Tree Form Alphabets

Ages: All – young children supervised

Suggested Group size: Any – A solo or group activity

Preparation Time: Half hour max

Time needed for activity: Clay Tablet: 60 mins Plaster Cast: 75 mins

Suggested Location: Forest, woodlands, museums/ parks, community gardens,  public gardens, pinetums,

Suggested price: £10.00

Minimum price: £5.00



About the Experience:

Using Clay, found materials and Plaster, explore the Ogham Alphabet through monoprinting and Plaster casting. You will make a mould to code a secret message in Ogham Script using Clay and Found materials and create a monoprint image from your clay tablet. Your tablet can then be used to make your own unique Plaster cast.

Materials List:

For the Clay Tablet:
    • Modelling clay
    • A piece of perspex or old baking tray or similar
    • Thin paper for printing (you could use baking paper)
    • A piece of tracing paper and a pen (again, you could use baking paper)
    • A rolling pin or something (such as a bottle) you can roll clay with
    • A selection of found natural materials – feathers twigs, ferns, and acorns
    • A copy of the Ogham alphabet to reference
For the Plaster Cast
    • Plaster of Paris/casting plaster
    • Water
    • Perspex or baking tray with your clay tablet mould on
    • Spare modelling clay
    • Flexible plastic bowl
    • Wipeable plastic table and floor covering, to protect your work area

Learning aims:

  • Know the steps and resources to make a clay mould
  • Understand reversing an image to create a positive monoprint
  • Explore clay and its response to found materials
  • Explore making up an invented code of your own

Resource Documents Include:

  • This outline
  • Three jpeg images
    1. Clay tablet in progress
    2. Clay tablet with foliage
    3. Extracting foliage from clay.
  • Five PDF files
    1. A Copy of The Ogham Alphabet
    2. How to make an Ogham clay tablet(presentation/visual)
    3. How to make an Ogham plaster tablet (presentation/visual)
    4. Making a clay tablet with an Ogham code (steps written)
    5. Making a plaster cast with an Ogham code (steps written)

About the Outdoor Studios Artist:

Sara Trillo’s practice uses historical, geographical and material research to explore the impact of the sea on specific coastal sites. She makes expeditions seeking out elusive littoral places including visiting fleetingly exposed channel sandbanks, walking isolated marshland sites which were formerly islands, and locating settlements either lost to the sea, or abandoned with a receding coastline. She sets herself particular trials to undertake in the spirit of a quest; these tasks usually involve gathering specific found matter to form into sculptural artworks or working at a particular point in the tidal, lunar or calendar cycle. Sara’s three-dimensional work takes the form of improvised tools, place markers and hoax archaeological fragments, mixing found materials with plaster, textiles, latex, and fired clay. Her research notes become readings/publications/blogs, weaving the diverse project components together.

Instagram: sara__trillo

If you would like Sara to facilitate a workshop for you in person, please Contact Outdoor Studios