This workshop is lead by artist Martin Smith, the session will begin with a tour of his solo exhibition ‘Little Machines’. The aim of the workshop is to encourage children to look more closely using a variety of activity sheets that consists of information that will give the children clues about how to look at the work and how to develop their own tastes and judgements. The sheets will focus on aesthetic awareness in relation to colour, texture, pattern, shape and structure.

After a tour of the exhibition, a practical session will follow, taking place in our Education Room.

During the session, children will create a bubble machine. Taking illusions and clever tricks-of-the-eye as the theme, each participant will use wire and aluminum to model, form and articulate a hand-held mechanical bubble machine. The focus will be on making a simple device for transmitting movement.

  • Kinetic artist Martin Smith will introduce and demonstrate how to use small pliers to sculpt soft wire and aluminum.
  • Using these basic techniques the children will successfully make the necessary parts to create a fantastic 3-dimensional moving kinetic toy.
  • The machines can then be painted and personalised.

The workshop will encourage children to observe and investigate a variety of materials and processes.

Want to know more? Download the Primary School Workshop – Bubble Machine Information or contact our Education & Engagement Manager Dayle Green on or call 01909 501 700.


This workshop is suitable for Key Stage 1 & 2 children. We welcome visits from school staff prior to the workshop and the Education and Engagement Manager would be happy to give you a tour of the exhibition and education facilities. Sessions are suitable for a maximum of 30 children, plus teaching staff.

The Education & Engagement Manager will welcome your party at the Gallery doors when you arrive at 10.00am and take you on a tour of the exhibition before being guided up to our Education Room for the workshop.

Please make sure to read the workshop information pack before booking, and please read our guidelines for your visit before attending your workshop.