Today in class we made scrolls. This was yet another project designed to incorporate several different techniques and activities.
To make the decorative paper top and bottom of the scrolls we started with some texture rubbing using pastels. The kids were interested to see what textures would create interesting marks and I provided lots of scrap paper for exploration before offering them their pieces for the scroll. We then returned to the rubbings and painted over them with, causing the pastel to act as a resist.
For the middle of the scroll the children created foam collograph printing blocks of their initials. I have done these many times before but this is the first time I’ve encouraged them to build a frame abound the edge of the block, which helps the printing process. Also, I find that they understand compositionally that they are working within the confines of the block but after we print things sometimes tend to look “floaty”, because you don’t see the square, so the frame idea worked out well. The subject (first initial) is also particularly developmentally appropriate since at that age kids are very keen on spelling their names (“I start with L!!!”) and we had a lot of discussion about that.
After everything was dry (or nearly!) we glued the top and bottom papers around dowels and to the letter print in the middle. It was an enjoyable class and seemed like a nice mix of activities.
This week’s class for little ones is called First Impressions and it’s all about print making! This week I am trying to structure the class so that each day we work on a different “piece” using a variety of techniques and media. Obviously, with a lot of printing and stamping. Today was found object printing.
First, I taped a grid pattern on some fantastically large pieces of watercolour paper using painter’s tape.
I let the kids loose on these with watercolours to create a background for our prints. The tape acts as a resist and when it was removed the white lines add a bit of visual interest. (In retrospect I think it also helped them cover the page)
Then the printing began. We used a variety of found objects pressed onto homemade print pads (felt covered in paint) in gold and black. The gold didn’t show up much but the black was great. The results are quite beautiful.
Children always enjoy printing with found objects and discovering what marks they make, but the results are sometimes slightly underwhelming. Of course, exploration is very important and it is good to value that without feeling the need for a finished product. But all that being said, there are also times when “framing” exploration in a way that will make a “piece” is worthwhile as it encourages excitement and helps peopled realize that what is going on is special. This experimentation is quite striking and it feels important because of that.
Print of Good Cheer. It’s a work in progress as I don’t have any proper printing paper and am having a little trouble pulling a good print on computer paper, but you get the gist! I have to post something as I’ve been away all week (you can probably guess where) and this space has been pretty quiet.
“That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew…..”
Yesterday in class we read the classic “Where the Wild Things Are”. We roared our terrible roars, gnashed our terrible teeth, rolled our terrible eyes and showed our terrible claws. Then I gave the kids some plasticine and invited them to make a bed for their bedroom. We filled little pots with earth and then planted some moss, grass and various other plants and weeds from my garden.
Note: I had to get these things in the rain and then carry them all to class so the moss was a little muddy. It would probably be best transported in a tray, not heaped in a bag. Also, if using plasticine with small kids you can soak it in warm water to soften it up for them.
I’m going to skip the apologies for not getting anything posted so far this week and just get on with it!
After reading Norah’s Ark, which the children really enjoyed. (I can’t seem to find it anywhere, which is a shame since it was always one of my favourites. Better not lose it!) Then used some scrap wood to build our own boats. The children worked at assembling them for a while and when they were satisfied with their design I used a glue gun. They are in love with their boats. We built them yesterday but today I set them out with some plastic animal toys and they played with them during every free minute. I don’t have any brilliant photos but really can’t put off posting any longer!
Coming as it did in the midst of many other things, this little project got forgotten. It is nothing groundbreaking but it was a simple enjoyable project which I’ve decided is worth documenting, if only for my own records! Once again I participated in leading and art class that was filmed for a kids TV show. My topic was “texture”. We explored texture through touch and rubbings and discussed texture words. Then I introduced the project. We created texture boards as the base for paintings using a number of different textured materials: cloth, felt, tin-foil, sandpaper, bubble wrap, stripped corrugated cardboard all glued on a cardboard base. The children fell upon this part of the activity with much gusto and created wonderful collages. Ideally I suppose you would let it dry for a bit (the younger the child, the longer the project needs to dry, as young children frequently use “ample” glue) but we didn’t have time and it didn’t matter much. As our focus was texture (and also I admit for logistical reasons) each child had a choice of one colour and white to work with. The different effects of the materials is striking and suggests lots of possibilities for including textured backgrounds in other work. The pieces are beautiful on their own but also make good references pieces for future exploration. We also discovered that the children’s pieces looked beautiful lined up together like tiles but of course I didn’t have my camera….. When we were finished we discussed the work, and the children shared which materials they particularly enjoyed painting on. There are many more possibilities for the collage if you have time to collect them, or don’t need to supply materials for a large group. (I’m thinking lace, different papers, plastic, mesh….)
So if you are looking for something a little different to do you can give this a go with almost every age. If your child is too young to glue you can create a texture board yourself that they can then experiment painting.