Sunday, 30 December 2012

Moving In

This week we picked up the keys to the studio and began the mammoth task of moving all my art materials, folders, books etc from their old home to their new home - The Laboratory Art Studio, No 1 Wat Tyler Country Park. 
Here's the progress so far......

The class end of the studio is still filled with bits and bobs to be sorted and put away, but the pile is getting smaller.

My working end of the studio is starting to take shape.

I am looking forward to having the time to make over my bureau,
  I am thinking maybe  cream with the laboratory logo on?

I think this sofa is going to come in useful over the next few months
 Hopefully we will have the studio looking all spick and span ready for the launch on January 12th. If you are interested in finding out information on children's art classes, adults art classes or are interested in joining our "Make and Matter" group on a Saturday Morning, starting 19th January please email Lisa at
Whilst going through all the folders and boxes I came across this lino print I made as part of my foundation art class many moons ago, I am looking forward to having the space to experiment more in print

Lovely print my son completed when he was about 10 years old whilst I was doing my degree

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Spit Spot

Can you believe it is only 20 days until the official opening of The Laboratory art studio at Wat Tyler Country Park. The guys at Wat Tyler have worked really hard making sure the walls and floor are all painted and spit spot ready for us to move in just after Christmas. The Studio has been part of an £80,000 renovation project at the park and feature lots of energy efficient features including an under floor heating system - which we think will come in use in the New Year.
So here are the first pictures for you of the studio and where it is located at the park.
My lovely new studio - The Laboratory
 A blank canvas ready for new artists, new ideas to explore, experiment and create
The Green Centre - situated opposite The Laboratory

As you can see we have ample parking and space for large outdoor programmes!
The Labroatory will run art classes for beginners, more accomplished artists and children. You will also be able to book children's art parties for birthdays, weddings or special events.
Classes will start the week commencing January 6th 2013. To find out more information keep an eye of The Laboratory Facebook page and twitter account @1the_laboratory or alternatively email

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Artistic Future for Explosives Laboratory

Explore, Experiment and Create

THE EXPLOSIVES Laboratory at Wat Tyler Country Park is set for an artistic future with the site becoming an arts studio in the New Year.

One of the parks few remaining buildings from its time as an Explosives Factory, The Laboratory has recently undergone an £80,000 refurbishment as part of the Heritage Interpretation Project which has seen a complete transformation of the park over the past five years.

Following the refurbishment, part of the building will now be used as an arts studio by local artist Lisa Smith who will be offering a range of classes for all ages and abilities and children’s art parties for birthdays, celebrations and weddings.

Councillor Kevin Blake, cabinet member for leisure and arts at Basildon Council said: “The Laboratory has a rich history and the refurbishment of the building has been sympathetic to this, whilst at the same time creating a modern, usable space.

“Lisa has been working with us on a number of arts projects at the park, and has recently installed an exhibition based in the parks Green Centre. I am delighted that she will be using The Laboratory for this new venture and the art studio will really add to what is already a diverse range of activities on offer at the park.”

Run by the British Explosives Syndicate and owned by Swedish Industrialist Alfred Nobel (he of the international Peace Prize), The Laboratory was severely damaged by an explosion in 1916. The result of this can still be seen in the colour contrast of brickwork on the building.

Restored because of its heritage integrity, the refurbishment project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and whilst the outward appearance is unchanged, the building has been fully restored internally with double glazing and under-floor heating, making it an ideal venue for the new studio.

Lisa Smith added: “The use of recycled materials in many of my sculptures fits in well with the ethos of the park and its buildings and will help children and others to better understand how we can all live more sustainably“. 

 The Laboratory Arts Studio will open to the public on the 12th January 2013. For more information visit or call 07970332097

Monday, 3 December 2012

Family Christmas Crafts

This weekend we had lots of family fun at our first event as the laboratory at Wat Tyler Country Park. On Saturday hundreds of people visited the park for the Family Christmas Fun day. 
We set up in the barn, with two activities for families to come and join in - Paper Craft Christmas Trees (as pictured below) and Paper Craft Christmas Wreaths.
Multi Coloured Christmas Tree Craft

Paper Wreath Table all set up and ready for some family fun

Paper tree table ready and awaiting some crafty families
 Within  no time the barn was bustling with excitement and creativity. Families enjoyed spending quality time together, learning accessible and affordable craft techniques and thanks to the heaters - managed to kept warm whilst working! Families watched a short demonstration and the used a wide range of craft materials to create their own stunning Christmas decoration.
A beautiful Light and Dark Green Christmas tree being decorated

A busy Afternoon in the barn

 Here are some of the amazing pieces that were made throughout the day, I am sure you will agree they are quite splendid.
A beautiful Wreath ready to adorn any door

The Panda from Lee Chapel Primary even came to create a tree today

Mum and Son very happy with their creations in the barn

Hiding behind the tree
Two very happy little boys showing off their Christmas Trees

To join in more arts and crafts at the laboratory why not pencil in your diary the 12th January for our grand  opening between 10:00am-4:00pm, more information on this event coming soon.

For information on children's or adult art classes or to book a child's art party please contact Lisa Smith on