August 31, 2008

The Raphael Cartoons

Filed under: Art and Drawings,Valentines Day — sarah @ 4:56 pm

I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London or the V&A as it is known to the locals. I didn’t have a purpose as such, I just thought that as I needed to kill a couple of hours and was in South Kensington it might be nice to wander around in there.

I decided to look at the Raphael Cartoons 1515-1516, The Arts of St Peter and St Paul lent by her Majesty the Queen.

On first entering the room I thought I was in for a great treat as I looked at the large pictures dominating the walls of quite a big gallery but there was dim lighting and the pictures themselves were very dark – I assume the dim lights were to protect them. The lighting there was also caused great glare and reflections from the protective screens they had in front of them. It was also stiflingly hot in there which I would have thought would be bad for the pictures.

The one I really wanted to look at but couldn’t really see any of at all was a tapestry of The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, this is apparently woven in wool and silk with metal thread and was made as a copy of the painting.  As far as I could tell from the write ups Raffaello Sanzio 1483-1520 had made the copies in tapestry form at the request of Pope Leo X, however from further reading I have discovered that Raffaello is Raphael and is responsible for the paintings and they were painted with the idea of turning them into tapistries to rival Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.

I would have loved to have got a good look at them and it seems a shame that they are hanging there and are still not really accessible to the public when they should be. The thing that always bugs me about art galleries and museums that I have visited is they never have the postcards for the things I want postcards of.

August 24, 2008

Making a Planisphere

Filed under: Kids Projects,Science and Art — sarah @ 2:34 pm

A planisphere is a device for working out where the planets and constellations are going to be in the sky and as I was doing the Astronomy badge with my Scouts I felt we should make one. So I printed two circles: one of them has all the constellations that are easily recognisable from the northern hemisphere and the other is slightly bigger and has the months round it.

I printed the two circles onto two different pieces of paper and then got the children to cut around the star circle. The second larger circle with the dates on it needed the middle cut out which was a bit more tricky and we had to help a few of them with it. 

sheets of stars

We then put each of the two pieces of planisphere in a separate laminating pouch each and put them through the laminating machine.


We then cut out the circles again but not the inside bit of the date circle. We made a hole in the middle of both discs using blue tac and a compass point. In the holes that we made we pushed a split pin through and opened it out at the back. Now we could rotate the discs and we had a working planisphere. 


August 17, 2008

Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen

Filed under: Art and Drawings — sarah @ 7:49 pm

I found that there is a shop below the gallery in the Painswick Centre which sells the most amazing stuff (can you tell I’m not local) made by the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen. There really were the most fantastic knitted foods, and glass bowls that I would have loved to be able to afford – I was tempted by the smallest one which was about £17 I think. In the end I bought a strawberry. I then got into a conversation with the young man behind the counter who informed me that the main exhibits were round the back and that it was the Guild’s 75th anniversary!

I went off to look at the Guild’s stuff. There was an entrance fee – I can’t remember what it was exactly but I think it was along the lines of £3. The stuff was amazing, from wooden furniture that really were works of art to knitted sculptures, to more amazing glass work. I picked up a lot of postcards, some of which it turned out were business cards and so were free!

They are there every summer if I remember correctly. They are also sensible and have a website!

August 10, 2008

More Local Art

Filed under: Art and Drawings — sarah @ 7:04 pm

I have also discovered that there is a little room above what I think of as the library building in Painswick. It isn’t always open and has different things going on – again I can find no reference to it on the internet, but the works were in the order of 10’s of pounds and a lot of it was very very good.

I personally preferred a lot of the work in this exhibition compared to the Painswick Centre but it didn’t have a cafe, though the people were far more chatty I found.

Again if you’re in the area of the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire etc… it could be worth a visit.

August 3, 2008

The Painswick Centre

Filed under: Art and Drawings — sarah @ 5:13 pm

I have been discovering that I am surrounded by local art galleries and exhibitors.

I thought there were some nice pieces of work hanging up though obviously I couldn’t afford the prices which were in the hundreds!

There was even a really cool knitted egg and cress sandwich! It was fantastic.

Admission is free and it’s open from 10am-6pm. The address is:

Painswick Centre (Above the Guild Gallery) Painswick Gloucestestershire GL6 6QQ

The timetable for Summer 08 is:

Andy Lovell, Jo Casling, Jane Garbett: 26th July – 2nd August

Georgina Brocklehurst: 3rd August – 9th August

Jennifer Shonk, Adele Lambert: 10th August – 17th August

Valerie Dugan, Dave Morris, Claire Nayegon: 18th August – 25th August


Unfortunatly there did not seem to be any web addresses anywhere and this was as close as it got for a website for the centre itself :/  But still if you’re in the area you might want to go and have a look!