Pandaji's Blog

Art, research, education

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Produce Plot

This week, Channel Four called me. They are throwing a party for the Cable Street Community Gardens on June 21st, and famous chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, is going to cook a sumptuous meal from produce and recipes by the plot holders!! Unfortunately I will be at the Glastonbury music and performing arts festival in Somerset.

When I explained that I couldn’t come to the party, the man on the phone seemed to consider sending a helicopter to fetch me from Glastonbury as I told him of my mouthwatering recipes for Russian beetroot salad with horseradish, sour cream, and chives, my stuffed vine leaves (yalenchay dolma), and the garlic butter and parsley sauce for the artichokes!!

Add a generous dash of maple syrup and whatever liqueur takes your fancy to the strawberries and redcurrants! Of course, all the food tastes even better when served up on my own homemade crockery!! I hope that other plot holders can’t make that date either, and that it will be changed so I can attend.


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Money Boxes

Last Saturday, I did a workshop for 20-30 boys who do not have clay on their school curriculum, but some of them are in a after-school clay club program that takes place once a week. The group is called Sparta and is organised by mothers of boys at the school. I have done workshops at the boys’ school before, and always enjoy the experience. For this workshop, five mums came to help and a member of staff was on the premises as well.

The boys were given a brief history of the money box, and asked to bring sketches with them or draw out their ideas on paper before starting. They were given the choice of making a plug hole or not. Instead of the proverbial piggy, the boys were asked to think of a building that they would like their funds to be housed in. The idea was to make all the sides and bases, decorate them, and then leave them to dry under the fan over lunch break.


When the boys came back for the afternoon session, they were able to put together the walls of their buildings or pieces as they had dried sufficiently to hold their shape. They cut the slots for the coins and plug holes if required. The boys made all kinds of edifices, from a Greek temple to an actual HSBC bank building. Some boys followed the animal theme in exciting ways, including a tiger horse and a snake. As always, the boys’ imaginations far outreached any preconceived ideas that I might have had before the day!!

Here are some of the results:

Greek Temple


Empire State Building







Tiger Horse


Turtle Chest