Having a walk at a cat’s pace

This is a story that really happened in a tiny, old Italian village, Cartoceto. I hope that cat and children lovers will get some inspiration from it. It all started with a walk with my friend Michele Ferri, good artist and illustrator. After a few steps, a pair of mustaches and two light eyes appeared out of nowhere. Then many others appeared, one after one, inside a vase, on the windowsills, in the middle of a street, on doormats. Okay guys, you can go through our kingdom for this time, but without disturbing please.

The Italian village Cartoceto

At the end of the walk, during a coffee-break, a bizarre feline idea was born. After about one year, that idea became real for a day, when the village turned into a surprise journey full of plays, games, music, exhibitions, events… Obviously all cat-inspired.

cat-event village map

Rare feline specimens looked out of the windows. One of them, an aristocratic lady-cat with lace gloves, used to open the shutters as she heard a good song. So the courtyard under the window was full of musical instruments, and a music master improvised some serenades with occasional passers-by.

Various cats at the windows

The Meows Parc was guarded by ten Swinging Cats. These wary guardians oscillated in all directions without ever falling, but trying to get in the way of everyone who passed by.

The game of swinging cats

At some point during the walk, one inevitably came across Mr. Hurry’s house. After the bell ring, here he is hastily looking out from his terrace to tell very short stories of ancient and legendary cats.

An actor telling stories from a terrace

Heads of all colors, striped, checkered or polka-dot legs, furry bellies, zig zag mustache… The Transformist Cube-cats could be broken down and reassembled endlessly.

the game of transformable cat cubes

While wearing mouse ears, children went through the cheese-tunnel, making sure that “cat-children” didn’t steal their tails through the holes.

Cheese cardboard tunnel

Involving local shopkeepers and artisans, all the stands of the feline market were strictly themed: books, biscuits, t-shirts, ceramics, puppets.

cat shaped biscuits
cat puppets

Finally, the notorious Red Grinning Cat suddenly appeared during the night, just as the band was playing the march “At a Cat’s Pace”. Don’t panic: the Mad Tamer was fortunately around. He was the only one that could successfully try to domesticate a Red Grinning specimen, for his great experience of imaginary animals.

The imaginary Red Grinning Cat

Every good project is carried out by a good team of people. So many thanks to all the people who made it possible:

  • Michele Ferri, co-author of the project, from the first inspiring walk to every final detail
  • My father Aldo Pucci, for his indispensable technical support
  • Olga Valeri for believing in this crazy idea
  • Mario Mariani for the original musical piece “At a Cat’s Pace” and the band of Cartoceto for having masterfully performed it
  • The Caffè Massimo for the delicious MadCat biscuits
  • All friends, villagers, actors and artists who made their great contribution for free
  • All the cats of the village, who were watching us from hiding places.

Ok, go ahead, today you can stay in our kingdom… But tomorrow everything comes back how it was before.

Thank you, Your Majesty.

cat paintings on a palace wall
Art installation by Monica Monachesi e Giuseppe Braghiroli

Walking flowers

Many years ago, while walking, I met a very special street hatter. He did not sell anything, but teached how to make flower-shaped hats. Many models and shaped pieces of paper were neatly arranged in his colorful stand, ready to be assembled. Everyone could stop and choose their favorite one, the shape of the petals, the colour combinations.

Would you like to try? A hat is a serious thing. Thus, take your time. There are endless possibilities of variations, so every flower will be unique, even if just for a detail.

Look closer, care in the choice, slow down, observe the object while it is taking shape: the creative process is a bit magical and will make the hat a special, precious object. Walking flowers will begin to spread in the streets…

As in nature, despite an infinite variety, the basic principles of construction are few and simple. The following pictures show you the three main techniques, that the street hatter showed me in exchange for one icecream and seven glass marbles.

The variations of the model n.1 and n.3 concern petals (the shape, the dimensions, the color and the sequence), while in the model n.2 you can choose the color of the dome base, the shape and the size of leaves or petals on the top.

You can also give a name to your flower and create one for each member of your family or friends.

If you like to, you are welcome to share it by e-mail or Facebook, to enrich the walking-flowers catalogue.



Rainbows Constructors

The Rainbows Construction Site is a collective, creative workshop for every age, an invitation to play with colours and also a meaningful metaphor: we are all part of something wider. And all the individual contributions are foundamental for the community.

The setting of spaces and materials should be suitable according to the number and age of the participants, for example by arranging areas where the individual, a couple or maybe a small group can easily work on their piece of rainbow. Thus, I suggest you to take inspiration by these pictures in a very flexible way.

Each participant (or small group) is given a special shaped piece of white cardboard, that is part of a very big rainbow. Partecipants are invited to fill it with colours on both sides. As far as the type and the number of colours, there are endless possibilities. In this case, I chose only three ones (green, yellow and red) to keep in the same order. The available materials were various types of paper and colored surfaces, fabrics, ribbons, tapes, scissors, vinyl glue and brushes.

Now let’s see how to build the basic structure before the workshop. Choose the dimensions of the rainbow and put on the floor a big enough sheet of paper (or more sheets joined toghether). Draw the two big arcs with an artisanal compass (a rope with a pencil attached to one hand and the other end fixed to the center of the subtended circumference). Divide the arcs in a number of equal parts with vertical lines (the rainbow in the photofraph is divided in 14 parts, the one in the picture below in 8 parts). Finally, add the vertical “legs” of the structure below the arches: the scheme is ready.
Another solution consists in hanging the big sheet of paper and tracing the outline of a projected image of the structure drawing (previously drawn smaller).

The drawing of the structure of the rainbow

Now you can cut the rainbow parts, trace them on a thick cardboard and cut them again. Finally, draw other parallel curved lines in order to divide three (or more) areas for different colors. The structure is ready for the workshop!

Finally, all the pieces can be joined together using transparent tape and leaving between them a distance equivalent to the thickness of the cardboard. In this way, the structure can be folded in many ways, becoming self-supporting or even “flat”, if needed.

Different shapes you can fold the rainbow

I primarily designed this workshop for a public event in a square, where people could freely stop and work for as long as they wanted. But could also be suitable for various collective contexts and celebrations, for example in schools, both with known or unknown people. So new Rainbow Construction Site could be temporarily set in many places around the world… Would you like to try?

You are welcome to share your rainbow pictures sending them to info@robertapuccilab.com.