Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Back to school - exciting projects

Last week saw the first of ten sessions in a new 'After School Crafting Club' for children in years 3-5 in a local school - (uk size children, I don't know what grade that is in the States, aged from 7-10) There were 20 eager, very eager and excited to be crafting and I started them off with a couple of projects.

The first one got them thinking about themselves as crafters....what do they like to make? Cards came up tops. What colours and patterns to they like? And what might they like to make at the Club. We had 22 suggestions, from cards to elevators! We made a simple book from the instructions from this great Book Making Artist - one her free projects. I made my own template for the children to fill in, cut and fold. They took them home to decorate the cover.

With 20 children in the first session and a whole heap of excitement, I did not have time to take lots of photos, but I did manage to take some of the finished projects.

The other thing we put together were inspired by Anne Woods lovely horses. I adapted the making slightly by holding the legs on with split pins rather that stitching wire and buttons.
The making schedule was: paint the printed card silhouettes, make up the books while the horses dried. Cut out and put together the presure!

I also limited the colours and painting of the horses, suggesting that the children dab paint on with sponges and add details with the tip of a paintbrush. We only had 1 hour to do both projects and I was keen to paint and cut the horses in one session to make a great display.

I was really impressed with the accuracy of cutting with the children in such a short time, they looked amazing and we only had to get the sticky tape out twice to mend tails.

Good work all round and the children were loved the projects. I am looking forward to the next weeks ahead.
Lots of ideas buzzing round in my head, now I know what they can manage in 1 hour!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

With an "Eye for Art"

Today I was back at 'work' with a new group. They are a group for the partially sighted who have an interest in art meeting once a month in this fantastic venue in MK.

I was going along to deliver a printing workshop, but thought I would open the session with some Notan. This was a good idea!

We choose suitable colours of card and paper to work with depending on the eye condition they suffered from and set to work.....

The process of Notan is the Japanese theory of light and dark or positive and negative space.

With simple cuts we produced some very intricate designs and the students enjoyed playing around with design and balancing the pictures they produced.

I had warned them that the trickiest part of the process was finding all the bits you have cut and sticking them down in the right place! P. did a good job here of her very fine design.

They were hooked and found the process very effective.

Some of the cutting did not lend itself to Notan, so we improvised on the idea and explored the expanded square as well - the heart design shows this very well.

None of the students had tried paper cutting before and most of them took to the principle very well, some had a real flare for flowing shapes and balance of design.

The group had a couple of volunteers helping with the group (thank you, much appreciated) and one of them took part in the activity and had fun with dragons and lizards!

A couple members in the group commented on how simple the process was, but the results were really amazing. I think and hope it suited their eye conditions and everyone went home with something of merit.

We then moved onto the aim of the day which was printing, not everyone wanted to have a go, they were happy to carry on with their Notan!

Anyway, there were a couple of techniques I showed and we had a go at engraving into my favourite pizza bases......

I have been asked to go back to the group later in the spring, perhaps we should do a whole workshop on printing, or maybe I will come up with something else completely.

A great morning was had, lovely to meet such an enthusiastic group of people.