Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 December 2015
National Museum of Scotland
This year for the second time, we invited Edinburgh College of Art 3rd year Illustration students to take part in a paid project to come up with craft designs for our family Christmas Crafternoons at National Museum of Scotland. We gave them an introduction and brief, talked through their initial roughs and ideas and then critiqued the final pieces, selecting two to carry forward. At the start of the project, students were also invited to volunteer at our October half term family activities, to get a better idea of audiences and spaces to inform their project.
Our first craft is a set of Lewis Chessmen bell decorations by India Pearce. India is originally from Oxfordshire and likes Parker ink, drawing outside and green tea. She hates people who are late and the texture of dried poster paint. Her work is mostly compiled digitally as a collage of prints, observational studies and line drawings, and is often themed around water. And she’s always looking for new collaborative projects to work on.
India wanted to create an activity that all age ranges could take part in, and she chose to take her influence from iconic artefacts in the museum. The Lewis Chessmen provided an interesting topic, and after making several development sketches, she came up with the concept of a Christmas decoration inspired by the tiny, walrus ivory chessmen.
Our second craft is a Christmas at the Museum bauble, designed by Augusta Kirkwood. Augusta has this to say about the project:
Having volunteered at the National Museum of Scotland at an event like the Christmas one I was able to design a Christmas decoration that the children could make quite easily but looks intricate when made. The project was a great opportunity to see Illustration in another way, and showing how versatile a discipline it can be.
I am very familiar with the National Museum of Scotland as I often go there to draw and get inspiration. I spent an afternoon wandering around the museum trying to come up with an idea. I wanted to create a paper Christmas tree that would be made 3D through paper construction and pop-up sections. I decided the impressive main hall would be a recognisable location for my Christmas tree, with its beautiful Victorian arches.
There was a lot of trial and error when trying to design the tree so that it would sit in the bauble and look exciting from all angles. It was harder than you would think! I finally came up with a design I was happy with and one I thought the children would love. I know I would have felt very chuffed if I had visited the museum and gotten to take a lovely Christmas decoration away with me like that!
I was so thrilled when my design was chosen and was so exciting to see the final design printed and ready to be transformed by all the children. I look forward to seeing all the colourful and Christmassy decorations completed!
If you would like to make a Christmas Museum bauble or festive Lewis Chessman decoration then join us in the Grand Gallery on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December between 12:00-16:00. Activities are free – just drop by.