Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Soap Making at The Lab

This weekend we had a blast at The Laboratory making our own soaps from some simple ingredients.
As promised here are the Instructions
Beautiful hand made soaps made at The Laboratory

Here is how we made our soaps - Check for allergies before you start:

Mixing ingredients
Fragrance - we used lavender and jasmine
Natural element - we used rose petals, lavender, cornsilk,dill and marigold petals
Soap dye
Cooking oil
Wooden skewer
Microwavable dish

1.    Prepare the moulds. Spray the interior of the plastic moulds with a small amount of cooking spray, making sure to cover all areas.
2.    If you want to add a pinch of petals or a herb now is the time. Add a small amount to each mould. Think carefully about what fragrance you are going to use and try to select a natural fibre that complements.
3.    Melt the soap base, we used a glycerine base to make our soaps. The size of your mould will determine how much soap you'll need to begin with. Place cube(s) of soap in the measuring cup and microwave on high for the following time pattern – 15 seconds then stir, 20 seconds then stir finally a further 15 seconds. If some solid soap still remains, microwave in 10-second intervals until soap is melted, but not boiling. Remove the melted soap from the microwave. This is best done by an adult or older child as the soap will be hot.
4.    Add the colour, we used two droplets of the liquid soap dye to the melted soap. Too much dye will make your soap dark, so don't overdo it. Mix colours to get your desired shade. Then stir the dye into the soap using a wooden stick – we used skewers.
5.    You can also add fragrance to your soaps with a drop or two of essential oils, we used jasmine and lavender.
6.    Carefully fill the moulds. Let cool and harden for at least 30 minutes before turning out. If you are doing this at home it is leave the soap for a couple of hours. Once cool, turn the mould upside down and pop the soap out. To clean the moulds, just use hot water—the soap should wash right off!
If you'd like a layered, rainbow look, pour small amounts into the moulds and let them harden before adding another colour layer.

Bath bombs
3 tablespoons sodium bicarbonate
1 tablespoon citric acid
1 teaspoon baby oil (optional)
pinch of petals (rose and lavender are popular)
3 drops of fragrance oil
water or witch hazel
soap dye (optional)

Heres how we made our bathbombs

Pouring into the moulds

1.    Place 2 tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate and 1 teaspoon of citric acid in a bowl. Warnings: They must not scratch their eyes and its a good idea not to eat the ingredients. Citric acid will sting if they have cuts on their hands.
2.    Encourage the child to mix them thoroughly, but carefully as it needs to stay in the jug.
3.    Add the 4-6 drops of soap dye to the mixture and thoroughly stir.
4.    Add a couple of drops of fragrance to the mixture and thoroughly stir.
5.    Add a small pinch of petals. Not more. You don’t want to block up plug holes! Stir again.
6.    Add one large spoonful of babyoil – this is nice for softening the skin
7.    Finally add enough water or witchazel until the mixture starts to clump and takes more effort to stir it.
8.    Pour into the mould. Push firmly into the mould and smooth the top. The more compact and the less powdery the bomb is, the better and longer it will fizz in the bath. For our workshop we put a cupcake case in a plastic cup and pour the mixture in. After it has firmed the cupcake case can be slipped out of the tub, ready for drying.
9.    The bath bomb needs to dry for at least half an hour.
10. Don’t forget to wash your hands.

For final presentation we made an origami star box, added a piece of tissue paper and then placed our goodies inside – what a perfect Christmas gift.

One very happy customers - i wonder who will be lucky enough to find these under their Christmas tree
Where to shop
We brought our soap base, dyes and fragrance from Hobbycraft
Our moulds were mainly ice cube or cup cake moulds from ikea, hobbycraft and Lakeland
Sodium bicarbonate and witchhazel your can purchase in any super market
Citric acid we purchased from Lakeland

Beautiful handmade soaps

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Laboratory Artist of the Month - James Ferguson

The Laboratory Art Studio is delighted to be exhibiting a range of the diverse and skilled work by self-taught artist - James Ferguson for the month of October.
Installation View of James Ferguson's exhibition at The Laboratory Art Studio

Bela Lugosi's Alive by James Ferguson, Pen and Ink on paper

Skull 1 by James Ferguson, graphite on paper
Skull 2, by James Ferguson Graphite on paper
  Born just outside of Brighton, James Ferguson has been painting and drawing since early childhood and is mainly self-taught. Portraiture and figurative work have always been the main focus of his artistic exploration. His artistic style is self-described as a fusion of traditional draftmanship, 60’s Pop Art and modern minimal graphic art.
The Raven, by James Ferguson, pen and ink on paper
Influences include artist of The Italian Renaissance, The Bauhaus Art Movement, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. The main motivation within his work is to represent the person behind the eyes.
Vadar by James Ferguson - Digital Print

