Wednesday, October 29, 2014
A few weekends ago Purple Twig was honored to be asked to participate in Kids Handmade in Los Angeles by offering art workshops for young makers and as it turns out, for the adult makers too.
Sheryl Cancellieri, who is also the creator of Eastside Handmade, has the gift of generously creating a craft fair for talented craftsman, but also bringing a community together.
We love the challenge of creating an engaging project that is appropriate for a particular event. To celebrate fall and since we had just done some gorgeous leaf prints in our Parent and me classes, we decided to do leaf prints on patterned fabrics to make banners. That way each child (or person) could create a pattern with the leaves or just print away. We chose to just offer gold and black paint to print with. That way the leafs became graphic images against the patterned fabrics. A sure fire way to be successful in creating a beautiful banner.
Jillian, one of my fantastic teachers had a great time getting her hands dirty with all the young makers. To our delight adults and children a like were getting in on the making action. We had entire families with ages 4- 42 each making leaf prints to frame together as a family project. We believe that families all creating together is a great way to show respect for each other and to create confidence in the child.
It was such an incredibly rewarding day!!!
Friday, October 17, 2014
One of the many things I love about our ongoing classes is that our projects constantly revolve reflecting and celebrating the season. This week in our parent and child classes we made leaf prints to celebrate fall. We printed on our watercolor paintings we made the week before. The combination of the vivacious and free watercolor and the graphic leaves is so well suited for each other.
I gave the kids baskets after reading a story about fall and the falling of leaves. Then the parents, children and I set out to find leaves that had fallen to the ground. We looked at the different colors, the different shapes and different sizes of the leaves. It was a bit like a treasure hunt.
We do a lot of printmaking projects with the kids so I have plexi-glass plates on hand to use as the inking plates, but you can use plastic placemats because the Blick printing ink is completely washable. You can also get the brayers (rollers) at Blick Art.
The rolling of ink on the ink plates is the fun part for this age. They love the way it feels and and the way is sounds. I used black and gold ink for this project so that the beautiful watercolor paintings wouldn't get muddied with all the different colors. The black is so wonderfully graphic against the soft pinks and greens of the watercolor paintings.
After rolling the ink onto the brayer, the parents then helped the kids roll the ink onto a leaf using the brayer. The print won't work if you just place the leaf onto the inking plate. The ink needs to be rolled on.
Then the leaf gets placed face down onto the watercolor painting and a clean brayer is used to roll the leaf down which will then leave a clear print where you can see the veins and shape of the leaf.
They can do as many different leaves as they want.
Or do just one like this little guy did. After the one leaf he wanted to spend the rest of his time rolling the ink on the inking plate. The minimalism works beautifully.
You are always welcome to leave any questions or comments. I am happy to answer them.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Here in Los Angeles it's been so hot that a wish for shorter days and cooler temperatures is on all our minds. A nice way to celebrate ( long for ) the coming fall is to honor Sukkot and building a sukkah with the kids at the Waverly school in Pasadena. We built one last year as well . Sharing a meal (snack) with friends in a beautiful setting is always a good way to celebrate.
This year the 1st and 2nd grade class created watercolor paintings of fruits and vegetables, which I turned into a garland to decorate the sukkah.
They happily ate apples, grapes and pumpkins seeds turned into a salad.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
A few weeks ago we did a paper making workshop with children ages 4-7. They thought it was really funny that we were making paper from paper. Why bother? But just look at how beautiful and rustic these papers are. They are so textured and thick. We even added seeds to some of the paper so all you have to do is plant it in a pot of soil, water and the paper acts as fertilizer for the seeds. You could write a wish on the paper before planting or a message to a friend and let them plant it to watch it flower.
In order to make paper you need
- frames (I bought small 5X7 frames from a thrift store for a $1 a piece).
- screens ( from your local hardware store)
- felt sheets a bit bigger than your screen size
- used paper ( the inks or drawings on the paper can add color flecks to the paper)
- a large tub
- a blending device
I cut the screen the size of the frames and stapled the screen to the frame. That's it. We are now ready for the kids to arrive and ready to make paper.
Fill the tub with water. Rip up the recycled or used paper. We used white, red and orange paper for one tub and white green and blue paper for the other tub. Pulverize the paper in the blender with some hot water, then pour into the tub of water.
You just drop the screened frame into the water and lift out. Here is what you get.
A beautiful thick paper.
Sprinkle some seeds. We chose between cat grass, California poppies, corn flowers and lavender.
Turn the screen over immediately onto the felt and shake it off. The paper dries directly on the felt.
What a fun afternoon!
Monday, September 1, 2014
We are offering some amazing classes this fall for kids ages 2-10. We have Book Making for ages 7-10, Mad Scientist for ages 4-5, Potion and Spells for ages 6-10, Deep Blue Sea for ages 3-4.
If you were every thinking about signing your child up for an art class now would be a great time.
Check out our philosophy and more info about our classes at Purple Twig. We would love to have your child in one of our classes. We love teaching kids and the more the merrier.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
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.