June 25, 2017

Mary Leakey – The Puppet

Filed under: Science and Art — sarah @ 7:01 am

Cuddly Science has a new puppet 🙂 Mary Leakey – an paleoanthropologist who along with various other members of her family and team found alot of the early homonid fossils and moved our understanding of our own evolution on in leaps and bounds.

Mary Leakey the puppet reading one of her favourite books

Mary Leakey was one of my science heroes when I was a teen – during my GCSEs and A’levels I read all the books the library had or could get on her discoveries. And she was in the original list of ten puppets to make for Cuddly Science. My Mum and Dad worked on her mainly in secret for me, knowing I was uber busy with things.

Mary Leakey the puppet with one of her creators Angie Pym

She also doubles as a general geologist, archeologist and explorer! Which is just what I needed with various archeology festivals and geology based workshops coming up this summer!

Sarah Snell-Pym Cuddly Science Cheltenham Science Festival

The puppet was in fact barely finished before it was being whizzed off to the Cheltenham Science Festival to help explain the Cheltenham Hackspace’s magic sand box!

Geology Puppet showing off the sand projector

This 3D projector that maps the sand contours in real time and projects and ever updating graded colour system on top was amazing! I do have video but haven’t worked out how to extract it from my phone etc…

Geologist puppet is at the sand

We had over 10, 000 kids through the Makers Shack at the festival which was amazing and also exhausting! Mary Leakey and Ada Lovelace both enjoyed their outings and I have a hell of a lot more photos and vids to put up from the festival including trying to launch a robot into near Earth orbit! But for now I shall end with this pic of Mary Leakey chilling and relaxing behind the scenes.

Mary Leakey the puppet chilling behind the scense at the Cheltenham Science Festival

June 10, 2013

Knitting Minerals

Filed under: Knitting and Crochet,Science and Art — sarah @ 8:28 am

Knitted minerals

At the Cheltenham Science Festival I meet a lady from Surrey University who was using knitting to explain chemistry. She had balls of wool, needles and patterns so that people could take part in knitting the unit cells of minerals (the little clusters of atoms that get repeated within a crystal structure).

Chemistry and knitting

The mineral is Perovskite which is found in abundance in the mantle 🙂 She is crowd sourcing knitters and crochet nuts to help make a huge model. The pattern is very simple. It is called The Perovskite Project – go and check it out!

Also there were huge beakers which looked cool with the balls of wool sticking out 🙂

Wool in a Beaker

So yes I am adding this to my knitting projects 🙂

September 25, 2011

The Coral of Life

I made a giant papier mache coral for the Exhibition in Braille – here are the creatures, plants, fungus and life forms in general that occupy it. (It was a take on the tree of life concept!)

Knitted coral, mushroom (not by me but by the lady who run the singing groups at Centre Arts), and rose.

knitted coral

Knitted Mushroom

Knitted Rose

Pompom pals made of pompoms, pipe cleaners and crepe paper – a ladybird, butterfly, spider and carrot.

Lady bird Pom pom and pipe cleaner lady bird

Pink pom pom butterfly

purple pom pom spider

pom pom carrot

Wooden carvings out of pine (done by my Leonard Pym – my dad), an egg, fish and hedgehog.

wooden fish

Wooden hedgehog from above Wooden Hedgehog

Turned wooden egg pine

A gypsum sphere I found – it is an evaporite deposite found in desert environments.

gypsum sphere

Fimo/polymer clay models of a shrimp and penguin.

Fimo Shrimp

Fimo Penguin from the front Fimo Penguin

Sugru (this is funky new stuff which air dries to a rubbery plastic)

Sugru critters

September 18, 2011

Exhibition in Braille

Giant Papier Mache Coral

I have been making a giant papier mache coral as a piece of textural science art for the Exhibition In Braille which will be on this weekend (Sat 24th September 2011). The idea is that it represents the tree of life and at the end of each zooid or polyp tube is an organism made of different things such as wood, polymer clay, textiles, metal, stone and so on. There is a series of pictures in relief around the base that cannot really be seen but must be felt – these represent the scientific theories of Life’s origin and subsequent evolution. There is also a molecular sand made up of beads which will fit in the pockets built into the sand part of the sculpture and a series of poems which will be played along with it for people to listen too whilst feeling the piece.