Battle Droid by James Ferguson - Digital Print

Clone Trooper by James Ferguon, digital print

David Lynch - "Climbing The Peaks Is The Spice Of Life "David Keith Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American filmmaker, television director, visual artist, musician and occasional actor. Known for his surrealist films, he has developed his own unique cinematic style, which has been dubbed "Lynchian", a style characterized by its dream imagery and meticulous sound design. The surreal, and in many cases, violent, elements contained within his films have been known to "disturb, offend or mystify" audiences.

 Benedict Cumberbatch - "A Study in Pink"
Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson.

A study in Pink by James Ferguson, pen and ink on paper

With Time The World can Be Your Lobster by James Ferguson, Pen and ink on paper
 To View James Work pop along to The Laboratory Art Studio Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm - or contact Lisa Smith at the_laboratory@hotmail.co.uk to arrange a viewing time.
If you would like to order a commission or find out more information on James work:
Email               :jamesfergusonart@gmail.com
Website         :www.jamesfergusonart.com

Mobile             :07759251181

Friday, 20 September 2013

It's a jungle out there!

There’s a lot more strange wildlife in our parks, gardens, fields and woodlands than we might think. Take this little jumping spider for instance, who could easily be hopping around in scrubland near your home.

Jumping Spider
Now expert natural historians from the Essex Field Club would like to help us find and identify thousands of species of insects, spiders, other vertebrates, birds and animals we live amongst every day.

The Essex Natural History show will feature  drop-in workshops hosted by some of the leading naturalists in the country, who will all be on hand to talk about and help you identify any wildlife you have seen, drawn or photographed and are itching to know more about.

Experts in rocks, skeletons and fossils will also be on hand, so it’s an ideal time to bring over that strange rock lying on the mantelpiece and find out what it is. And don’t worry if you have nothing to bring this time and just want to know more – some star items from the clubs own historic collection of natural history, one of the most important in Essex, will also be on display to see and handle.

Other attractions include popular artist Lisa Smith from The Laboratory who will be helping children make their own fossils and designs inspired by the natural world. Basildon heritage will also be open with their displays of local photographs and other exhibits.

Fossils from the Essex Field Club Collection
Join Lisa on Saturday and make your own fossils using clay and plaster

Create a positive and a negative fossil
If you are itching to get started straight away, mini safaris hosted by the club and by the RSPB will be available to help you look at and identify the birds, beasts and plants in the park.

The event is free thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, who have given the Essex Field Club a generous grant to help them encourage and promote natural history and conserve their historic collection, which remains one of the most significant collections of natural history in the country.

Join us on the Sunday 22nd September between 11:00am-5:00pm at The Green Centre, Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon, Essex SS16 4UH

If you have any further questions please contact me on 07970332097 or email the_laboratory@hotmail.co.uk

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Autumn Term at The Laboratory

The autumn programme for The Laboratory is now available for bookings. After a fantastic Summer we are looking forward to getting stuck into lots of creative, fun, messy - and clean - arts and crafts - see our programmes below:
Our September programme is now available for bookings at The Laboratory

Our October programme sees us celebrating 50 years of Dr Who and having lots of fun with plaster

If you are looking for a spooktacula October Half Term Holiday the look no further than The Laboratory

Art classes at The Laboratory

Our art classes offer a little something for everyone in a creative and relaxed environment. You do not need to bring anything other than yourself and we will even supply you with refreshments. Alongside our classes listed above, this Autumn term we will be launching our Make and Natter class. This class is aimed at any adults who enjoy arts, crafts and nattering. So with the kids back at school this could be just what you are looking for!
We will meet on a Wednesday morning 9:30-11:30am for a cuppa and a biscuit whilst working on the weeks creative project. Our Make and Natter class costs a just £5 per person. To find out more about any of our classes or to book yourself a space. Please contact Lisa at the_laboratory@hotmail.co.uk

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Featured Artist - Moody Artist

This month The Laboratory is delighted to be hosting a range of ink illustrations and photography from the fabulous Rob Masters, a.k.a Moody Artist.
Installation view of Moody Artists exhibition

