#LetsMakeWednesdays – Winter games



December 16, 2020

As the days get darker and grow colder, let’s get ready for winter. You might start to see the ice glistening all around you or see the snowfall. Brrrr! Let’s go outside and explore!  

Frost on the Thames 1814 print, Pure Evil, 2009. Museum no. E.489-2009 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/The Pure Evil Gallery

Let’s wrap up warm and go outside

Let’s dress up warm to go outside. The V&A has over 71,000 items in its fashion collection. Let’s find something warm to wear. What will you choose? From ski wear to woolly jumpers and hats, you’ll find it all in our collection here.

Do you like bright jumpers? Could you make your own? Watch this video to find out why textile designer Katie Jones loves making.

Or perhaps you could knit your own jumper using a pre-made design? Fair Isle is a traditional style of knitting used to create patterns with multiple colours. It is often worn by people from very cold countries. This ‘Fairisle Fun Mohair Sweater’ was sold as a kit. It contained multi-coloured balls of wool, together with instructions, so that buyers could knit it at home. The mohair gives it a soft and fuzzy texture. Which colours would you use to knit your own jumper?

Fairisle Fun Mohair Sweater Knitting kit, plastic, nylon, wool and paper, Sandy Black, 1983. Museum no. T.65-1999 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Grab yourself a coat. Do you like this fluffy orange Après ski jacket? It was designed to be worn after a day of skiing! Or perhaps you’d prefer to keep warm in an all-in-one ski suit.

Pitlochry (Après ski jacket), mohair, Lida Ascher Boutique, 1960. Museum no. T.260-1988 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Baby's Ski suit, cotton and polyurethane lined with cotton, by Kenzo, 1999. Museum no. B.243:4-2000, ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Kenzo

Let’s visit the winter Olympics Games

Jeux Olympiques D'Hiver 1948 St Moritz Suisse, poster, 1948. Museum no. E.339-2006 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Winter Olympic Games is an international sporting event held once every four years. It takes place on snow and ice and includes sports such as ice-skating, skiing and ice hockey. The first Winter Olympic Games took place in 1942 and were held in France. The next Winter Olympic games will be held in Beijing in 2022. What kind of game do you like to play in the snow? Do you like snowball fights or building snowmen?

Let’s find out about Olympic Mascots

Olympic mascots are characters, usually animals or made-up creatures, used to bring good luck to a country’s Olympic team. We have lots of Olympic mascots in our collection, including ‘Waldi’ the first ever Olympic Mascot – who appeared in Munich for the German team in 1972. Waldi is a sausage dog (a dachshund), which are are very popular in Germany. They have qualities that are also important for athletes like determination and strength. What animal would you choose for an Olympic mascot?

Waldi, Olympic Mascot, fabric and felt, designed by Otl Aicher, 1972. Museum no. B149-2009 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Let’s design a vehicle for the snow and ice

‘Winter Excitement’, photograph by John Heywood, 1981. Museum no. B.90-2013 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London / John Heywood

Let’s make something to help us win some medals! How do you want to move on the snow? Do you want a sledge, ice skate, ski or to invent something new? We’ve been inspired by this toy toboggan.

Doll's toboggan, wood, 1987. Museum no. MISC.163-1989 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Can you design a new tool or vehicle to get you through the snow? What might you add? Jet engine boosts to go faster, pointed or curved edges for aerodynamics or a flat base so you don’t sink in the snow!

Step one – make a sketch
Step two – add information to explain your design choices. Our futuristic toboggan is inspired by the 1987 Doll's toboggan shown above and the colours of the Baby's Ski Suit by Kenzo, also above.

Have a go at designing your own snow vehicle. Can you create a sketch of your design like we have? Here are some questions to help you think about your design:

  • How fast would your snow vehicle go?
  • What would you make your snow vehicle from?
  • What shape would it be?
  • How many people will it carry?

Now you’ve created a sketch, why not turn it into a 3D model using materials you can find in your home? Here are some examples of vehicle designs made with Arup engineers at the V&A.

The Imagination Station: Future of Mobility, February Half-Term 2020 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Let’s make some medals

One of the most exciting parts of the Winter Olympics is the medals! Make your own medals by embossing and colouring foil.

What you will need: 

  • Ribbons, string or wool
  • A roll of tinfoil or tin foil cases from mince pies
  • A blunt pencil
  • A tea towel or something soft to press on such as a piece of felt
  • Marker pens
  • Scissors
  • Card
  • Tape
Our examples of winter themed medal designs made by embossing and colouring our foil

To make your medal:

  • Place a cup on top of your piece of card or cardboard. Draw around it to make a circle, then cut it out.
  • Take a piece of foil a bit bigger than your cardboard circle. Put it on top of your soft surface like a tea towel or piece of felt.
  • Use a blunt pencil to gently draw on top of your foil. Press down to make the raised lines of your design, be careful not to push too hard.
  • Put your foil circle on top of the cardboard circle. Fold the edges over the top. This will fasten the foil to your cardboard and make your medal.
  • Colour your design in using permanent marker pens if you have them. To win a silver medal don’t add any colour!
  • Cut a strip of wool, string or ribbon long enough to fit around your neck.
  • Make a loop and stick the two ends to the back of your medal using tape.

Now you have your finished medal, you can wear it with pride!

Our winners’ medals with ribbon attached to the back using tape

Don’t forget to share images of your Winter Olympic makes with us #LetsMakeWednesdays

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