Christmas, Concrete Making, Grandma's Corner, Inspiration

Gifts for Teachers

There is an expression “Apple for the Teacher” and I assume in the olden days if you wanted to ingratiate yourself to the teacher your would give him or her an apple. When I was at school we didn’t have an apple tree nor did it ever cross my mind to take a gift for my teacher. When our children were at school it wasn’t routine to give gifts to teachers, although at some point one of them would announce they would like to give something to Miss X, this was usually the evening before the end of term and we would have to hunt around for a suitable something.

Since then it has become routine to give gifts to teachers at Christmas and the end of the school year. My daughter is a teacher and I know she has no expectation of gifts, and I have used surplus chocolates/biscuits from her to bribe my postgraduate students to meetings.

If you are thinking of getting your children’s teachers gifts here are a few things to think about:

  1. Fresh flowers are lovely, but it is best to present them early, they can brighten the classroom or their home, and you are not risking them going off if the teacher is going away as soon as term ends.
  2. Hand made is lovely, but have you and your children got time to do what you have in mind?
  3. How would you feel if you discovered he/she had re-gifted your present?
  4. Each of your children may have more than one teacher and teaching assistant.

If you’re looking for point number 2 and want something handmade, have a look at Gemma’s online shop.

Concrete Making, Inspiration, interview, My Products

Blog interview

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by a fellow crafter for her blog. She asked a load of questions about my business and me, which I thought you guys might be interested in too! The link to the post is here.

Concrete Making, Grandma's Corner, Inspiration

Book review: “Concrete Design” by Sarah Gaventa

I was looking for other books about Concrete Crafting and this 2006 book “Concrete Design; the extraordinary nature of concrete” by Sarah Gaventa was suggested.

It was in Reading Central Library and so I went and perused it there. It is quite different to the other three books on concrete that I have reviewed they were all aimed at crafters, this is more aimed at people interested in design, and not focussed on making.

In the introduction the book traces the history of concrete crediting the development to the Romans, while indicating others had developed similar substances. The introduction also looks at iconic concrete builds ranging from Rome’s Parthenon to London Zoo’s Penguin Pool.

The body of the book looks at the work of leading designers and architects in the domestic context. Many of the examples are large, such as spiral staircases, walls, floors and concrete furniture. But there are also smaller examples, such as Kelvin Birk’s concrete bowls with silver liner and Kathy Dalwood’s planters. For me the most memorable picture is Ron Arad’s Concrete Record Deck, I have found a link to his complete stereo on the V&A site, if you want to see what I am talking about!

Before reading this book the only architect I could name who worked with concrete was Cesar Manrique, and that was because I have visited Lanzarote where he was very influential. I felt it a shame he was missed from the book, but then maybe his sphere of influence was limited.

If you are interested in concrete and design this is an excellent book to look through, the pictures are excellent. If you are looking for it in Reading Central Library it is on the first floor under Architecture, not the second floor under Fine Art as the catalogue suggests.