Piecing it all together

This week we took some inspiration from our surroundings at the wonderful V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

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The museum and its buildings have a long history, as Catherine Freeman from the museum describes here. We’ll be meeting Catherine in a few weeks time, when she’ll be bringing some of the museum’s collection to life during an object handling session that we’re all really looking forward to!

On entering the museum, the mosaic-tiled floor may cause you to pause a while. The story goes that female inmates from the Woking Gaol laid the black and white fish scale pattern that greets you if you look down. You can almost make out the individual contributions; there is a certain absence of uniformity which can be seen across the vastness of the floor, belying the many hands that laid it and adding to the wonderful overall effect of this communal effort. Rather like how the quilt is progressing we think! Continue reading “Piecing it all together”

Fall, leaves, fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

Emily Bronte.


It’s autumn, the nights are drawing in, the heating’s coming on and the colours outside are starting to change. This week we took our creative cue from nature.

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Our life on fabric – getting to know each other

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Tactile Histories is a life history and textiles project for people over the age of 60 with sensory impairments. Throughout the project, the group will have the chance to learn and develop new textile skills, share their stories and work collaboratively with each other to design a patchwork quilt of their memories. 

 Tactile Histories is all about connections: to our pasts; those around us and the places we’re from – and to our innate creativity. So, how do the paths we’ve taken, as we start to re-tread them, emerge into a story that is tactile?

The age-old tradition of making patchwork quilts is where we start. Quilts are built bit by bit, using different textures, colours and ideas; a perfect way of telling our ever-evolving stories.

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There is no such thing as an empty space

One of the best parts of being a sound artist is that I get to listen to places and environments that I probably otherwise wouldn’t get access to.  With Sense students we’ve been listening to some special sounds, either through the apparatus we’ve used or through the openness of groups who’ve let us into their worlds.

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In Luton with students from Keech we recorded  under water sounds using hydrophones; water is a much better conductor of sound than air and things sound amazing under water.

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In Cornwall with members of GOT, a group from Sense was enthusiastically welcomed by members of the bell ringing group from Truro Cathedral, who let us have a go ringing the city bells.

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Get out there Cornwall ,Belll Ringing at Truro Cathedral.21/10/14

Get out there Cornwall ,Belll Ringing at Truro Cathedral.21/10/14

Truro Cathedral images by Hannah Wright

Please keep an eye and an ear out for updates on this project here.




Thinking through sound

I’m really interested in how we think through our Senses, especially when experiencing something through one sense evokes an experience in another. For example what mental image does a sound or a touch provoke?

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During the past weeks I’ve been collecting audio recordings with groups of young people from Sense Hampton, Keech and GOT Cornwall.

We’ve been recording lots of different sounds from many sources including birds, machinery, two different cathedrals as well as under water sounds using hydrophones.


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Rock, Pop and Charming

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The Victoria and Albert Museum is full of things you can get your hands on, as long as you know where to look!

Sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration, as we found at our very special day at the V&A this month. We started our tour with some trying on of costumes. We often forget about the sensory impact of textiles, the different textures and smells that fabrics hold. The V&A have a vast collection, each with their own story.

This month’s performance, Rock, Pop and Charming explores the musical legacy of Adam Ant. Hats and capes, tambourines and drums all featured, and there were a few Prince Charming’s too!

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Lake Animals & Creative Envelopes for the Mini Exhibitions

20141018_112845Each week, we start by looking at the participants’ homework.

Flipping through Sheila’s, one of our most enthusiastic participants, I could smell some sort of Chinese food.

The origin of this smell came from her collage with sweet corn that she took from her dinner last week.

She said after the previous class (making collages with marshmallow and raisins)  she wanted to make some extra works.

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Pop-up Garden with Puffed Up Marshmallows



The topic of today’s class was to  make a `Pop-up Garden’.

Being asked to bring any materials to make a garden in `free-style’, Charlotte, one of the participants said this after opening
bags full of fun stuff from her house.

It was slightly easier because I could bring anything interesting but it was slightly harder because I didn’t know how to use it.
Unlike previous weeks that materials were given, this week, participants were asked to bring any thing to use in the class.
To make things more interesting, I prepared some marshmellows and raisins.
Participants enjoyed using them ( while feeling their squishy texture)

as borders of the path,


(by Sheila)

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A Pasta-House with a Biscuit Wall

This is one of the participants said after being asked about using different materials at the weeky art class:

It was interesting to work with different materials each week. If somebody told me to make a leaf out of wire or a bird out of leaves, I would be thinking it was mad. But  now that I’ve done it, I know it is possible to make.


To take a further step in finding materials for art from nature, this week, we used cooking ingredients as medium to build a house.


For an assignment last week, participants were asked to draw a house and a garden with a tree by incorporating various materials.

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Product review: Braille keyboard cover

Steven Morris
Close up of keys on the keyboard with coverBraille keyboard cover from A2i
Price: £60
Available from: A2i website

It is always exciting to investigate new technology which can help to open up the world of computers to those like myself who are deafblind and I was therefore very interested to review this new product from A2i.

The Braille keyboard cover is a moulded cover which fits over the keyboard meaning that a Braille user can easily identify what they are typing. The cover is designed to fit a specific USB keyboard which is provided as part of the product. When the box is opened, you will find that the cover has already been fitted for you to the keyboard.

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