By now, Barney and Stig (remember?) are good friends and Barney is spending as much time as he can in Stig’s now beautifully smoke-free cave. Yes, the smoky problem has been solved with an ingeniously executed chimney system, made using those ‘ruined’ tin cans and an upside-down bath tub, of all things. And Stig has also been introduced to matches and learnt the ease with which it is now possible to light a piece of paper (imagine the fun we had acting that out with a partner!) race outside to see the smoke curling up out of the new chimney, before careering back inside again to repeat the exercise. Over and over.
Anyway, on a subsequent visit, Barney discovers that Stig has been creative, using a piece of charred, blackened board to draw on the white, chalk walls of his cave. He has drawn a hunting scene, with stags fleeing in fear from humans brandishing flint-tipped spears.
So of course we had to have a go ourselves. Though not on the walls. We did use burnt wood though. Or charcoal to be more precise.
First, we taped a piece of paper to the desk (you’ll see why later).
Next we had enormous fun taking a perfectly good piece of drawing charcoal and bashing it to smithereens with a wooden spoon (improvisation; it was all we could find!) We needed charcoal powder you see.
Then we squished up a paper towel, dipped it into the charcoal powder…..
before using it to turn the white paper a soft pale grey. Our chalk wall.
Next we learned the technique of using drawing charcoal; there is a special way to hold it to stop it snapping (drawing charcoal is thin and brittle).
Then we used a combination of charcoal…..
and chalk to create our very own ‘authentic’ cave painting.
In spite of some impressive black hands…..
I think that if you come to the classroom to take a closer look, you too will be amazed, not only by our hunting scenes, but also by the perfect white frames around them.