Meet the Clangers and Bagpuss at the Cartoon Museum

ToyTales website homepage.jpgSome of my earliest craft memories spring from falling in love with characters from Bagpuss and Ivor the Engine and making gluey, scribbly plasticine-flavoured attempts at creating them myself. On the tiny TV screen craft came alive and it was magic to watch.

Last night London's Cartoon Museum held a private view of their brilliant Toy Tales exhibition and I was lucky enough to snag an invite. The exhibition features some of Britain's most cherished kid's TV characters, from saggy Bagpuss to cheesy Wallace and Gromit to the perky Peppa Pig.

What fascinated me about the exhibition is seeing how the magic was made. I was even luckier to meet Peter Firmin (co-creator of the likes of The Clangers, Bagpuss and Noggin the Nog with Oliver Postgate) who talked us through some of the untold stories behind the handmade beasts.

clanger.jpgI learned that Bagpuss was originally orange and only became pink because of a fabric dyeing error; Firmin's wife handknit all The Clangers herself, and he has six daughters who all took part in creating making the shows as well as the pictures and stories around them.

You can see a full set of handknit Clangers on display (one of them is knitting too!). As well as Bagpuss's handpuppet incarnation, the original Basil Brush and inspiring artwork, scripts and models from countless classic and more modern TV.

The exhibition is free and it's on until the 5th of September. Go forth and treat the big kid in you to a bit of craft magic.

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