Friday, January 1, 2010

art for the new year

It went pretty well, all considered. We made stained glass stars for the new year to hang in the window by grating crayons into separate cups (I used a cheese grater and red, yellow, and lime green crayons) and then sprinkled the crayon on wax paper. Then I sandwich the crayon shavings with another piece of wax paper (actually, I used a big sheet of wax paper folded in half and had them sprinkle on one side, then folded it over) and ironed them. For the ironing I used the lowest setting and put the wax paper between newsprint because I feared it would bleed a bit, which it did. They cooled pretty quickly and I drew stars on them and had the kids cut the shapes, which didn't work out so well so I ended up cutting them. They loved it though. A couple of things I learned: there should only be a little bit of crayon shavings on each piece of wax paper because otherwise it will squish out the sides and besides it bleeds together too much. Less is more. Also, the red sort of overwhelmed the two other colors so I will think through my colors a bit more next time, and maybe add white crayon too. But don't they look lovely?

The other project we did was with cornstarch... I added enough water to make a cornstarch goop, then added food coloring. We used watercolor paper and drizzled the cornstarch stuff over the paper with baby spoons. I thought Clark would have more fun squishing the stuff in his hands but it turns out he didn't want it on his hands at all. I had a tub of soapy water for them to clean their hands off which was great and turned out to be as much of an activity as the projects themselves. They loved just swishing their hands around in the tub. I took a picture of the cornstarch paintings but had to throw the paintings out afterwards because when the cornstarch hardens it flakes off and makes a big mess. But it was fun at the time, and the process is what it's all about now anyway, right?

THEN Frances wanted to paint and I thought that since I had them in smocks already (old t-shirts of mine), why not? So I got out the paints and brushes and when they'd smeared the paint all around I showed Frances how to make a mono-print off her painting just by laying another sheet on top. She really liked that.

It was fun though clean up was kind of labor intensive, but worth it. Besides, it's clear to me now what kinds of things to do to make it less so. Now I have a whole list of things to get for future projects. I want to try this with rubber cement and watercolors, and also this glue batik project. Yay!


andrea said...

I love this approach to art. I call it a scientific approach to art allowing invention and discovery to envelope them.
Besides we are all our own artist and express ourselves in different ways with different materials.

I love contact paper a lot and I love found objects and glue plus gadget painting.

I taught several classes for 10 months to five years with the emphasis on process not product!!
What a super fun, educated, inventive Mom you are.

Good luck with the craft room sounds awesome.
p.s. I might have written twice but I think I lost what I wrote first ;)

Cali said...

Thanks for the compliments Andrea! I've been meaning to get some contact paper... it's on my list, for lots of projects.