March 6, 2011

Terror Bird

Filed under: My Drawings/Paintings,Palaeo-Art — sarah @ 9:10 am

Kelenken Terror Bird

This is my drawing for the March Time Capsule for Art Evolved on the heavy set large meat eating birds known as the Terror Birds. I chose Kelenken which is from about 15 million years ago and is one of the largest found so far. I got the general shape from looking at pictures of the skelentons – the feet I am not happy with but the over all bird I am 🙂

January 9, 2011

Celestial Montage ESA_space_inspiration

Filed under: My Drawings/Paintings,Science and Art — sarah @ 9:22 am

This is my entry to the ESA (European Space Agency) art competition Create Your Space. If you like it you have until the beginning of February (2011) to vote for it. You vote by liking my comment on the ESA image on their Facebook page – here is the link you’ll need to tell you how to vote ;). I hope you all like it. I believe you need to “like” the page before you can vote. I am Sarah Snell-Pym and this entry is linked under the image of Christer Fuglesang’s Space Walk – it is quiet a way down their wall on Facebook.

Celestial Montage ESA_space_inspiration

Did Life fall into this cradle
This Earth, this home –
We now attempt to climb out of?
Or is it more than a cradle
Some crucible or potters wheel
Shaping and baking us in forms renewed?

Maybe in truth it is a bit of both
And as humanity takes its first toddler steps
We begin to see the variety that our world holds


Life here investigated
In case of alien brethren
Life searched for by the heart if not the mind
As the astronaut steps out into the void
For themselves, for us, for a future
A future – As yet unknown
A future for us all
As we grow too large for this world to contain
A cradle we have explored from end to end

But it is only with eyes freshly opened
To the wonders beyond
That we begin to see what we have missed
That which hides in plan sight
The beauty of our world
We seek its twins, our mirrors –
Its twisted folly of form


And if we are on our own?
Then look at the wonders the search has wrought
And if we are not?
Then maybe we will truly see ourselves
For the first time

Until then the void is calling
And all these things?

These investigations
These satellites
And images –
Are our jumping off point
Our call to the unknown

Do you wonder what it will answer?

December 19, 2010

Christmas Paleo-Art

Filed under: Christmas,My Drawings/Paintings,Palaeo-Art,Uncategorized — sarah @ 12:19 am

Helga Mammoths Lucky Christmas

I sat down to take part in the next Time Capsule for Art Evolved – an on line paleo-art community (ie people who draw dinosaurs etc) – the next capsule is basically elephants, so mammoths and mastodons etc… I sat down to draw one but with christmas music and decorations around I found that I couldn’t get rid of a specific image… a mammoth in a Santa’s hat.

So I drew her! Ever Hopeful Helgar may just get her Christmas wish is the tag line. Anyway I suppose I should get one with drawing a non-christmas one 🙂 The drawing was done by sketching an outline in pencil and then inking it in using Stabilo fine liners. I have quiet a few coulors now – though still not quiet enough!

Anyway Happy Christmas 🙂

June 13, 2010

GlosWhatsOn – Thankyou

Filed under: Events,General,Kids Projects,Science and Art — sarah @ 9:42 am

Via twitter we found a great local site to us called GlosWhatsOn – they are basically a directory for stuff that is going on in our county and they have been so useful to us with Arts and Crafts (and keeping small children entertained during the holidays!).  They cover many other things too, like sports and business and if you are in the Gloucestershire area (UK) or the Cotswolds I would suggest you give it a look.

I’ve found so many new craft activities, especially childrens’, since discovering the site.  But more than that I found out about the Wychwood Festival and from there managed to get on the team for festival crafts!  This has opened a whole new area of possibilities to me – I hadn’t really considered the craft workshop angle before (other than running kids crafts at the village feast, school and of course Scout camps etc…).

I’m just really happy I’ve found them and that not only can I find out about events on there but I can get my events on there so people can see them and come along.  It is also free which is always good 🙂

Anyway I just basically wanted to say thankyou to them 🙂

p.s. They are also on twitter.

May 16, 2010

The Periodical Periodicals

Filed under: Kids Projects,My Drawings/Paintings,Science and Art — sarah @ 8:45 pm

The Periodical Periodicals

I have been working for years now on a series of children’s books that explain the elements – the Periodical Periodicals and these are some of the character designs I have been coming up with 🙂

If you want to see a bigger version of the image just click on it.

March 1, 2010

What happened to the Live-Blogging?

Filed under: Palaeo-Art — sarah @ 10:01 pm

Well… erm… I sort of tidied up the house and have sort of erm… misplaced my cable for uploading photographs to the laptop :/

I have taken step by step photos of the process so far but can’t show you the results because I am a scatter brained mousse :/

But basically I drew a giant land sloth as that is the type of life style Therizinosaurs had, I then sketched the shape of the skeleton and fleshed it out with the features I thought it should have from what I’d read.

So sorry about the photo issue but I will have them up and with you a.s.a.p!

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