Sally Kindberg’s pirate workshop at the Pollocks Toy Museum Fitzrovia Fete

Ahoy there! Pirates of all ages joined me on Saturday at the Fitzrovia Fete, organised by the magical Pollocks Toy Museum, to demonstrate that pirates have remarkably inventive drawing skills.

 

While pirates swashbuckled, crocodiles snapped, musicians played, Punch and Judy fought, bees buzzed (there was a bee display), a skeleton jumped in and out of a coffin, a magician performed wonders, it didn’t rain – what more can you want from a street festival!

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Sally Kindberg walking from Folkestone to Dover

The best bit of this walk last month was calling in at the aptly named Cliff Top Cafe in Capel le Ferne, which has home made cakes, very friendly staff and (usually) an amazing view. It’s very popular with (middle-aged) bikers at weekends.  The last time I was here I had a message on my mobile phone saying ‘Welcome to France’, but sadly not this time …

Then there was a sea mist and much rain so we didn’t actually make it to Dover, but being above the sea was a delight.

The cliff paths were super slippy with wet chalk so we walked a bit on the Old Dover Road, eventually found the huge concrete sound mirror and caught a bus back to Folkestone in pouring rain.  English summer and all that …

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Sally Kindberg visits the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

Not the usual sort of seaside souvenir but anything is possible at a Cartoonists Festival. I had last been in 2019  Cartoonists including the Surreal McCoy,  Zoom Rockman, Martin Rowson and Glen Marshall gathered on the pier and did their stuff.  I was lucky enough to acquire a spare moustache, but forgot to ask Glen Marshall to sign it …

It spattered with rain, I had a headache so took myself off to a cafe for a cup of tea and cheese on toast, joined by a cheeky sparrow.

Interesting to see a remnant of the original Herne Bay pier, with wind turbines in the distance, and the statue of pilot Amy Johnson who tragically (and mysteriously) died in the sea nearby.

 

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Sally Kindberg at Hugh Wedderburn’s studio

After my chance meeting with Hugh Wedderburn  and seeing some of his beautifully carved work attached to his lapel, I visited him in his east London studio, as he’d kindly offered me some dust for my Museum.

Hugh makes his carvings from lime, pear, mahogany, Russian redwood and oak. Infant trees were growing in his studio.

And a propos master woodcarvers, there’s a Grinling Gibbons exhibition currently in the City of London.

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Sally Kindberg’s unicorn dust quest

Part Two of a series about City Guides – I cajoled the guides to tell their own stories. It was a great way to catch up with some of the lovely people I’d trained with in 2006.  Part One also appeared in CityGuide Magazine, and is here.

I met up with Judy Stephenson one morning in St Mary Abchurch, headquarters of the Friends of the City Churches. Judy is an active member, and editor of their magazine Skyline. As well as having the pleasure of exchanging news with Judy, I was on a mission. Im the founder and curator of a very small Museum of Dust, one of my ongoing projects, and wanted to add a minute sample of dust from the churchs Grinling Gibbons reredos to add to my rather eclectic collection.

Sadly the screen was too high, Health & Safety rules precluded me from standing on a chair or ladder to reach it, and in any case the church was far too well dusted. I spotted a splendid unicorn in the church, made by seventeenth century wood carver William Emmett (according to the churchs leaflet), but sadly this too was dust free. Unicorn dust is appropriately very rare.

As I was chatting to Judy in the sunny churchyard, three visitors arrived to discuss this years Grinling Gibbons 300: Carving a Place in History festival, each of them wearing a small but exquisite pearwood carving in their lapel, created by master carver Hugh Wedderburn, one of the visitors. He has kindly agreed to my visiting his studio, where I hope to collect a sample of dust from a contemporary wood carvers workshop. As usual, the City is full of surprises, and meanwhile, my unicorn dust quest continues.

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Sally Kindberg’s visit to Cornwall

What an adventure! My first long train journey since I had Covid last spring.  Crossing the Tamar into Cornwall from Devon (where I was born btw) on the wonderful Brunel bridge is always a thrill.  I stayed in Penzance, exploring the surrounding coast, and had a delightful float and swim in the geothermally heated Jubilee Pool watching the occasional cloud skud by overhead.

Encountered more seaside delights at the Penzance Exchange and Newlyn Galleries, took a bus to visit my old haunt St Ives again and called in at the Tate to see an extraordinary exhibition by Haegue Yang. Here’s her Tilted Bushy Lumpy Bumpy …

Fabulous art galleries, subtropical gardens (Morrab and Trewyn), coast walks, ancient churches, boat trips, stunning views and a heated swimming pool – Cornwall as ever was a delight.

Forgot to mention Lord Nelson in a cupboard (the outcome of the Battle of Trafalgar was announced in the hotel ballroom above), and I revisited the outside of the St Ives house which once belonged to one of my favourite painters Alfred Wallis, although I suspect he didn’t have Venetian blinds at the time.

 

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Sally Kindberg’s notes from Cornwall

Walrus sighting reported in the nearby Scilly Isles. He apparently floated south from the Arctic on a melting iceberg.

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Sally Kindberg at the Primrose Hill Art Trail

Great fun to be part of the Primrose Hill Art Trail last sunday, see other artists’ work on display in windows etc, and do a bit of chalking in the children’s activity area.

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Sally Kindberg at Pollocks Toy Museum again

This week I called in again at Pollocks Toy Museum, to chat with D, ex-curator who comes in to the museum once a week to catalogue its contents – a mammoth task, as the museum has a myriad of nooks and crannies filled with surprising treasures.

Pollocks kindly agreed to my collecting some dust for my Museum of Dust. I was hoping to find some in the case of teddy bears (especially from Eric the oldest bear) but the case is sealed tight.

Under the watchful and curious eyes of a crowd of dolls, D selected keys from an enormous bunch, and opened up the case containing a wooden Noah’s Ark, and one of the dolls house cases, but there wasn’t even enough dust to fill a tiny bottle.

No dust in a seaside bucket made of a recycled sardine tin either. In the end I managed to collect some dust by fossicking around a chimney in the older (c 1760s) part of the museum, in a room whose floor, delightfully creaky, has a four inch slope.

The Pollocks Toy Museum shop on the ground floor still has a few copies of The Hand Book, published in 2019 by Design For Today.

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More notebook pages

Couple of my notebook pages from last year included on SCBWI Words and Pictures

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