I was delighted to give a Monster Pop Up Workshop for children as part of the Sherborne Literary Festival. For a start, the venue was only 50 metres from our front door!
It's great to see Sherborne creating a Literary Festival such as this and a real pleasure to support it. The strong line up included such literary luminaries as James Wong, Helen Yemm, Gyles Brandreth, Victoria Glendinning, Ann Widdecombe, Helen Rappaport and Rachel Joyce. A host of events had been organised around the town, including outreach events in local schools and libraries.
There was a quite a buzz in the town and the staff of Winstone's Books of Sherborne, including my wonderful wife Helen, were busy fulfilling the bookselling needs of the various events.
I had a great group of eager children, their parents and grandparents for the event. Ably aided by my wife Helen, 5 yr old veteran pop up creator Tabitha, great friends and neighbours Jenny and Annie we set to. Armed with copious amounts of my favourite Rothmill coloured card, sellotape and scissors, we made pop up monsters, dinosaurs and one or two rabbits! The children were really creative and inventive and it was a great pleasure to see so many Mums, Dads and Grandparents getting stuck in too.
I'm always struck by how much fun the 'grown-ups' have at my workshops, I really should give them specifically for an older audience. It seems we need to be given 'permission' to play as we get older, which is in many ways a sad thing. So to see so many Mums and Dads creating their own pop up paper monsters filled my heart with joy and they were clearly loving it!
I gave the children a brief tour of my pop up books and showed them lots of my ideas, roughs and importantly my mistakes, before showing them how to make a very simple pop up monster face. They then took my simple idea and flew with it, adding their own unique touches and ideas.
I've had some lovely feedback from the event and, as is so often the case, the magic of creating pop up monsters had even the wriggliest child sitting down and concentrating, whilst they brought their own special character to life. One little lad who simply cannot sit still for more than 20 minutes, sat happily focussed for over an hour. That's very rewarding to be part of.
There is something about the magic of creating a three dimensional creature out of our most common two dimensional material. A few simple folds and cuts, some sellotape and a racing imagination, very soon it's smiles all round and a wonderful hum of concentration. I make a point of spending individual time with every child, it's fascinating to see what they create and incredible to hear the stories that they tell me about their pop up beasties. Even the most reluctant of storytellers has created the backstory for their characters without even thinking that that's what they're doing.
It works it's magic time after time and never ceases to amaze me.
Try it for yourself!
You can find simple pop up card templates to download and lots of ideas on my Pop Up Paper Blog.
Many thanks to John Gaye and Helen Stickland for these great photos.
If you would like a Pop Up or Drawing Workshop at your school, library or festival, please visit the Author Event and Pop Up Workshop page on my website or email me here..