SB's first paintings on canvas, 2006
Following the wonderful comment on the posting where I asked about what conductors need to know, I thought that I would open up a new posting for you to send in suggestions for the most resourceful uses of a plinth, that piece of furniture that is the bain of a conductor's life and back!
Right at the bottom of this posting is a video to illustrate my favourite use of all, and at the top are photos depicting more of the same.
The video is not of one of my adults' groups, it is a staff meeting!
We are all painting along to a video of TV artist Bob Ross talking his viewers step-by-step through this painting.
Come on, you conductors out there in Norway. Lill surely you have a picture somewhere of our lovely boys sliding down the road on an up-turned plinth!
I wish that I had thought to do this with you while I was there. We could have had them all on one instead of pulling three one-man sledges at a time!
And what about the pictures of a plinth floating down the river, Tom Sawyer-style, tractor-tyre inner tubes strapped on for bouyancy! Who has those photographs?
Sorry no prizes given for the best, just a smile or two in the offering.
Bob Ross -
"How to use a plinth"
What do you do with a plinth that you don't want any more?
What do you do with half a dozen of them?
Over the years so many people have 'done Conductive Education', so many 'multidisciplinary teams', or so they have thought. They might have bought into a short-term programme. They might have had some Mickey Mouse snake oil sold them as t'the principles of Conductive Education'.
Whatever, they've 'done it', and moved on.
And while they can then forget about whatever else might have been involved, they are stuck with one of 'the principles', a load of inconvenient, bulky wooden furniture. While you might just about be able to find a space or even a use for those l/b chairs, what on Earth do you do with a pritsch/pricz/'plinth'?
If you have a spare bedroom that needs furnishing, then fine, find yourself a decent matress that fits and use the pritsch for its original purpose: a makeshift bed (but please don't mention the War, your guest might not find it conducive to a good night's sleep!).
But what else. I honestly don't know. Wooden furniture has been hideously expensive in the West and as far as I know little attempt has been made at a second-hand market (the Maslanka familly tried to hand some on recently, I wonder whether they were successful).
There must be an awful lot of 'wooden furnituture' ('Peto furniture'!)out there now, gathering dust and getting in the way. Personally, I hate waste of any kind, and the destruction of 'heritage', but Guy Fawkes/ Halloween is coming, and maybe your suggestion isn't a bad one.
Any more positive ideas out there?
Andrew, thanks for contributing to this posting.
I remember that I had a conversation somewhere with some very young conductors about this dreadful piece of furniture. They were convinced that it could not be half as bad as I made out.
I went on to suggest that they, just as I often have to do, moved six adult plinths, for three different groups a day for three weeks and then tell me again what they thought.
That is a lot of shifting on your own.
I then suggested they should maybe try doing it with as much enthusiasm and love for the plinth when they are over fifty. I wonder if they will still be standing up (straight) with as much enthusiasm for this piece of furniture in thirty years time!
In Germany there is a thriving second-hand Petö furniture buisness. There are many abandoned ventures that are left with the so called "furniture principle" on their hands that are always glad of a customer.
I heard last weekend from my mate in Paderborn that she recently travelled around in a truck for a few days collecting from here and there, quite a selection of potential firewood. She discovered everything she may possibly ever need from plinths, to ramps, to chairs, to boxes, all gathering dust stacked in corners and all going to the collector for a fraction of the original price.
All the adult-size furniture I have at the centre here in Nurnberg was purchased just as cheaply from a nearby centre that had stopped providing Conductive Education.
Families bring back borrowed bits and pieces now and then and sometimes swap stools and chairs for the next size up. Often they donate out grown plinths and wall bars that get put in the cellar to be passed on to the next generation.
If any of my clients need something we usually find it quite quickly and usually at no cost by asking in the next "Verein" newsletter.
I still look forward to hearing a few more stories about creative uses of the rest of these abandoned plinths!
This is sounds a bit like the saga of the "empty" fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square!
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