Making Sketchbooks at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

This post shares how Paula Briggs and Sheila Ceccarelli from AccessArt and Kate Noble from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, enabled teachers to make sketchbooks and explore them as a physical space to connect and collect ideas and observations from museum collections.

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Teachers making sketchbooks in the Education Room at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

 


Engineering Sketchbooks 

This session followed on from Thoughtful Drawing and Mark Making in the Armoury and Using Sketchbooks, Drawing and Reflective Tools in the 20th Century Gallery.

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In the Education Room at the Fitzwilliam Museum

 

Back in the Education Room at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, teachers started by gathering their collection of drawings from the galleries and a selection of paper. They were then given quick demonstrations on how to make a sketchbook and got to work.

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Teachers choose from a range of different paper to start making their books

 

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And collected their drawings together

 

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Paula and Sheila demonstrated how to make a sketchbook by either folding or binding paper together. 

Participants were provided with a range of materials and loved the physicality of the session. They were encouraged to think out of the box and find engineered solutions for how their books might look, feel, open and close, the scale of them and how the pages might work together.

Teachers were inventive and playful in their approaches and many used the drawings from the galleries to create new sketchbook pages by tearing and folding them.

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They started cutting and folding their drawings

 

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And started to physically explore how their books might work - some created pages which concertinaed outwards, or folded inwards

 

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Teachers enjoyed playing with combining different sizes and shapes of paper.

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Here a teacher folds her drawing from the 20th Century Gallery and makes a folded sketchbook

 

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Which she then incorporates with another book

 

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Then binds the two books together with red paper and ribbon

 

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Gathering sheets together to make a small, soft back book with a fabric cover

 

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Bound together with a needle and thread

 

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Combining different paper together to make a large folded and then bound sketchbook

 

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And some pages fold out to be even bigger

 

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And then bound with elastic bands and a stick

 

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Finished book - closed - See the clever binding!

 

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Here a combination of paper and drawings bound together with a hole punch and string

 

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Using a hole punch to bind sheets together

 

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And string to bind the sheets together 

 

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Creating a sketchbook with pages which extend

 

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A torn and folded sheet of paper

 

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Extended to reveal a drawing from the gallery

 

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And bound together with a poster cover

 

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Here the finished book with a paper band to hold loose sheets together

 

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We finished the session by admiring each other's books

 

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And enjoying the rich pages and happy memories on an afternoon at the Fitzwilliam Museum!

 

Many thanks to the teachers who participated in this InSET training session for sharing their process with AccessArt and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Many thanks to Pink Pig Sketchbooks for their generous donation. of sketchbooks to AccessArt.

Thank you to Kate Noble for facilitating the session and to Ali for her support. 

Photographs by Sheila Ceccarelli.

UK Charity AccessArt created this resource in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 

AccessArt has over 850 resources to help develop and inspire your creative thinking, practice and teaching.

AccessArt welcomes artists, educators, teachers and parents both in the UK and overseas.

We believe everyone has the right to be creative and by working together and sharing ideas we can enable everyone to reach their creative potential.

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