New Blades

My friend Katy is on the cusp of graduating from the Arts University Bournemouth Modelmaking course, and one afternoon last week a couple of us decided to give her some support at New Blades, a recruitment fair showcasing the final projects of imminent modelmaker graduates around the UK.

The fair was held in Holborn Studios along Regent's Canal, accessible by a little staircase that goes down to the water. It's safe to say that despite going to school a mere 15 minutes' cycle away from here, I had no idea a canal existed in such a central part of the city! My good friend Inez and I walked along the canal together, stopping at Wenlock Basin to take some pictures. The weather was wonderful, the scenery was charming and both of us were in quite a silly mood (as tends to be the case when we meet up!)

I have a lot of love for Inez. I've known her for twelve long years, which I reckon makes her my oldest friend.

We decided to get in touch with our natural sides.

As a wise young frog once's not easy being green.

After the lock lots of sweet barges start cropping up, as well as the inevitable multi-million pound canalside apartments. 

Once at the fair we gunned straight for Katy's exhibit, which revealed a focus on millinery. Her display showcased hats ranging from feathery fascinators to more decorative creations inspired by showgirls.

I felt pretty emotional seeing this one - the spirals and overall shape of the design are so reminiscent of Katy's doodles from our school days. It's really lovely to see that her talents have coalesced into something in line with her career aspirations. 

The bright colour of the flower detail on this fascinator was particularly fascinating (ha ha) for me. Super proud of you, Katy!

The fair was filled with hundreds of other exhibits, from tiny model cabinets of curiosity to replica models of Harry Potter characters like Dobby, Khaleesi dragon eggs from Game of Thrones, gigantic animatronic fenec fox heads, and this incredible colossal Smaug head from The Hobbit. Definitely something for the fangirl or fanboy in all of us! I thought the standard for some of these was overwhelmingly good. Sadly my camera decided to act up at this point so I only have grainy iPhone photos of everything else, but I'm extremely confident that we'll be seeing some of these modelmaker graduands designing for TV, film and theatre in the near future!

After enjoying some cold drinks out on the (very wobbly) deck of the Studios, we headed back home along the canal.

We stopped to pose a few more times, then did the honourable thing for such a hot June day. That is...we went in search of the nearest jingly ice cream van.

I definitely want to spend more afternoons this summer in pursuit of artistic contemplation and ice cream!

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