.