Moody Artists studied art, business and graphic design in the mid 80's at Southend College Of Technology gaining an O and A level B/TEC and London University diploma for art and graphic design BCTE certificate. During college he worked for 'Samson Souvenirs'. After graduating The MoodyArtist worked for a couple of local graphic studios who's clients list included 'Southend United' and 'British Airways'. After working for 'British Airways The MoodyArtist took a flight of his own and moved to Spain in the early/mid 90's,where he worked as a TEFL teacher and freelance illustrator. Working on a regular basis for Editorial Spes (Barcelona).Clients worked for were: Larousse, Vox and Harraps dictionaries. In time this opened other doors and he illustrated for : Cosmopolitan Magazine, Bayer Hermanos Calendars, El Razon ( Spanish Newspaper), Barcelona Connect and a dream job to illustrate for Playboy Magazine (BCN). He also exhibited his work at galleries and comic shops such as: Kactus (Manresa Spain), Juegos Sin Fronteras (Barcelona), Cosmic Alien (Barcelona)The Mask (Barcelona),Norma Comics (Barcelona). Being a member of La Asociacio Catalan D'llustradors (Catalan Association Of Illustrators) he contributed 5 of his illustrations for their book 'llustrado Mas Grande Del Mundo'(The Biggest Illustrated Book Of The World). On returning to the UK, finding work as a freelance illustrator proofed a very hard mission indeed. Resulting in The MoodyArtist working for a local printing company until last year when he left to start up his own t-shirt business designing and printing on tees and mugs. Sadly this venture proofed to be a disaster.

The MoodyArtist is now the proud owner of Work Of Art Gallery WOA!

A sneaky peek of some of MoodyArtists stunning pen and ink Illustrations

 A selection of MoodyArtists monochromatic photography

To find out more about The Laboratory Art Studio or to discover how you can exhibit your artwork at out studio please email the_laboratory@hotmail.co.uk

Friday, 2 August 2013

Fun With Plaster

This week has seen the launch of the Summer activities programme hosted by The Laboratory Art Studio based at Wat Tyler Country Park. We have a fun filled programme including painting 3D Canvases, making minions, painting birdhouse, printing t-shirts and so much more.
 Today we had an amazing plaster casting workshop where adults and children alike cast their hands in plaster by printing their palm or cupping plaster in their hands.
The studio was buzzing with budding young sculptors and artists creating amazing pieces of work. The children had to sit still (a difficult task for most of us!), to let the plaster set and then got onto the fun job of decorating the finished piece using paint and gem stones.
Here is how we got on....
Waiting patiently for the plaster to set

Cast set onto the busy job of painting!

Smiles all around, busy painting and casting

Concentrating on creating an amazing design

Waiting for the plaster to set

Proudly showing off the finished piece

We loved that these piece were colour co-ordinated, amazing work created today
 Here are some of the finished pieces
Our mums didn't want to miss out on the fun and some spent time casting and painting their own hand-print
The metallic paint really picks out the detail of this piece - it almost looks 3D

We loved the precision and colour choice of this hand cast

Just beautiful!

There is always time for  bit of splatter art!

A matching pair, beautiful painting and colour choice

If you would like any further information about our Summer programme or would like to book onto workshops or classes please email Lisa on the_laboratory@hotmail.co.uk

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Summer Art Blast

This Summer The Laboratory will be bursting with creative workshops, classes and projects for all ages. Each day of the week we have different art and crafts projects for you to come and try your hand at. Our workshops run between 10:00am - 4:00pm (unless otherwise specified).  Our workshops start from as little as £2:00 per item to £5:00 per person.
As well as our fun filled workshops, this Summer we will be hosting an open studio every Wednesday where you can view a selection of artwork created by The Laboratory's learners, visiting artists and The Laboratory artist Lisa Smith.
We are also delighted to announce that this Summer we will be launching two new classes:
Parents and toddler class Thursday 10:30am - 11:30am and 
Over 60's art class Thursday 1:00pm -3:00pm

To book onto any of our workshops or classes email the_laboratory@hotmail.co.uk

Summer Programme at The Laboratory, find us opposite The Green Centre at Wat Tyler Country Park

Workshops at The Laboratory are suitable for all ages and abilities

Our art workshops aim to encourage you to explore, experiment and create arts and crafts from a wide range of materials

Children's Art Parties at The Laboratory

Handmade Superhero Caps - parties can be tailor made to a specific theme or art material

A superhero is not complete without their mask and logo badge!!!

Art Classes at The Laboratory continue through the Summer

Art classes at The Laboratory provide an opportunity for children and adults to make new friends,
 learn and enhance art skills and experiment with art

Our art classes are relaxed and friendly (we even supply refreshments) Classes are suitable for all abilities so if you want to improve your art skills or try something new, why not pop along

To find out more email Lisa on the_laboratory@hotmail.co.uk