The Allotment Project

Creative Takeaway

‘Creative Takeaway’

As part of the research and development being carried out for The Allotment Project we are delighted to be partnering with Incredible Surplus Birmingham to test out a series of participatory activities.* Framed by the theme of ‘Food’ we are working with commissioned artists to design sets of materials, tools and instructions that are earth friendly and respond to annual cycles in nature. In these Covid restricted times they are taking the form of a ‘Creative Takeaway’, something that you can do in your own home, supported by social media groups where advice and images can be shared among a burgeoning community . Using Incredible Surplus’ socially distanced distribution network, 400 kits will be given out with the aim of providing some creative sustenance for people of all ages ((Ladywood Community Centre, Winson Green Share Shack & Kings Heath Community Centre).

The first box ‘Clay’ has been designed by Emma Bowen and provides everything you need to make a bowl, plate and spoon. The pots will be returned, fired and given back to the people who made them. Hopefully at some point in the future we will be able to invite people to bring their pottery to eat from during a shared meal.

The second box ‘Natural Inks’ designed by Carolyn Morton is informed by her extensive research project ‘Botanical Pigments’. This box will provide an information booklet with recipes and ideas to transform the natural world into your paintbox. Two bottles of ink, beetroot and onion skin, various pigments – turmeric, tea and coffee, along with various papers and a paintbrush give you all the resources you need to make drawings and experiment making your own inks.

The third box ‘Waking Winter’ invites you to make costumes and props for your own performance and ensure a plentiful harvest in 2021. Instructions and materials will enable you to make a headdress and shaker to dress up and perform in. Thank you to Edgbaston Beaumont Nursing Home for donating some of the herbs in this pack.

The fourth box contains a ‘Grow Your Own’ kit.  As the days grow longer we can look to growing a few things to eat. Instructions, seeds, compost and pots included.

All dates, times and locations for upcoming box distribution can be found at the bottom of this page.

* Originally established in 2014 as The Real Junk Food Project Birmingham, Incredible Surplus intercept food and other usable materials that would otherwise go to waste from supermarkets, restaurants and other sources, and provide them to individuals and community organisations on a “Pay-As-You-Feel” basis.

#1: CLAY

The clay box has now been distributed. You can still take part as we have shared all of the instructions and resources on this page. Read through the instruction booklet opposite to get an idea of the activities before you begin. You will need:

  • a piece of fabric (like an old T-shirt or pillow case) to build your pottery on so it doesn’t stick to the table
  • a rolling pin (you can use a plastic water bottle filled with water)
  • circle template, 8cm wide
  • blunt kitchen knife
  • water
  • texture making tools like leaves, fork, peg….
  • clay – this is a link to some air drying clay

Thanks to Emma Bowen for the ‘Clay’ images and booklet instructions & Sheena Lone for the ‘how to’ videos.

#2: NATURAL INKS
The natural ink box has now been distributed. You can still take part as we have shared all of the instructions and resources on this page. Read through the instruction booklet opposite to get an idea of the activities before you begin. You will need:

  • Paper
  • Various natural materials to make your images & ink from (leaves, flowers, berries, beetroot, brown onion, spices…)
  • Jam jars to store your ink
  • A tea strainer or sieve
  • Paintbrush or other drawing implement (the booklet suggests ways of making your own.)

Thanks to Carolyn Morton for the ‘Natural Inks’ images and booklet instructions & Sheena Lone for the ‘how to’ videos.