Purple Twig- Art Exploration for kids. A mom run small business in Los Angeles. Stop by to see the trials and tribulations.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Circus Week at Summer Camp


Each week of our summer camps has its own theme. Each week I think "Oh my!! This is my favorite week with the kids" Each week I am so impressed with what the kids make. I may come up with the conceptual ideas but what they actually execute can really make me swoon. The kids can come up with ideas that I would never have thought of and it's my job as a teacher to help them actualize what's on their minds. 


We spend our days with kids ranging in ages from 4 -10. They all have the same theme but are separated  into two age groups. For our Circus week of summer camp both age groups made circus posters and little circus scenes but using age appropriate techniques and materials.


The older group (ages 6-10) used masking tape to create a patterned design on their paper. 
They then painted between the lines with bright colors of their choosing. We made our own printing plates by cutting out and gluing foam onto cardboard. Using black ink to print really made these posters graphic. 


The kids  also made these incredible little scenes combining ceramic figures with an array of materials. They are so whimsical. The kids loved rings of fire. So there are a lot of rings of fire. 







This circus girl is training a very small monkey to juggle.


The younger group (ages 4-5) also made a layered circus poster. We talked about patterns. They created a pattern with marker on their paper. They then drew and cut out an animal on another piece of paper (actually I cut them out). We laid down the cut out and then they painted the entire paper black. It's so fun to peel back the cut out to see their patterns revealed. 

The kids then wrote out letters spelling C-I-R-C-U-S on different colors paper ( Nicole, one of our amazing teachers, cut those out). Great conversations about letters and words circled the table during this part of the process. The kids glued them onto the poster.


These kids made circus trains from shoe boxes that are so colorful and playful. They painted them, added fabrics, buttons and I love the beaded garlands which are so great for eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. 


 Look at this kitty made from cereal boxes and TP tubes (we love recycling) just peaking out of the train.


Happy Circus!!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mmmm icecream


We love doing collaborative projects with our campers.  It can create a sense of community and bonding amongst the budding artists during camp which is important to help the kids flourish while they are spending their days with us. During our printmaking week we came up with a great summer project that they could all agree on. Making a collective ice cream cone print. 


We used that printing foam that we have used a lot for many different ages. Each child cut out a circle from the printing foam and carved a design in it. The individuality of each child came out in the pattern that they might want on their ice-cream scoop. Some wanted sprinkles so carved a dot pattern or a line pattern. Other kids wanted swirls on their scoops or even a floral pattern.




The kids then chose their flavors. From our collective nominations and votes we ended up with 4 flavors, chocolate, strawberry, lemon and mint. Look at these great ice cream colors.


Each teacher started the prints out by carving and printing a sugar cone on each child's paper.  Each child then printed their own ice cream scoop on each paper, stacking the scoops as they went. Some stacked neatly, some overlapped, some were crooked.  It's what made each print an original. 





When finished we ended up with individual prints with each child's scoop on it but each one in different orders. Not only was the process fun but each print is it's own and delicious. 



Happy Summer!!!




Monday, July 28, 2014

Building a Fort



This last week during our Gimme Shelter week at camp we transformed a few bamboo beams and pieces of fabric into magical shelters are houses,  hide-outs,  tents,  castles or caves. Making forts is an opportunity for our campers to work together collaboratively building a dwelling under a shady tree during a hot summer day.


Through the tactile interactions with materials, the kids learned basic construction techniques of using rope to build and bind. We taught the kids some utilitarian knots that are essential for building a free-standing fort. 


Using the double knot and fabric strips some of the kids made a garland for the tops of the fortresses. Some of the kids hadn't learned to tie a double knot yet so some older campers took advantage of the opportunity to teach the younger ones this knot. 


The colorful garland really added some whimsy to our skeletal structure. 




Next we added the fabric, discussing ideas and asking questions of what the structure might need for fortification and privacy. 


Windows are a nice idea.


 When the structures were finished they immediately became inhabited spaces where the mysterious and sophisticated work of playing began. Collaboration of another sort took place through the positive imaginative play. They were making plans, creating strategies, sharing and discussing.



To reenforce the idea of communication we also made tin can phones by decorating old soup cans and tying string between the two. We thought this would be the perfect pairing with building forts. Not only were they great little objects, they actually worked.




It was a good old fashion afternoon of playing and creating.


Happy Building!!!



Monday, July 14, 2014

Flying Messages

This week in our Art Colony Summer camp we are exploring the idea of transportation from water travel to land travel but beginning with air travel. Today we talk about hot air balloons. How they work, what you might see. I didn't think that using actual fire and paper to make hot air balloons was safe with children so we used helium balloons.


Using the helium balloons to think about both transportation and communication in a new way, we created a simple project that is appropriate and exciting for many ages.  Each child chose a balloon. They then wrote out secret messages or drawings with a note on the back to send responses the the Purple Twig.  


Some kids wrote out messages along with drawings asking the receiver to make and return a drawing to us. Some kids just wrote something about themselves or just made a drawing to share. 


We then rolled up the messages and tied them to the balloon ribbons. 



We took a hike through the neighborhood to find a good spot to release our messages.




The kids were so excited with anticipation as they wait to release the balloons. And then it happened. They opened their hands and the balloons began to rise. The excitement was contagious as they screamed and danced with delight.





It really was a beautiful sight to watch the dots of bright colors fly higher and higher and get smaller and smaller. We watched them until we couldn't see them anymore.  We are now waiting hopefully for a response.


Happy Flying!!














































Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Ceramic Jellyfish?


My son brought this ceramic jellyfish home from ceramic class the other day.  I was ecstatic and could not wait a single second to hang it in our garden. It dances in the wind so beautifully. I just love the juxtaposition of materials, the soft wispy colorful fabrics next to the ceramic head. When one of our teachers, Jillian, came up with this project I thought the combination of ceramic with the fabric would be so amazing. And it is.


This is such a great tactile project for kids. They are basically making slab bowls on molds but keeping them upside down. After rolling out a slab  we place the clay over bowls that I got from the dollar store. We use doilies from flea markets to make the textures in the clay.  


They lay the dollies over the clay and then using a rice paddle the kids whack the doilies into the clay to create the textures. The harder they push it into the clay the more articulate the patterns.


If they wanted they just wipe the pattern away and try another one or layer pattern over pattern.


The whacking really is the most fun for them but the ohs and aahs that happen when they peel the doilies off the clay is pretty wonderful to witness as well. Clay is such a physical medium whether throwing on a wheel or rolling out a slab for constructing something large. 





We had them put a hole in the top to place a rope for hanging. We also had them place holes all around the bottom for the fabric to be woven and tied. After they were fired and glazed and fired again, I just ripped long strips of fabric with different colors and patterns and they chose which ones they wanted to use and wove it in, making knots in the back. 



I was so happy to be one of the lucky families to get one of these and Gus is so proud to have a sculpture hanging in our garden. He says it makes the birds happy. 

Happy Building!!