Pecking Crows and Limping Seagulls

This afternoon I have worn a Samurai hat, I have been pecked by a crow and I have met some limping seagulls. All in a day’s work you know.

Today was STEM Club – that’s STEM as in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths forming yet another education acronym. This week technology met maths as we created some beautiful origami under the skilled direction of Seiko Kinoshita. Seiko is a textile artist, based in a studio in Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter. I’ll definately be paying her a visit, so more about her artwork later. Seiko is also an expert at origami who runs workshops for schools.

The great thing about STEM club is working with such a great group of students: they are bright and incredibly enthusiastic. Everything is attempted with determination, they ask intelligent questions and even use mathematical vocabulary. In fact they are remarkably like the students from the “Teach Maths” TV ads.

After a quick introduction, Seiko handed round enormous sheets of paper and we all folded furiously according to her instructions, although initially we didn’t know what we were making. In between folding and guessing (“It’s a frog!”), the students put the folded paper on their heads (“It’s a swan!”) and enjoyed looking suitably daft. (“It’s a hat!”) And so it was: not just any old hat, but a most splendid Samurai hat. I was quite proud of mine, so here it is, complete with my name translated into Japanese by Seiko:

Samurai Monkey

We then created a pecking crow. More furious folding. The most appealing aspect of the finished product is that if you flap its wings, the beak opens and closes (hence the name). I can see that this will provide endless enteratinment for me and equally endless irritation for Mr TLC.

Pecking Crow

Finally paper roses, Japanese water bombs (without the water, because we’re cowards) and limping seagulls. Limping seagulls don’t look very impressive at first sight and I could see the students were looking a touch disappointed with the grand finale. Then Seiko started to show them how to link the seagulls together to make a variety of 3D shapes. Suddenly disappointment gave way to “Cool!”

I suppose what I’m really saying is that the limping seagulls looked a bit lame on their own, but once they flocked together everything was fine…

But we’ll have much less of that kind of talk.


A set of photos showing how to make a pecking crow start here.

1 comment to Pecking Crows and Limping Seagulls

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