Box artist’s father animated models and built set for The Wombles

This Is Wiltshire: Emma Leith and her dad Barry with the Great Uncle Bulgaria he helped make Emma Leith and her dad Barry with the Great Uncle Bulgaria he helped make

CHILDREN’S TV favourites The Wombles inspired hundreds in the 1970s to make do with things the everyday folk left behind, including the Corsham artist responsible for the High Street’s ‘yarn-bombing’ earlier this year.

Box-based artist Emma Leith, 45, orchestrated the guerrilla project back in September, when she recruited schoolchildren to help cover the town in woollen decorations, and has revealed how her first taste of creativity came working with her set director father Barry.

She said: “Both my parents are really creative, and that’s spread through to me. Dad animated and built the set and models for the original Wombles that filled my childhood, and I used to help him.

“I was allowed to play with them when they weren’t being filmed. “I was very young at the time, but I remember very clearly helping to papier mache their burrow, and spending all my school holidays in the studio with him while they filmed.

“Dad did this for about four years before going on to animate Paddington Bear. When the Wombles finished Great Uncle Bulgaria came to live with us at home and still lives with my dad now.”

She runs her own studio specialising in mosaics, as well as working with schools across the county.

She said: “I’ve been in Box for 15 years, and teaching on and off for 10.

“My main work in is mosaics, and there is a huge parallel between animation and mosaic, as you have to visualise the end product by using much smaller parts. I introduced my dad to mosaic, and now he is an amazing artist as well.”

The award-winning artist runs regular mosaic, felt and crochet workshops. Visit www.emmaleith.co.uk

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