Alexandra Junior School: The Wild Wood

I've run workshops at Alexandra Junior School in Hounslow for several years, as an extra project in 2012 they commissioned me to work with all of the children in the school to make a large, permanent sculpture to go in their grounds.

After meeting with the headmistress to discuss ideas, we decided to get the children to design what we would make. So as a holiday project I asked them to do drawings based on the idea of a wild wood; this is the brief I gave them:


Alison Catchlove the artist who teaches metal sculpture university on Fridays is going to make a BIG sculpture for your school and we need your help!

 The sculpture is going to be made up of lots of different parts and when it is finished it will be installed in lots of different places around the school building and grounds.

Using the list below for ideas we want you to make some drawings of things you would like to see in the sculpture. You can do one big drawing or lots of little drawings and you can write your ideas down as well.

After the half term holiday when we’ve collected all of the drawings and ideas we’re going to ask parents, teachers and pupils to  look at them all and help decide what will go in the final sculpture.



A small selection of the childrens designs/ideas for the sculpture.


AJS wild wood wall


The main part of the sculpture will go on this wall, with other parts dotted around the school.


ajs wild wood design

Having coordinated as many of the kids drawings as possible this is my initial design for the main part of the sculpture.


I then had to translate the drawings in to 3d designs so I made some cardboard maquettes.


Below are some videos of me explaining to the kids what they're going to do during the workshops.

(sorry for the bad qualitly of the film, I'm working on fixing it)


                         Introducion                                  How to shape the metal                Cutting out a feather using the guillotine



  Kids hammering.                                            Kids filing.        




I was at the school for 2 weeks, every child (and a couple of teachers) helped to make different parts of the sculpture.

Parents were also invited to come and help (2 in particular enjoyed it so much they came nearly every day! Thank you!)




All of the pieces cut, filed and hammered during the workshops.


Some of the parts welded together.






Finished Sculpture

'The Wild Wood'


Comments by some of the children