VIVID recollections of the day her father died have not stopped a Lowton artist running innovative workshops.

Kate Bufton was enjoying a day out at Chester Zoo when her mum Mary called with the devastating news that her father, Edward, had passed away in May 2005.

But when the opportunity arose for the freelance and artist in residence at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley to run free workshops as part Chester Zoo’s Bloom festival, she did not hesitate.

“It seemed right somehow that I should come back and do this in so much happier circumstances. I think dad would be proud to see what I’d gone on to do,” the 26-year-old said.

Kate was withdrawn from Winstanley College during her first year exams amid the emotional trauma of the family tragedy but she had already achieved her art qualification.

Art became her salvation in the years following her father’s death and she went on to graduate with a first class honours degree in visual arts from Salford University in 2010 and has since completed a master’s degree in creative education.

She now creates original sculptures out of old or unwanted books.

“I suppose you could say I’m adding a new chapter to the life of books which might otherwise be discarded. I transform them from works of text into works of visual art, give a third dimension if you like,” she said.

“I chose the idea for butterflies because it fits in so well with the theme of the zoo’s Bloom festival. It’s all about looking at the world of nature, our native birds, insects and wildlife.”

Participants will be able to see some of Kate’s own creative pieces and try their hand at crafting blocks of paper and even old Chester Zoo leaflets into colourful replicas of butterflies at the next free zoo workshop on April 7 from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

To find out more about Kate, visit