I was thrilled to be asked by the brilliant GRUB to help them with a project for their Christmas Food Fair. GRUB put on fantastic food and beer events all around the city of Manchester and if you don't know about them you can find out more here www.grubmcr.com
For one day only we'll be bringing beer, wine, spirits, hand made sodas, cracking coffee, mulled things, street food, live music, DJs, at least one choir and present stalls to Sadler's Yard. Have we forgotten anything?
YES WE HAVE! Santa will also be in attendance. The actual Santa. Not one of his 'helpers'. The real deal. You'll be able to have a #santaselfie with him. It will be sick.
I was asked to make a grotto for the Santa Selfies to take place in. After initial meetings about what resources we had and what aesthetic GRUB were after we came up with suitable idea. We decided to use their gazebo but we wanted to have a natural, festive feel inside like you were stepping into a winter wonderland. It was decided that to disguise the fact it was a red, plastic gazebo I was tasked with making 6 stick curtains. Bailey of GRUB fame did a fantastic job collecting hundreds of sticks which he delivered to my studio.
I then set about cutting them so one meter lengths. We calculated that I needed about 40 sticks per curtain.
I then painted a number of sticks to have some small accents of colour. I chose quite muted pastel colours to fit with the brief I had been given by GRUB.
The final step was to tie the sticks together using string to form the stick curtains.
As well as the stick walls I decided to make some branch trees to fill the space inside the gazebo. To put these together I collected large branches that had fallen off the trees (it helped that we had had gale force winds) and I secured them in buckets by surrounding the branch with bricks and then filling the remaining space with expanding foam. I then cut the top layer of foam off and collected moss to cover the top of the bucket and give it a natural feel.
I made decorations to hang on the trees including owls, robins, wooden shapes and snowflakes. (The snowflakes were crocheted by my good friend Claire Ronayne)
Final touches were some beautiful cut out snowflakes and some garlands of greenery.
A massive thanks goes out to Rachel Clarke who got up early on a Saturday to help me install the grotto. Pictured above with her woolly hat on :) turns out she's really strong!